Asrock has released new beta firmware that enables support for Ryzen 5000 series processors on several of its X370 boards, delivering owners an attractive upgrade option. The five models join the X370 Taichi and X370 Pro4 to bring the total number of supporting boards to at least seven.
Changelog:1. Added support for Renoir & Vermeer2. Removed Bristol Ridge(AMD A-series/Athlon X4 series) supportLink:https://t.co/4spnWPSCjaFebruary 8, 2022
The beta BIOS releases were spotted by Hardware Times. They add support for both Vermeer 5000X series and Renoir 5000G series processors. But there’s a trade-off as the firmware removes support for Excavator era Bristol Ridge CPUs. That’s hardly a loss though as the chances are once you’ve upgraded to Ryzen 5000, you’re not going to go back. Furthermore, you need to be updated to BIOS version 7.00 before updating to the Ryzen 5000 supporting 7.03.
Curiously, Asus and Gigabyte introduced Ryzen 5000 support on some of their low end A320 motherboards in late 2021 and now that Asrock is introducing X370 support, we feel it’s only a matter of time before other vendors follow suit.
X370 and Ryzen 5000 CPUs have been proven to work together for a long time, as demonstrated by end user mods, but that’s always going to be risky compared to official firmware support. Asrock’s beta BIOS makes it as official as its going to get until AMD gives its stamp of approval.
There are reasons that AMD is reluctant to officially allow X370 support. X370 won’t support features such as PCIe 4.0, SAM, and some newer PBO and power delivery features. Allocating significant resources to a five year old platform can’t really be expected. But there’s another reason that widespread 300 series chipset and 5000 series CPU compatibility doesn’t exist. That reason is low capacity BIOS chips.
Many early AM4 boards included a 16MB BIOS ROM that has to contain all of the firmware required to run the system, fancy UEFI interfaces and graphics, as well as contain code that allows system support for one of the 100+ different AM4 CPUs. AM4 has been around for long enough that these 16MB chips run into limitations and that’s why Bristol Ridge support usually gets dropped. Out with the old and in with the new.
Now that the majority of Asrock’s X370 range supports Ryzen 5000 CPUs, will other vendors follow suit? And more importantly, will AMD officially sanction it? Adding a Ryzen 5000 CPU to a five year old motherboard would be one heck of a cost effective upgrade.