Asus pushed (opens in new tab) out a series of BIOS updates for 87 of its 100-series motherboards that add support for Intel’s upcoming Kaby Lake processors.
The eighty-seven Asus 100-series motherboards don’t natively support Kaby Lake, so it is necessary to update the BIOS before Kaby Lake CPUs will function properly. It appears that Intel will allow OEMs to support Kaby Lake on all of the 100-series chipsets. An Asus representative said that the company would ship the 100-series boards with the updated BIOS in the future, but you still run the risk of receiving a board with the older BIOS if you purchase one. This means you shouldn’t count on these boards to support Kaby Lake right out of the box if you are building a new system.
If you already own one of these boards and a Skylake CPU, you can simply update the BIOS using Asus’s EZ Flash utility and a USB drive. Some boards can also connect to the internet through the BIOS to get the update.
If you plan to purchase one of these motherboards for a new Kaby Lake CPU in the future, you will want to make sure that it supports Asus’s USB BIOS Flash Back utility. The utility will enable you to update the BIOS without a CPU or RAM installed. Otherwise, you will also need to purchase a Skylake CPU to update the BIOS, assuming the board doesn’t come with the update pre-installed.
The BIOS updates are now available.
|Asus Motherboards With Kaby Lake CPU BIOS Update|
|Z170||Maximus VIII Extreme||2202|
|Z170||Maximus VIII Formula||2202|
|Z170||Maximus VIII Hero Alpha||2202|
|Z170||Maximus VIII Hero||2202|
|Z170||Maximus VIII Ranger||2202|
|Z170||Maximus VIII Impact||2202|
|Z170||Z170 Pro Gaming/Aura||2003|
|Z170||Z170 Pro Gaming||2003|
|Z170||Z170I Pro Gaming||2003|
|Z170||Sabertooth Z170 S||2202|
|Z170||Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1||2202|
|H170||H170 Pro Gaming||2003|
|B150||B150 Pro Gaming/Aura||2003|
|B150||B150 Pro Gaming D3||2001|
|B150||B150 Pro Gaming||2003|
In other words ASUS BIOS updates is a messy minefield. All the boards should support this Asus’s USB BIOS Flash Back Utility. If they can make a board that accepts BIOS updates without a CPU or RAM it should be universal. Even when Kaby Lake is finally available. If you wait to buy a motherboard which is supposed to be designed for the CPU. You have no guarantee that it will work.
This is the sort of thing that makes less knowledgeable people blow hundreds of extra dollars on an OEM computer rather than a cheaper and superior one they build themselves.
I agree. Sounds insane to have 87+ variants. Then again, that's the beauty of capitalism. Maybe they should read Ford. The customer can have any color, as long as that color is black.
Well it is really beyond Asus's control to ensure that all motherboards purchased after a certain date come with the updated BIOS. The PR rep said that by the time Kaby Lake is released, Asus will be producing these boards with the updated BIOSes. There isn't any way to tell, however, when you buy a board from a retailer how long that retailer has had that board.
It would be nice for to have the USB Flash Back functionality on every motherboard. Several already have this feature, but it requires some extra hardware on the motherboard and gets left off low-end SKUs.