Notebookcheck

Forget about those BIOS updates: Pre-X570 mainboards will not support PCIe Gen 4

X370-based mainboards and X470 parts will not get PCIe Gen 4 support
X370-based mainboard by MSI
Although recent BIOS updates for X370- and X470-based mainboards were supposed to include PCIe Gen 4 support, AMD's Robert Hallock has just confirmed on Reddit that this option will not be available in the final firmware releases for 3rd generation Ryzen (AGESA 1000+). Obviously, most of those who replied to his message consider this a mistake.

BIOS updates can do a lot for mainboards based on older chipsets, but sometimes the power to provide support for a certain technology — or take it away — is out of the manufacturers' hands. While a set of recent BIOS updates included support for PCIe Gen 4 in various pre-X570 mainboards, AMD has decided that this is "an error" that should not happen.

According to AMD's Robert Hallock, "This is an error we are correcting. Pre-X570 boards will not support PCIe Gen 4. There's no guarantee that older motherboards can reliably run the more stringent signaling requirements of Gen4, and we simply cannot have a mix of "yes, no, maybe" in the market for all the older motherboards. The potential for confusion is too high." 

In such cases, the mainboard makers should be allowed to do their own testing and provide support for the new technology as they see fit. Sadly, Hallock conclusion reads the following: "When final BIOSes are released for 3rd Gen Ryzen (AGESA 1000+), Gen4 will not be an option anymore. We wish we could've enabled this backwards, but the risk is too great."

Given the feedback he received, one can only hope that AMD will decide to leave the decision to the manufacturers. Two of those who shared their opinions on AMD's aforementioned decision called it "a huge mistake" and concluded that "this reeks of marketing opportunity and purposeful disabling of features to upsell other parts."

If AMD moves on with this, some people might consider it a betrayal and switch to Intel/NVIDIA. Disabling PCIe Gen 4 on the Radeon VII was not a very popular decision, either, and dropping support for it on pre-X570 mainboards could end up as a second bad decision. Obviously, doubling the clock rate is not something that many older mainboards can handle, but the testing and validation of this capability should be left to those who manufacture them.

As usual, feel free to drop your thoughts in the comments section below. Should AMD change its mind or push forward by forcing its decisions upon hardware makers?

Source(s)

static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment on this article
Please share our article, every link counts!
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 06 > Forget about those BIOS updates: Pre-X570 mainboards will not support PCIe Gen 4
Codrut Nistor, 2019-06- 3 (Update: 2019-06- 3)
Codrut Nistor
Codrut Nistor - News Editor
Although I have been writing about new software and hardware for almost a decade, I consider myself to be old school. I always enjoy listening to music on CD or tape instead of digital files and I will not even get into the touchscreen vs physical keys debate. However, I also enjoy new technology, as I now have the chance to take a look at the future every day. I joined the Notebookcheck crew back in 2013 and I have no plans to leave the ship anytime soon.