ASRock Enables Smart Access Memory On B450 Motherboards

B450 Steel Legend

B450 Steel Legend (Image credit: ASRock)

Apparently, ASRock has launched new firmwares for its B450 motherboards to accommodate the latest Ryzen 5000 (Vermeer) processors. German Youtuber RawiioliExtras has discovered that the motherboard manufacturer has also enabled the Smart Access Memory feature. This is important news since AMD only officially supports the Smart Access Memory on the latest 500-series motherboards.

AMD's requirements for Smart Access Memory are pretty simple. You need to own a Ryzen 5000 (Vermeer) processor, a Radeon RX 6000 (Big Navi) graphics card and a 500-series motherboard. However, ASRock's latest firmware appears to defy the chipmaker's conditions as the ASRock B450 Steel Legend motherboard is proof that the setting is available outside of 500-series motherboards.

Smart Access Memory isn't a proprietary technology. In fact, Smart Access Memory is built upon the foundations of Resizable BAR (Base Address Register), a feature that's part of the PCIe specification. Smart Access Memory is AMD's unique fancy way of referring to the technology.

AMD Smart Access Memory (Image credit: RawiioliExtras/Youtube)

Enabling Smart Access Memory is straightforward and easy. According to AMD's instructions, you just have to enable the "Above 4G Decoding" and "Re-size BAR Support" settings inside the BIOS. As you can see, both options are present and can be enabled on the ASRock B450 Steel Legend.

ASRock doesn't go into details with the new firmware. The previous description said "Optimize system performance with AMD Ryzen 5000 Series Desktop Processors." However, the new description simply states "Optimize system compatibility." In the case of the ASRock B450 Steel Legend, the latest firmware carries the version 3.70 and it's dated back to November 19.

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ASRock B450M/ac2.302020/11/199.99MB
ASRock B450 Pro44.502020/11/1910.31MB
ASRock B450M Pro44.602020/11/1910.31MB
ASRock B450M Pro4-F2.402020/11/1910.00MB
ASRock B450M/ac R2.02.302020/11/199.99MB
ASRock B450M-HDV R4.04.102020/11/1910.25MB
ASRock Fatal1ty B450 Gaming K44.502020/11/1910.33MB
ASRock Fatal1ty B450 Gaming-ITX/ac4.202020/11/1910.38MB
ASRock B450M Steel Legend3.602020/11/1910.51MB
ASRock B450 Steel Legend3.702020/11/1910.5MB
ASRock B450M Pro4 R2.04.602020/11/1910.31MB
ASRock B450 Pro4 R2.04.502020/11/1910.31MB
ASRock B450M-HDV4.202020/11/1910.22MB

ASRock's new firmwares for its other B450 motherboards share the same description and date, therefore, we don't think it's a coincidence. It's plausible the entire ASRock B450 product stack supports Smart Access Memory.

It's weird that ASRock decided to prioritize its budget motherboards over the more expensive X470 offerings. However, it shouldn't be long until the X470 motherboards receive their corresponding firmwares. The question remains whether ASRock's enablement of Smart Access Memory on the B450 motherboards was intentional or accidental. 

Zhiye Liu
RAM Reviewer and News Editor

Zhiye Liu is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.

  • JfromNucleon
    Great news then!.................... right?
  • digitalgriffin
    JfromNucleon said:
    Great news then!.................... right?

    Unless someone gets pressure to remove it.
  • russticles
    Probably will be removed, it's like when some X470 boards received PCI-E 4.0 support initially via a BIOS update but was removed in the following AGESA update, bummer.
  • digitalgriffin
    digitalgriffin said:
    Unless someone gets pressure to remove it.

    One reason i keep buying netgear and asrock is they get updates long after the sale. With asus you are lucky to get bios updates on a high end board for 2 years.

    So i hope asrock bucks the trend. It means i keep buying their stuff even if they arent the most feature rich offerings. It just delivers more long term value.
  • ocer9999
    Love how Asrock always finds a way to unlock special features that were locked (intel and AMD), probably not making them happy but good for us. They have a good R&D team, love their overclocking options since their oc-formula models.
    By the way, looks like they also enabled this feature on their Taichi Z490 as well!