In about three weeks, retailers will begin selling AMD’s recently announced Ryzen 3000 XT processors, including the Rzyen 9 3900XT, Ryzen 7 3800 XT, and Ryzen 5 3600 XT. Ahead of their retail debut, at least two motherboard makers are prepping BIOS updates that are optimized for the new chips.
These “XT” models are still based on AMD’s current generation Zen 2 architecture. Core and thread counts, cache arrangements, and TDP ratings are unchanged compared to the regular X variants. However, the XT models come with faster clocks (100-200MHz) and, according to AMD, up to a 4 percent bump in single-threaded performance.
Existing socket AM4 motherboards that support the X versions will also support the XT models, and in at least some cases, a BIOS update will not be required. Gigabyte confirmed as much in a recent statement.
“Although Gigabyte motherboards can support 3rd gen AMD Ryzen XT series processors without a BIOS update, based on the insistence of providing users better product experiences, Gigabyte RD started relative verification right after receiving the new BIOS code,” Gigabyte says.
The BIOS updates are based on AMD’s latest AGESA code, which is basically the reference code AMD provides to its hardware partners for constructing their own custom firmware. According to Gigabyte, the latest code enhances the “compatibility and reliability” of Ryzen XT series CPUs and motherboards, while also “boosting the performance and overclocking ability of the latest processors.” So, whether required or not, you’re going to want to apply the latest BIOS if you intend to run a Ryzen XT CPU.
Gigabyte has already made several BIOS updates available. Here’s a look:
- Gigabyte X570 motherboards—F20 BIOS
- Gigabyte B550 motherboards—F2 BIOS*
- Gigabyte X470, B450, X370, B350, and A20 motherboards—F51 BIOS*
There are some exceptions to the above (hence the asterisks)—Gigabyte says B550 Aorus Master and B450M Aorus Elite owners should apply the F3 BIOS update, and B450M H owners should apply the F2 update. You can find compatible BIOS updates by visiting the product page for whichever motherboard model you own and clicking on the Support link at the top.
MSI will also have updated BIOS files available, starting at the end of June. The company doesn’t come right out and say they are not required to run an XT chip, but does note the updated firmware files are “mainly optimized for the new Ryzen CPUs.” They also contain “several key improvements,” such as memory optimizations and some bug fixes.
If you own an MSI motherboard, the best way to stay on top of the situation is to bookmark the company’s announcement page. It lists a bunch of motherboards and will be updated with links to new BIOS releases as time goes on.
ASRock, Asus, and Biostar have not yet announced any BIOS updates specific to the Ryzen 3000 XT series, but I imagine they will in the coming weeks.