AMD’s X570 Chipset Isn’t Fully Backwards Compatible, A320 Won’t Support Ryzen 3000
One of the bits of information we’ve learned at Computex this year clears up the question of which CPUs and platforms will support which Ryzen products. Earlier this spring, we reported on a rumor that the A320 platform would not support third-generation Ryzen CPUs. This has now been confirmed by AMD. As an added twist, however, the X570 won’t be compatible with first-generation Ryzen CPUs — and that’s a little bit unusual.
Here’s the support matrix for AMD CPUs and motherboards, as provided by AMD:
If you own an X470 or B450 motherboard, you’re golden as far as support is concerned. Motherboard upgrades have always been far less common than CPU upgrades — most people try to buy a board they expect to use for more than one CPU generation, as opposed to planning to use one CPU across multiple motherboards. Where this restriction might bite some folks is if anyone tries to buy an X570 motherboard to replace a dead X370, B350, or A320 that they purchased alongside a first-generation Ryzen CPU. If this happens to you, and you don’t want to spring for a new chip, you’ll have to opt for a B450 or X470 motherboard instead if you want guaranteed compatibility with the Ryzen 3000 family.
The “Selective Beta BIOS Update needed” section deserves a bit of explanation as well. It’s always up to OEMs whether or not they upgrade older platforms to support new chips. AMD’s Robert Hallock told Tom’s Hardware: “If we look across the ecosystem of motherboards that exist today, we certainly make BIOS updates available to our ecosystem partners to include that on different levels of motherboards in their portfolio, but I don’t expect that every motherboard will be updated for 3000 Series processors from our partners. That really will be a portfolio decision from their standpoint as well, as to where they apply those updates, and where they choose not to apply those updates.”
AMD can’t make motherboard vendors support its older products, though it has encouraged them to do so. The A320 chipset will not be updated for Ryzen 3000 support, however, so those of you with A320 boards are out of luck. These products tended to be focused on the OEM market or very cheap systems, however, and low-cost motherboards have typically gotten less-robust support than their higher-priced counterparts further up the stack.
Some X370 motherboards are definitely being updated for Ryzen 3000, but check with your manufacturer before assuming you will automatically be supported.
Update Your UEFI Before You Swap CPUs
Always remember to check for an updated UEFI from your motherboard manufacturer before you swap out your CPU. If you don’t, you’ll be stuck having to switch back to the old chip (best-case), which means a tiresome unmount and remount of your cooling solution. Depending on what kind of cooler you use and how much you enjoy reapplying thermal paste, this can be a genuine annoyance.
Presumably AMD will continue its policy of offering an APU on-loan to anyone who needs a UEFI update to maintain motherboard compatibility, but we haven’t heard back specifically yet, and in some cases, we know that Bristol Ridge compatibility is being removed from older designs to make room for newer CPUs.
AMD’s overall support for Ryzen 3000, even on older chipsets, is quite good, and the elements that keep it from being perfect are fairly classified as beyond the company’s control. Hopefully most X370 / B350 owners will wind up with an upgrade path into Ryzen 3000 by the time the motherboard manufacturers finish their own updates.