Will my AM4 motherboard support Zen 3 and Ryzen 4th Gen?

Will my AM4 motherboard support Zen 3 and Ryzen 4th Gen?

Will my AM4 motherboard support Zen 3 and Ryzen 4th Gen?  

When AMD revealed its AM4 socket, the company announced that they planned to support the socket until 2020, offering support for every new generation of AM4 processors across their entire motherboard lineup. 

This move went against the norms that Intel had established, which saw each CPU socket support two generations of processors. After that, Intel would move on to a new or revised socket, leaving its users with no upgrade headroom. This factor gave AMD’s motherboard platforms a huge plus point when compared to their rival, as it gave their customers more upgrade options and lower overall upgrade costs. 

Now that we’ve reached 2020, things are going to change. AMD was specific when they said that they would support their older 300 and 400 series AM4 motherboards until 2020, and design constraints are making it harder than ever for motherboard manufacturers to add support for new CPUs to their legacy lineups. 

AM4 is here to stay, but 300/400 series motherboards won’t have guaranteed support for Zen 3

With AMD’s latest information dump about its B550 motherboards, AMD confirmed that 500 series AM4 motherboards would support AMD’s upcoming Ryzen 4th Gen processors. These processors will utilise AMD’s Zen 4 CPU architecture, and offer consumers higher performance levels than today’s Zen 2 offerings. 

The fact of the matter here is that the BIOS chips on AMD’s older AM4 motherboards are limited, and motherboard manufacturers struggled to add support for Ryzen 3000 series processors to their older 300-series and 400-series lineups. This limitation would only become a larger, if not impossible, challenge if this level of motherboard support was expected with Zen 3. Now that AMD has met its commitments, having supported AM4 until 2020, AMD has now deemed it appropriate to mark 500-series motherboards as a cut-off point for guaranteed Ryzen 4th Gen support. 
  AMD reaffirms commitment to AM4 socket until 2020

What does this mean for 300/400 series motherboard users

Users of older Ryzen motherboards will likely have BIOS support for AMD’s Ryzen 3000 series of Zen 2 processors, offering up to a 2x increase in core count, higher clock speeds and increased power efficiency. Zen 2 already offers users of older AM4 motherboards a great upgrade option, but sadly, AMD is no longer guaranteeing support for future Zen series Ryzen processors on its older chipsets.

With B550, AMD has also cut-off support for Zen processors that are older than Zen 2, which means that AMD’s Ryzen 1000/2000 series CPUs and 2000/3000 series APUs will not be supported on B550. This will allow motherboard manufacturers to keep chipset pricing low and ensure support for future generations of Ryzen processors on AM4. With B550, and has given us a clear cut-off point for socket AM4’s CPU support. With X570, AMD made a similar move by removing support for AMD’s original Ryzen 1000 series processors. 

If 300 series motherboards can support Zen 2, why can’t 400 series chipsets support Zen 3?  

This remains an unanswered question. The chart below shows that 300-series motherboards don’t support Ryzen 3rd Generation Zen 2 processors, but that is not the case. At this time it is unclear whether or not AMD is completely cutting off Zen 3 support for older motherboards or simply not guaranteeing it. 

In the future, we hope that AMD and motherboard manufacturers will clarify things further. Some motherboards simply won’t have the BIOS space to support a new generation of Ryzen series processors, but that doesn’t mean that this is impossible for all older AM4 motherboards. Regardless, owners of 300-series and 400-series AM4 motherboards should not expect to receive BIOS updates with Zen 3 CPU support. If you want forwards compatibility, you will need to be using a 500-series AM4 motherboard. 

Will my AM4 motherboard support Zen 3 and Ryzen 4th Gen?  

You can join the discussion on the future of AMD’s AM4 socket on the OC3D Forums.