AMD Raven Ridge 'Boot Kit' Includes Unnamed Bristol Ridge Chip, Heatsink

AMD is issuing what it calls a “boot kit” to those who are unable to update their motherboard's BIOS to be compatible with the freshly released Raven Ridge products.

The Ryzen 5 2400G and Ryzen 3 2200G CPUs are the first Ryzen parts to feature integrated graphics. These chips don’t require new motherboards--any AM4 motherboard should work--but they do require a BIOS update to be compatible with those boards. That's fine if you already own an AM4-based system and are just dropping a new Ryzen G into it. However, if you’re new to the platform and purchased your first AM4 motherboard with your Raven Ridge chip, you might find that your new motherboard won't arrive with the BIOS update already installed.

To solve this dilemma for anyone whose motherboard can't receive BIOS updates without a CPU, AMD announced that you can request a special kit that contains exactly what you need to prepare for Raven Ridge. (Note that AMD refers to Raven Ridge parts as "2nd Gen Ryzen" in its announcement. It's not referring to Zen+, which is expected to debut in April and will also be compatible with current AM4 motherboards.)

AMD said in its announcement that you should first ask your retailer to update your motherboard for you or have it replaced at the manufacturer's local service center. (We presume, then, that this refers only to brick-and-mortar retailers.) Requesting the boot kit is supposed to be the last resort, not the immediate response to encountering this problem, and AMD will require you to provide a response from your motherboard vendor confirming that it can't update the board.

Following reports that the boot kit contains an A6-9500 processor, we contacted AMD to find out what exactly it plans to send to consumers. Apparently, it’s an unnamed A-series (Bristol Ridge) processor (which leaves the door open for other SKUs besides the A6-9500) and an accompanying heatsink. The Bristol Ridge parts predate the release of the Ryzen parts and were actually the first CPUs for the AM4 platform. AMD will also thoughtfully include a thermal solution, so you don’t have to waste your own thermal paste or use the cooler bundled with your Raven Ridge chip, which has pre-applied paste.

AMD won't require you to pay for the kit or place a hold on your bank account or credit card until it gets the parts back. Instead, the company merely expects you to send a picture of your Raven Ridge chip's serial number along with the proof from your motherboard vendor that it can't update your board itself. Then it will send you the kit, which it expects you to return within 10 days via pre-paid postage. (You can keep the heatsink, though.)

AMD said it plans to update a knowledge base article on its site that will more accurately represent the process through which Ryzen G owners must go to receive one of these boot kits.

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  • InvalidError
    I wish AMD/Intel would simply implement their BIOS in such a way that they can run "unknown" chips in some sort of safe-mode (ex.: all non-essential features disabled, voltage and clocks stuck at the lowest power working state available) instead of being out of luck without a compatible chip available for BIOS update.
  • razor512
    What ever happened to the option to update the bios without the CPU being installed? I believe Asus and gigabyte implemented this on some of their boards in the past.

    Beyond that, a safe mode would be useful, most CPUs can easily run at 1 volt, Why not just run the CPU at something like 1V at 500MHz if it is unknown, and then update the bios?

    Or better yet, why not have the bios chip in a socket where it can be removed and replaced? Old motherboards did it, and it would be cheaper than AMDs current solution of mailing out a CPU and heatsink, and allowing the user to keep the heatsink, buut return the CPU (because the weight of the heatsink would make return shipping more expensive than the value of the heatsink).

    If it was an industry standard to make the chip socketed, then AMD could literally just have a pile of pre-flashed bios ICs, and then simply mail them out to users when they select their motherboard and provide proof of purchase.

    Those smaller flash chips cost less than 10 cents each, and can be mailed out in a tiny padded envelope.
  • jchambers2586
    asus supports it. others don't I think its a patent thing. I talked to gigabyte they said I would need to send the board back to them so they could update the bios.