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ASRock A-Series Motherboards Get Next-Gen AMD Ryzen Support, but for APUs Only

(Image credit: ASRock)

Joining the rest of the motherboard crowd, ASRock released BIOS updates to support AMD's next-gen Ryzen processors on existing 400- and 300-Series motherboards today, but with an important caveat: While the company is the first to announce support for Ryzen 3000-series processors on its A-Series motherboards, the BIOS notes indicate it only supports AMD's next-gen APUs, known as "Picasso," and not the full-fledged series of Zen 2-based Ryzen 3000 processors.

Recent information has indicated that AMD will update its existing APUs with the 12nm process soon, indicating that these BIOS updates might not apply to future APUs packing the 7nm process and Zen 2 microarchitecture.

(Image credit: ASRock)

That would follow the trend of BIOS updates we've seen from major vendors of late. The recent wave of updates has enabled Ryzen 3000 support for higher-end X- and B-Series motherboards, but support for A-Series motherboards has been conspicuously absent.

We've already seen AMD's 3000 series of APUs in the wild. Those processors are merely an iterative update of the Zen microarchitecture and not the Zen 2-packing mainstream Ryzen 3000 processors that should arrive "mid-year."

AMD has promised to support the AM4 CPU socket with all of its processors until 2020, meaning its new processors will be backward compatible with existing motherboards. But the company has encountered a few issues along the way due to BIOS chip capacity limitations (the chips aren't capacious enough to store the firmware for such a large number of chips), which led to the removal of Bristol Ridge support from some motherboards last year. Many motherboard vendors have rectified the issue with larger BIOS chips, but that doesn't mean there aren't other possible complications with supporting Ryzen 3000 processors with the previous-gen A-Series motherboards.

Most speculation points to the lesser power delivery subsystems on A-Series motherboards as the culprit, but for now, it's anyone's guess why lower-end chipsets presumably won't be able to support the 7nm processors that should have lower power consumption than existing models. Several vendors have cited ongoing compatibility testing with their motherboards and the new Ryzen processors, so the situation could change in the future.

ASRock's newest wave of updates will be available this month, but the word is still out on whether or not A-Series motherboards will support the Zen 2-based Ryzen 3000 processors. We've reached out to the company for clarification on the updates.

AsRock BIOS Updates

ASRockProcessors SupportedBIOS Revisions
X470 ChipsetRyzen 3000 - UnspecifiedP3.30, P3.40
B450 ChipsetRyzen 3000 - UnspecifiedP3.10, P3.30, P3.40, P3.80
X370Ryzen 3000 - UnspecifiedP5.40, P5.60, P5.30, P5.80, P5.70
B350 ChipsetRyzen 3000 - UnspecifiedP5.80, P5.90, P1.20, P1.40, P2.00, P3.10
A320 ChipsetRyzen 3000 - APU OnlyP1.30, P1.10, P5.90, P1.70, P3.10, P5.80, P1.90
  • CountMike
    Not surprised at all, they barely support anything higher than 2400g/R3 chips.
    Reply
  • drea.drechsler
    PaulAlcorn said:
    ASRock becomes the first motherboard vendor to support AMD's Ryzen 3000 chips with A-Series motherboards, but all is not as it seems.

    AsRock A-Series Motherboards Get Next-Gen AMD Ryzen Support, but for APUs Only : Read more
    Current-gen Ryzen APU's (2200g/2400g) are based on Gen 1 Ryzen architecture.

    Is it safe to say next-gen Ryzen APU's (3000 series) will be based on Gen 2 Ryzen architecture? That would make this announcement unsurprising.
    Reply
  • alextheblue
    drea.drechsler said:
    Current-gen Ryzen APU's (2200g/2400g) are based on Gen 1 Ryzen architecture.

    Is it safe to say next-gen Ryzen APU's (3000 series) will be based on Gen 2 Ryzen architecture? That would make this announcement unsurprising.
    Raven Ridge (2200G, 2400G, etc) is what I'd call Zen 1.1 - not quite Zen+, but it has some enhancements over the original Zen cores found in the 1000 series. The 3000 series APUs are NOT Zen 2, however. As near as I can tell they're still Zen 1.1, it's a direct port kind of dieshrink to 12nm. Runs cooler, slightly higher frequencies, and overclocks a bit better (though that last part is partially due to switching these APUs to solder for the heatspreader). The Zen 2 APUs will come after the CPUs, much like the initial Ryzen rollout.
    Reply