AMD has confirmed that their Ryzen 4000 CPUs based on the Zen 3 architecture will only be compatible with the 500 series motherboards, like the X570 which is currently the only compatible motherboard that uses the AM4 socket. Or, at least until the upcoming B550 boards are released in June. In an official blog post by AMD, Robert Hallock, the Technical Marketing lead for AMD consumer processors, stated that:
“AMD has no plans to introduce “Zen 3” architecture support for older chipsets. While we wish could enable full support for every processor on every chipset, the flash memory chips that store BIOS settings and support have capacity limitations. Given these limitations, and the unprecedented longevity of the AM4 socket, there will inevitably be a time and place where a transition to free up space is necessary—the AMD 500 Series chipsets are that time.”
As stated before, the Zen 3 CPUs will be compatible with the AM4 sockets though, like the X570 or upcoming B550 motherboards, however this will require a new BIOS update. More details about this update will be coming soon, though AMD’s official chipset/CPU matrix has been updated to take future processors using Zen 3 architecture into account:
So at least you can still use the X570 chipsets until those B550 boards launch in June, or the X470 and B450 for Ryzen 3000 series processors. The jump to Zen 3 desktop processors however, will require at least the X570 or B550 chipsets. But don’t forget to update your BIOS before installing the new chips, otherwise your system simply won’t boot.
Just for reference, some processors which include the AM4 socket include the Ryzen 7 3700X and the Ryzen 5 3600, both are great for their price, even if a tad pricy still. But the real star is the Ryzen 9 3900X if you feel like splashing the cash.
AMD has a pretty exciting future ahead of it, whilst the competition between Team Red and Team Blue gets more and more heated as Intel's Comet Lake CPUs launches at some point in the future, the real winners here are us players, who get to reap the benefits of the competition with upgraded and cheaper components for faster PC gaming performance.
What makes the Zen 3 processors interesting is that AMD tell us that they will be a massive upgrade from the previous Zen 2 architecture, that was itself an innovation in tech advancement, providing 7nm x86 processors. Which was made available to us only mid last year, 2019. Which makes this hard jump, with limited backwards compatibility, a bit more digestible, since it seems pretty clear that the CPUs running the Zen 3 architecture will be great for high-end gaming performance, and more than likely at a decent price point too.
And whilst many manufacturing companies and factories have been majorly affected by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, AMD is adamant that they are still on track to get the Ryzen 4000 processors out by later this year.
A couple of weeks ago AMD officially announced their new budget Ryzen 3000 Series CPUs, the Ryzen 3 3100, and the Ryzen 3 3300X, which have proven to be great value for money processors at $99 and $120 price points at launch, and both of which will be using the AM4 socket as well. These processors are especially shaping up to be some pretty decent options for future gaming builds on a budget, with hardly any drawbacks for the price. Along with that announcement came the reveal of the Zen 3 B550 motherboards.
What are your thoughts on this latest news? Are you excited for Zen 3? Are you planning on getting AMD’s new processors? Let us know what you think!