Demonstrating their commitment to keep improving the AM4 platform, AMD has just published a suite of details about their upcoming AGESA 1.0.0.6 firmware. Of particular interest here, the latest firmware is going to enhance memory overclocking and compability, as well as add a much needed virtualization-related feature.

AGESA is an acronym for “AMD Generic Encapsulated System Architecture", and it is essentially the foundational code on which BIOS files for AM4 motherboards are built. When the Ryzen AM4 platform was launched back in March, the early AGESA versions lacked a lot of the core capabilities and settings that we have come to expect from a modern platform. As a result, motherboard manufacturers did not have a lot to work with when it came to creating feature-rich custom BIOSes for their own motherboards. Since then AMD has been pretty vocal and proactive about fixing any bugs, opening up new BIOS features, and improving overclocking.

With this new AGESA version, AMD has added 26 new memory-related parameters. The most dramatic improvement is the significant expansion of memory speed options. If we exclude base block overclocking - which relatively few motherboards support - the AM4 platform has thus far been effectively limited to memory speeds of DDR4-3200. Not only that, but the supported range of options from DDR4-1866 to DDR4-3200 was in large 266MT/s increments. With AGESA 1.0.0.6, memory frequencies have not only been expanded all the way up to DDR4-4000, but between DDR4-2667 and DDR4-4000 the increments have been reduced to 133MT/s. Not only does this mean that more memory kits will be able to be run at their rated speed - and not get kicked down to the nearest supported speed - but it also significantly reduces the high-speed memory gap that the AM4 platform had with Intel's mainstream LGA1151 platform.

The other important announcement is the unlocking of about two dozen memory timings. Up until now, only five primary memory timings have been adjustable and there wasn't even a command rate option, which was natively locked to the most aggressive 1T setting. All of this should help improve overclocking and most importantly compatibility with the large swathe of DDR4 memory kits that have largely been engineered with Intel platforms in mind.

The last addition should excite those interested in virtualization. AMD has announced "fresh support" for PCI Express Access Control Services (ACS), which enables the ability to manually assign PCIe graphics cards within IOMMU groups. This should be a breath of fresh air to those who have previously tried to dedicate a GPU to a virtual machine on a Ryzen system, since it is a task that has thus far been fraught with difficulties.

AMD has already distributed the AGESA 1.0.0.6 to its motherboard partners, so BIOS updates should be available starting in mid to late June. Having said that, there are apparently beta versions currently available for the ASUS Crosshair VI and GIGABYTE GA-AX370-Gaming 5.

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Source: AMD

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  • Araa - Friday, May 26, 2017 - link

    They are doing a surprisingly good job supporting their hardware. Reply
  • RaistlinZ - Friday, May 26, 2017 - link

    I would hope so, it's only been out a few months. Reply
  • Chaitanya - Friday, May 26, 2017 - link

    Intel never supported their hardware to this level. Reply
  • vladx - Friday, May 26, 2017 - link

    Did you even read the article? Intel motherboards already support all of that and more and Intel never had such restrictions to their platforms. Reply
  • Alexvrb - Saturday, May 27, 2017 - link

    They have other, different restrictions instead. Such as locking most of their lineup, and preventing overclocking on non-Z chipsets. Some OEMs tried to bypass the second limitation... it didn't work out in the long run, especially if you want an updated BIOS that supports the latest chips. Reply
  • nottatard - Saturday, May 27, 2017 - link

    One the reason AMDs stock tanked recently was due to them not locking up their lineup.. either way, hardly a defense for not having basic bios options. Inb4 new platform cop-out. Reply
  • TiberiusJonez - Saturday, May 27, 2017 - link

    Are you on crack? I suggest you go back and read some history on the first year of the Intel x99 platform. It was a disaster. Memory support was horrendous. MUCH worse than this and BIOS updates didn't come anywhere near as fast as this. Stop being a fanboy hater, it makes you arrogant at worst, and ignorant at best. Reply
  • Scannall - Saturday, May 27, 2017 - link

    When X58 came out that was pretty awful as well. It took a while to get that cleaned up and running well. Reply
  • Lord of the Bored - Monday, May 29, 2017 - link

    New Intel platforms and crap memory immediately makes me think of ye olde Pentium 4/Rambus debacle back at the turn of the century. Too bad that couldn't be fixed with a BIOS update. Reply
  • Lolimaster - Saturday, May 27, 2017 - link

    Rmember that current intel cpu's are legacy of Nehalem and Sandy Bridge. Reply

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