Following this week’s launch of AMD’s new Ryzen 3000 series of processors, reports have once again begun circulating that PCIe 4 will be available on some existing 300 & 400 series boards. This comes despite AMD’s official statement last month that they would not be allowing the feature on older boards, as PCIe 4’s tighter signal integrity standards would have led to, at best, a highly fragmented market where some boards work, some boards don’t, and some boards may be outright marginal. At the time the company stated that the feature would be stripped from the AGESA that goes into the final Ryzen 3000 launch BIOSes for older boards.

So, to get right to the heart of matters, I reached out to AMD PR this evening to find out what’s going on with PCIe 4 support. The short version then is that no, AMD’s plans have not changed: PCIe 4 support will be disabled in the shipping AGESA for these boards.

Our plan is unchanged. For the reliability and consistency reasons cited at Computex, we still intend to disable PCIe Gen 4 for pre-X570 motherboards. That AGESA is being released to motherboard manufacturers soon.

As things stand, any boards that currently support the feature would be using pre-release AGESAs, and as we’ve seen with our own BIOS issues, the Ryzen 3000 BIOS situation is still evolving fast. So with AMD intending to permanently disable the feature – and prevent any workarounds – AMD’s goals haven’t wavered. At best, the few boards that have beta BIOSes with the feature will lose them in the future, unless users opted to stick with an unsupported (and almost certainly buggy) BIOS.

Going forward, proper PCIe 4 support will continue to require an AMD 500-series board specifically designed to meet the signal integrity requirements for the higher speed standard. Right now, this includes boards based on AMD’s X570 chipset; and while the company hasn’t announced other 500-series chipsets, we’re expecting to see more in due time.

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  • Jansen - Saturday, July 13, 2019 - link

    Sorry, meant Zen 3. Reply
  • DanNeely - Saturday, July 13, 2019 - link

    Probably more like 2 years and X770. 2021 is the next scheduled major chip update.

    And that's assuming they can figure out a way to make a PCIe5 rated board without adding hundreds of dollars in repeater chips or super ultra quality PCB materials.
    Reply
  • Jansen - Saturday, July 13, 2019 - link

    In 2021 I would expect to see Zen 4 on a new AM5 socket supporting DDR5 and PCIe 5. Reply
  • saratoga4 - Saturday, July 13, 2019 - link

    There is no possibility of PCIe 5 in 12 months. Reply
  • Jansen - Sunday, July 14, 2019 - link

    There is actually a big push on PCIe 5, much more than on PCIe4. There are a lot more design tools than for PCIe 4 at the same time after launch, and a lot of the MB issues they had to over come for PCIe4 will rollover to PCIe5. Panasobic has been ramping up MegTron production as well which will help TTM.

    Synopsys is bullish as well:
    https://www.synopsys.com/designware-ip/technical-b...
    Reply
  • rpg1966 - Sunday, July 14, 2019 - link

    I'm not sure you've understood that (a) this is a company's marketing manager talking up the area it's got a vested interest in, and (b) what market they're referring to (hint; not consumer motherboards). As saratoga said, you won't be finding PCIe 5 in consumer boards for a while - it'll be very expensive with bugger-all use case. Even 4 is largely overkill, although it has the benefit of reducing the number of lanes needed to get the same bandwidth. Reply
  • melgross - Sunday, July 14, 2019 - link

    There’s no “big push”. 3 has been around too long, but there’s no way 5 will be pushed out that fast. At the very least, manufacturers have to amortize their investments in 4 first. Reply
  • melgross - Sunday, July 14, 2019 - link

    I doubt that very much. We won’t be seeing PCIE 5 before 2021, and likely late in 2021. Reply
  • evernessince - Sunday, July 14, 2019 - link

    I think you mean around 24 months. The only thing coming out in your time period is Zen2+ and that's just going to improve clocks / IPC a bit. AMD didn't introduce anything with it's last refresh x470 chipset either. Reply

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