Recently, AMD has been dominating the desktop processor space. The latest Ryzen 5000 series CPUs have taken the lead over Intel, and so people are looking to upgrade. However, one of the weak points in the past has been the need to upgrade motherboards for a new generation of CPUs, although this is almost no problem for most socket AM4 boards. Regardless, users have found ways to improve motherboard compatibility. Modified BIOS updates or even the discovery that their old 300-series motherboards can actually work with new Ryzen 5000-series CPUs.
In May we learned that Zen 3 processors would only work with 500 series motherboards. This stance was then changed so that 400s and higher would work with Ryzen 5000 series CPUs after a BIOS update. Support for Ryzen 5000 can go back even further, however, as a forum user named Brko on overclock.net claims they know of a Gigabyte X370 motherboard with a beta BIOS that is running a Zen 3 processor. As he states in his post, “Any story that is published about“ these boards are out of date is an absolute must ”, but board manufacturers must actually publish the BIOS update so that these boards do not become out of date.
In theory, a BIOS update should be possible for some X370 motherboards to work with Ryzen 5000 series CPUs, despite Brko’s claims. This has been proven somewhat by chm128256m, a forum user at chiphell.com. He showed pictures of his Asrock A320M motherboard with a Ryzen 9 5900X inserted into it. However, the BIOS he runs is not an official version as he modified it to make it work. There is that theoretically that should work enter the game. If a Ryzen 9 5900X can run on an A320 board, higher-ranking boards should also be able to do so if the manufacturers publish an official update.
Obviously, AMD will probably not officially support this backward compatibility, otherwise it would have been announced from the start. Plus, it becomes a financial affair that both AMD and board manufacturers will likely also want customers with outdated systems to migrate to make new upgrade sales. We’ll have to see which motherboard OEMs come out with backward compatibility updates, and it’ll be interesting to see if there’s any performance hit or just curiosities that crop up. What do you think of the backward compatibility options? Do you think it makes more sense to upgrade and get new connectivity features like PCIe 4, or just keep an older board and update the BIOS for Ryzen 5000? Let us know in the comments below.
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