"When AMD launched its Ryzen 5 2400G and Ryzen 3 2200G, the rollout ran into a bit of a snag. One of the advantages to buying into AMD’s ecosystem is that the company has promised to maintain motherboard compatibility for a number of years. This is in contrast to Intel, which typically introduces new motherboard requirements every other generation, at best. But maintaining motherboard compatibility across product families can also mean that older boards need BIOS / UEFI updates before they’ll function properly with newer chips. To address this problem, AMD offered to ship an update kit to anyone who purchased a new APU but wound up with a motherboard that hadn’t yet been updated with a new UEFI version that would support the processor.
While there was initially some confusion over whether the company would continue this practice for its recently-launched second-generation Ryzen parts, that’s now been resolved. AMD’s chief product manager James Prior gave the following statement to Overclock3D:
AMD will support requests for boot kits if you have a 300 series motherboard and a 2nd Gen Ryzen or Ryzen with Radeon Vega graphics processor and can’t boot because of BIOS version. Sorry for the confusion, this is being updated now.
The process for requesting a boot kit has not changed since we first covered the issue, though the requirements are slightly different. AMD first recommends that affected users speak to the physical store where they bought their hardware or use a CPU they already own to perform the update. If these options are unavailable or don’t apply, the company recommends reaching out to the motherboard manufacturer and requesting an RMA shipment for a board that already has the appropriate UEFI installed. If this option is unavailable, AMD will provide a short-term boot kit as a loan."
Here are the requirements for requesting a boot kit:
Once you have submitted your claim for a processor loan boot kit, AMD will require a picture of your Ryzen with Radeon Vega graphics processor, that clearly shows the model number and unique serial number as well as a copy of the purchase invoice to authorize the request. Additionally, a summary or copy of communication with the motherboard manufacturer is requested to indicate why support from the Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) is not suitable.
Once the RMA request is approved, the AMD AM4 A-series processor will be sent with pre-paid return shipping. The processor is expected to be returned within 10 business days of receipt. It is not necessary to return the provided thermal solution.
This issue isn’t likely to impact all that many buyers, but we’re glad to see AMD continuing this practice. While most people won’t need to take advantage of it, it’s still a smart move for the company to address the concerns of those that do — and it’s a feature that’s unique to AMD. We don’t know if the company intends to keep it available over Ryzen’s entire lifespan, but we’re glad to see it extended to the company’s second-generation Ryzen processors. While we don’t imagine many people are upgrading from Ryzen CPUs they purchased last year, if you are taking the jump to a second-generation Ryzen CPU, we recommend updating the UEFI for your motherboard before swapping out your CPU core.
AMD really does need to require a stand alone BIOS update feature like the top ASUS boards have. Put the new BIOS on a USB drive, insert into slot, press the button, and BIOS is updated.