Following this week’s launch of AMD’s new Ryzen 3000 series of processors, reports have once again begun circulating that PCIe 4 will be available on some existing 300 & 400 series boards. This comes despite AMD’s official statement last month that they would not be allowing the feature on older boards, as PCIe 4’s tighter signal integrity standards would have led to, at best, a highly fragmented market where some boards work, some boards don’t, and some boards may be outright marginal. At the time the company stated that the feature would be stripped from the AGESA that goes into the final Ryzen 3000 launch BIOSes for older boards.

So, to get right to the heart of matters, I reached out to AMD PR this evening to find out what’s going on with PCIe 4 support. The short version then is that no, AMD’s plans have not changed: PCIe 4 support will be disabled in the shipping AGESA for these boards.

Our plan is unchanged. For the reliability and consistency reasons cited at Computex, we still intend to disable PCIe Gen 4 for pre-X570 motherboards. That AGESA is being released to motherboard manufacturers soon.

As things stand, any boards that currently support the feature would be using pre-release AGESAs, and as we’ve seen with our own BIOS issues, the Ryzen 3000 BIOS situation is still evolving fast. So with AMD intending to permanently disable the feature – and prevent any workarounds – AMD’s goals haven’t wavered. At best, the few boards that have beta BIOSes with the feature will lose them in the future, unless users opted to stick with an unsupported (and almost certainly buggy) BIOS.

Going forward, proper PCIe 4 support will continue to require an AMD 500-series board specifically designed to meet the signal integrity requirements for the higher speed standard. Right now, this includes boards based on AMD’s X570 chipset; and while the company hasn’t announced other 500-series chipsets, we’re expecting to see more in due time.

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  • Korguz - Monday, July 15, 2019 - link

    minor power saving ?? i dont consider a 50 to 100 watt difference minor.
  • melgross - Sunday, July 14, 2019 - link

    Nobel prize? I assume you just joking about that. This is all about competition. While for a while, and was moving in on Intel, that’s stopped more recently. AMD is just racing to get ahead of Intel here. If they can, they believe they’ll have a marketing advantage. If Intel gets ahead, AMD’s sales will suffer somewhat.

    But make no mistake about it, very few in business, government, and particularly those who are consumers, need 4 anytime soon. Most people won’t see any advantage from this for years to come.
  • Korguz - Sunday, July 14, 2019 - link

    about competition ? what about innovation ? what about moving the cpu industry forward ? intel pre zen, didnt even do that, but if you want to call <10% performance gains year over year, sticking the main stream with quad core cpus, and stagnating the cpu industry a good thing, all while raising prices to ridiculous levels, then thats your choice.
  • melgross - Monday, July 15, 2019 - link

    Please, don’t be that naive. It’s all about competition, sales and profits. I’ve run two companies over the years. It doesn’t work the way you think.

    When the founders if a company come up with what they think is a great, and useful, idea. They know that they have to make it profitable. In the beginning, that idea is enough to sustain growth. But when competitors appear, that changes. At that point, it becomes a matter of survival, and in order to do that, their ideals need to be modified. So both AMD and Intel obviously need to continue producing better parts, they also have to persuade people to upgrade.

    The industry has changed from one of major growth, to one of mostly replacement, and that’s a totally different market. Intel has an advantage, because their R&D is more than AMD’s sales. Intel has been trying to do more than AMD could ever possibly afford to do. Intel has gotten bogged down at 10nm, not because they’re incompetent, but because they have been trying to do much more than their competitors at that node, rather than taking the easy way out. That’s resulted in wasted time in new designs.

    But if anyone doubts that they will catch up, then they’re wasting their own time arguing that. Hopefully we all remember Netburst, and how Intel got hung up on that, but then recovered, and how AMD blew their chance to maintain parity with Bulldozer, with which they made their own major blunders.

    The point is that we’re looking at this situation through a slice of time. At any point, things can change drastically. I don’t see that understanding here, where there are cliques for one side or the other,
  • Death666Angel - Saturday, July 13, 2019 - link

    The big thing for X570 is the PCIe 4.0 link to the CPU and the PCIe 4.0 downstream links. Everything before that is 3.0 to CPU (slow-ish) and 2.0 downstream, which is the real bummer. I honestly don't care if I have a 4.0 GPU slot and even a 4.0 NVMe slot is not that important. Would would be nice is to have three x4 3.0 slots for NVMes and the possibility of another x4 slot for a 10G NIC. Most boards of the 3xx and 4xx variety only offer two PCIe NVMe slots (one 3.0, one 2.0 or x2 3.0) and then the x4 2.0 slot might be shared with that NVMe slot. There isn't a lot of connectivity. And if you are heavily into USB, X570 offers a lot more flexibility there as well. 4.0 from the CPU is the least interesting thing about that platform (kinda) in my opinion.
  • willis936 - Saturday, July 13, 2019 - link

    Have you ever done RF board design? Have you ever seen the price of rodgers? If I were making a motherboard specification I would not let it up to companies that barely do any work besides source components, assemble them, and paste lights on them to responsibly design and validate a PCIe 4.0 channel.
  • kn00tcn - Saturday, July 13, 2019 - link

    are we really deserving if free pcie upgrades? how is this a normal expectation? when did this happen before? nothing was taken away since the idea only appeared a few months ago yet you twist this into a conspiracy out of nowhere, on a cheap platform, with the competition not having pcie4 either, absolutely selfish demands & accusations

    how about dont buy x570, blame pcisig for being 3 years late, wait a few nanoseconds for the data transmission
  • Qasar - Saturday, July 13, 2019 - link

    limitedaccess seems logical... wouldnt you be a little pissed.. if you bought a x470 mobo, was told you could get pcie 4 with it when you upgraded to a ryzen 3 series, only to find out it wont run at that speed cause of poor quality, or some other reason ?
    " As for board signal integrity it's not as if OEMs can't design new revisions or even new models but just using the older (and cheaper) chipsets. " maybe they could.. but why bother? designing, testing, validating.. only to save a few bucks over an X570 board, probably not worth it for the mobo makers...
  • mjz_5 - Friday, July 12, 2019 - link

    At least the CPUs work with older boards. If it was intel. That wouldn’t happen
  • Chaitanya - Saturday, July 13, 2019 - link

    True, I am using 3700x with Msi b450 Tomahawk, atleast I dont have to spend 170$ or more for motherboard and currently it satisfies all the requirements in terms of connectivity for me. As of now I see no need for pci-e 4 connectivity(maybe when 10G nics start appearing with pci-e interface).

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