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Is a new AMD motherboard standard with new easily upgradeable and replaceable BIOS Chip needed?

I purchased MSI Tomahawk B450 motherboard for a budget R5 3600 builds.
I am very happy with that.
That CPU is great.
Very easy builds, good performance, had no problems at all so far.

However I was hoping to upgrade the R5 3600 CPU to a newer generation AM4 CPU in future when/if AMD produce something with a significant uplift in IPC or CPU core clock frequency.

Perhaps I misunderstood the Marketing from AMD or made assumptions that were not based on facts.

Regarding BIOS on AMD Motherboards and lack of memory on BIOS chips on older motherboards.

I am not certain if memory limitations on BIOS chips on all AIB B450 boards is a problem I have not checked.

Perhaps it might be an idea to make sure that all AMD Motherboard manufacturers produce motherboards with an easily replaceable and upgradeable BIOS chip?

I have old ASUS Z97 Motherboard for I7-4770K Haswell which has a BIOS chip that sits in a plastic IC socket and can be removed and replaced.

Here is a picture of the removeable BIOS Chip sitting in its plastic socket:

This is useful in case the BIOS flash fails and bricks the motherboard.

I can easily remove the BIOS chip with a pair of tweezers and replace it with a new one.

If AMD implemented an easily removeable and replaceble BIOS Chip in plastic IC Socket standard on all of their motherboards, then if significant increase in BIOS memory were needed in future, it should be possible to upgrade the BIOS Chip.

Since Motherboard Manufacturers need to make money for their efforts, perhaps they should give you a choice to:

  1. Pay for a new BIOS flash with limited UI and feature set due to BIOS Chip limitations which will allow you to use new CPU with existing BIOS chip if that is possible.

  2. Pay for a new BIOS Chip which would allow you to run your older board with a newer generation AMD CPU. All you would have to do would be upgrade the BIOS Chip.

  3. Upgrade your motherboard to a newer motherboard chipset and features which supports new AMD CPU.

Does that sound like a better solution moving forward?

13 Replies

Just requiring a 128Mbit BIOS chip would solve the issues of space since by the time you get to 4th generation chips the 1st generation chip space can be removed to make room. Alternatively a second 128Mbit chip or a single 256Mbit chip could be used to maintain complete compatibility, the cost would be the same, or less, than using a user replaceable BIOS chip. However, we know from HardwareUnboxed that the problem isn't space as AMD claims, especially since Ryzen 1000 series processors work on X570 motherboards as will the upcoming 4000 series, it's AMD refusing to give the required code to the OEMs to implement support, so the real solution is public outcry.

And here is yet another reason dropping support for 300 and 400 series boards is a bad idea: An 8 core APU, the Ryzen 4700G, has been spotted in the AotS benchmark. Preventing existing users of G series 2000 and 3000 chips from upgrading to a 4000 series chip means they're not going to do it as the cost of a new motherboard as well would mean they'd be better off just getting a discrete video card.

Yes I have seen and read the other post about this on the Forum with the information you mention.
I am not proposing replacing or replaceable BIOS Chips on existing B450 motherboard.
I am proposing AMD think about making replaceable motherboard BIOS chips as a standard for future motherboards. The cost should be minimal if done correctly.


But they wouldn't need to be replaceable if they were large enough to hold all the required information, since in the space of 5 years a new standard would be released which would require a new motherboard anyway, be it RAM, PCIe, or USB.


Yes sure, or it might be that Motherboard manufacturers would want to put as small as possible and cheapest VBIOS chips on cheapest motherboard and the highest end motherboards could have have larger costlier VBIOS chips to accomidate more advanced VBIOS features. 

I can imagine the Motherboard manufacturers may not like the potential support nightmare of multiple VBIOS versions for multiple AMD CPU subsets just to fit them into smaller BIOS memory and the confusion it could cause.

Having said that, manufacturers and users of recent Radeon 7 and RX5000 series GPUs seem to absolutely love the concept of receiving multiple different VBIOS flashes for GPUs after they are released. Perhaps this concept should be pushed out for all AMD motherboards as well.

Perhaps I just like the removeable VBIOS chip on those old Intel boards and the fact if the VBIOS flash fails I just replace the chip and not the entire motherboard.



I tend to agree with you. I have no issue with the idea of replaceable. I do think though that just having a larger than needed to begin with would be adequate. I would have to think by the time you surpass the compatibility that could bring you would likely be wanting newer features your board does not offer. Currently most users have little need for PCIe 4 and that is about the only benefit other than Zen3 compatibility of x570 or the still not available b550 boards.

Big Boss

I like the idea of a replaceable BIOS chip. I went for the X570 with the idea of modernizing to PCIe 4.0 for some incremental performance gains.

PCIe 5.0 will be more expensive if DDR5 is mandated.



colesdav wrote:

Related information regarding BIOS support:
Ryzen 3 Launch — No Zen 3 on 300/400 — RTX 40 "Hopper" 5nm — Intel 12th Gen LGA 1700 — RTS 05-08-20 ...

Lots of comments on motherboard forums galore. I am a developer and I figure there are some minor things to consider at POST. check the RAM, check CPUID and populate the tables and then load an operating system. It is not rocket science.

If I made a BIOS, it would be very spartan, but it would support all processors.


Hardware Unboxed seem to be unhappy about the 400 Series Motherboard situation for B450 and X470 series owners.
That means me...


It might be difficult to make a plastic socket for the BIOS chip on this motherboard, so it could be removeable.
I think it should be possible though.
There is already plenty of memory on that BIOS Chip for increased BIOS size on that board anyhow.
ASUS planned for it.
It was a "promoted feature".
It  could be upgraded to support new AMD processors if AMD and ASUS wanted.

ROG Crosshair Hero VII Motherboard Review I read at the time... 
TweakTown Enlarged Image


"We find a 256Mbit BIOS ROM on the motherboard, which is twice the size we find on other X470 motherboards. ASUS says they are using only 16MB of the 32MB ROM, and that the extra space is to ensure future CPU support, in case AMD expands the BIOS size. A BIOS chip is used to facilitate USB BIOS recovery."


BIOS limitations have been driven by a lot of GUI fluff added by vendors