AMD’s initial plan was to leave the B450 and much of the X470 boards in the lurch since only a few X470 motherboards would get a BIOS to upgrade to support the upcoming Zen 3 architecture. This was not welcoming news for users expecting backward compatibility given AMD’s past CPUs supporting multiple chipsets, unlike their competitors.
This was terrible news since many like me, as upgrading to the new-gen 5000 Series CPU, we would need to swap out our motherboards too.
Every once in a while, changing CPU generations requires a motherboard change, but B450 is still a great value for money board, and companies like MSI even claimed as advertising that their B450 Tomahawk Max motherboards would be able to offer “Future AM4 Releases”.
Owning to massive backlash, AMD reversed their decision, and yes, all B450 and X470 motherboards support the new Zen 3 architecture Ryzen 5000 series of CPUs.
The new announcement by AMD gave a longer lifespan to all 400 series boards. AMD explained that the support would be provided through a BIOS update, which will actually be a beta BIOS, but can we expect this support in a consumer-friendly timeline?
Even though AMD has said that support will be coming to B450 and X470, the board manufacturers will be the ones releasing the necessary BIOS update that will enable the support.
To make sure your B450 and X470 motherboard supports the new Ryzen 5000 series, you need a BIOS with AGESA 18.104.22.168 or greater to take full advantage of the Zen 3 lineup. Find out if your board has a compatible BIOS released below.
AGESA code enables compatibility for the new 5000 CPU series; check the table below to take a look at if your manufacture has released a BIOS update for the new AMD line.
|Manufacturer||Chipset||Model||AMD Zen 3 5000 Support|
|Asus||B450||Asus Prime B450M-A||🗸|
|Asus Prime B450M-A II||🗸|
|Asus Prime B450M-K||🗸|
|Asus Prime B450-Plus||🗸|
|Asus TUF B450M-Plus Gaming||🗸|
|Asus TUF Gaming B450M-Plus II||🗸|
|Asus TUF B450M-Pro Gaming||🗸|
|Asus TUF Gaming B450M-Pro II||🗸|
|Asus TUF B450M-Pro S||🗸|
|Asus TUF B450-Plus Gaming||🗸|
|Asus TUF B450-Pro Gaming||🗸|
|Asus ROG Strix B450-F Gaming||🗸|
|Asus ROG Strix B450-F Gaming II||🗸|
|Asus ROG Strix B450-E Gaming||🗸|
|Asus ROG Strix B450-I Gaming||🗸|
|X470||Asus Prime X470-Pro||🗸|
|Asus TUF X470-Plus Gaming||🗸|
|Asus ROG Strix X470-F Gaming||🗸|
|Asus ROG Strix X470-I Gaming||🗸|
|Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero||🗸|
|Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WI-FI)||🗸|
|ASRock||B450||ASRock B450M / ac||🗸|
|ASRock B450M / ac R2.0||🗸|
|ASRock B450M Pro4||🗸|
|ASRock B450M Pro4 R2.0||🗸|
|ASRock B450M Pro4-F||🗸|
|ASRock B450M Steel Legend||🗸|
|ASRock B450M-HDV R4.0||🗸|
|ASRock B450 Pro4||🗸|
|ASRock B450 Pro4 R2.0||🗸|
|ASRock B450 Steel Legend||🗸|
|ASRock Fatal1ty B450 Gaming K4||🗸|
|ASRock Fatal1ty B450 Gaming-ITX / ac||🗸|
|X470||ASRock X470 D4U||🗸|
|ASRock X470 D4U2-2T||🗸|
|ASRock X470 Master SLI||🗸|
|ASRock X470 Master SLI / ac||🗸|
|ASRock Fatal1ty X470 Gaming K4||🗸|
|ASRock Fatal1ty X470 Gaming-ITX / ac||🗸|
|ASRock X470 Taichi||🗸|
|ASRock X470 Taichi Ultimate||🗸|
|Gigabyte||B450||Gigabyte B450M H||🗸|
|Gigabyte B450M S2H||🗸|
|Gigabyte B450M S2H V2||🗸|
|Gigabyte B450M Gaming||🗸|
|Gigabyte B450M DS3H||🗸|
|Gigabyte B450M DS3H V2||🗸|
|Gigabyte B450M DS3H WIFI||🗸|
|Gigabyte B450M Aorus Elite||🗸|
|Gigabyte B450 Aorus M||🗸|
|Gigabyte B450 Aorus Pro||🗸|
|Gigabyte B450 Aorus Pro WIFI||🗸|
|Gigabyte B450 Gaming X||🗸|
|Gigabyte B450 Aorus Elite||🗸|
|Gigabyte B450 Aorus Elite V2||🗸|
|Gigabyte B450 I Aorus Pro WIFI||🗸|
|X470||Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 5 WIFI||🗸|
|Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7 WIFI||🗸|
|Gigabyte X470 Aorus Gaming 7 WIFI-50||🗸|
|Gigabyte X470 Aorus Ultra Gaming||🗸|
|MSI||B450||MSI B450M-A Pro MAX||🗸|
|MSI B450M Pro-VDH||🗸|
|MSI B450M Pro-VDH MAX||🗸|
|MSI B450M Pro-VDH V2||🗸|
|MSI B450M Pro-VDH Plus||🗸|
|MSI B450M Pro-M2||🗸|
|MSI B450M Pro-M2 MAX||🗸|
|MSI B450M Pro-M2 V2||🗸|
|MSI B450M Mortar||🗸|
|MSI B450M Mortar MAX||🗸|
|MSI B450M Mortar Titanium||🗸|
|MSI B450M Gaming Plus||🗸|
|MSI B450M Bazooka||🗸|
|MSI B450M Bazooka MAX Wifi||🗸|
|MSI B450M Bazooka V2||🗸|
|MSI B450M Bazooka Plus||🗸|
|MSI B450I Gaming Plus AC||🗸|
|MSI B450I Gaming Plus MAX Wifi||🗸|
|MSI B450-A Pro||🗸|
|MSI B450-A Pro MAX||🗸|
|MSI B450 Tomahawk||🗸|
|MSI B450 Tomahawk MAX||🗸|
|MSI B450 Tomahawk MAX II||🗸|
|MSI B450 Gaming Plus||🗸|
|MSI B450 Gaming Plus MAX||🗸|
|MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC||🗸|
|X470||MSI X470 Gaming Plus||🗸|
|MSI X470 Gaming Plus MAX||🗸|
|MSI X470 Gaming Pro||🗸|
|MSI X470 Gaming Pro MAX||🗸|
|MSI X470 Gaming Pro Carbon||🗸|
|MSI X470 Gaming Pro Carbon AC||🗸|
|MSI X470 Gaming M7 AC||🗸|
1. What’s Up with Beta BIOS: B450/ X470 Limitations on Zen 3
The announcement to support backward compatibility with Zen 3 had a minor footnote; the support would come with beta BIOS updates. This was majorly due to the size limitation of the BIOS.
Every generation of CPUs needs to store compatibility code in the BIOS, apart from the space needed to store interfaces and menus. Since we are getting used to fancy graphical menus, they do take a lot of space.
Usually, AMD boards came with 16MB worth of BIOS chips since the early AM4 chips could only access the first sixteen megabytes. Even if you had a board with more than 16 megabytes, the CPU would only be able to make use of the first 16MBs.
Since upto the 400 chipsets, AMD had to store the compatibility codes for Ryzen 1000 to 3000 series in such a tight space they decided to reserve the new 5000 series for the new 500 chipsets.
The announcement of adding support to older chipsets meant that AMD would work in a tight fit, and when you can not add anything more to a cramped space, you have to get rid of some older stuff; that’s exactly what the beta BIOS does. According to AMD’s statement:
- We will develop and enable our motherboard partners with the code to support “Zen 3”-based processors in select beta BIOSes for AMD B450 and X470 motherboards.
- These optional BIOS updates will disable support for many existing AMD Ryzen™ Desktop Processor models to make the necessary ROM space available.
- The select beta BIOSes will enable a one-way upgrade path for AMD Ryzen Processors with “Zen 3,” coming later this year. Flashing back to an older BIOS version will not be supported.
- To reduce the potential for confusion, our intent is to offer BIOS download only to verified customers of 400 Series motherboards who have purchased a new desktop processor with “Zen 3” inside. This will help us ensure that customers have a bootable processor on hand after the BIOS flash, minimizing the risk a user could get caught in a no-boot situation.
- Timing and availability of the BIOS updates will vary and may not immediately coincide with the availability of the first “Zen 3”-based processors.
- This is the final pathway AMD can enable for 400 Series motherboards to add new CPU support. CPU releases beyond “Zen 3” will require a newer motherboard.
- AMD continues to recommend that customers choose an AMD 500 Series motherboard for the best performance and features with our new CPUs.
2. How to Update B450/ X470 BIOS to Support Zen 3 Ryzen 5000?
Many people would recommend a 500 board for Zen 3, but if you already have a 5000 CPU and a 400 chipset board, just go for the update. Here’s how you can update the BIOS to get Zen 3 Support on B450/ X470:
- Download the latest BIOS update from the manufacturer’s site. In the case of Ryzen 5000 support, the BIOS version will be a beta version, so download the latest beta version available after you have checked the above compatibility list. (NOTE: this will be a one-way upgrade, meaning you will not be able to downgrade later! This shouldn’t be a major problem.)
- Now comes the actual update process; you have two options here:
- Method #1: Use the BIOS flash button on your motherboard if you have one. Simply download the BIOS update to a USB and plug it in the back of your board and press the flash button.
- Method #2: If you do not have a flash button, you need to manually access the update screen inside the BIOS to specify the update files. Note this option needs to have a compatible CPU that lets you POST on your board. This shouldn’t be a problem if you are updating from an older Ryzen CPU.
- That’s it! After the update, swap out or insert your new Zen 3 Ryzen 5000 CPU, and you should be good to go.
If you are one of the people who purchased a new 5000 Ryzen CPU with a B450/ X470 board and don’t have an older CPU to perform the upgrade, then you have a few options. Either you can ask the seller or a friend to update the BIOS for you before they ship the board, or you can make use of AMD’s program where they provide a free CPU to flash the new BIOS, called a ‘Boot Kit,’ for more info., follow the official AMD guidelines.
It is highly unlikely that AMD will offer CPU support beyond the Zen 3 architecture on the B450 and X470 boards. The chipsets as of now are already stretched upto their limits, and future support is probably not going to be there.
If you are looking for a new board to buy and have some future-proofing plan, I would recommend you look into the next lineup of chipsets.
About Advanced Micro Devices
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is an American multinational semiconductor company headquartered in Santa Clara, California.
AMD develops computer processors and related technologies for business and consumer markets. AMD’s main products include microprocessors, motherboard chipsets, embedded processors and graphics processors for servers, workstations, personal computers and embedded system applications.