Asus adds AMD Ryzen 5000 CPU support to 400-series motherboards ahead of schedule

Asus BIOS updates for 400 and 500 series motherboards
(Image credit: Asus)

Asus has released BIOS updates for its 400-series motherboards to add support for AMD's new Ryzen 5000 chips. This is great news because it gives everyone a lot more options about the kind of systems they can build, and at more appealing price points. Particularly relevant, because even after the release of the supposedly more affordable B550 chipset, motherboards built around the B450 chipset still represent the best value for money.

More importantly, it means that anyone that currently has a 400-series motherboard has a relatively easy upgrade path to get in on the Zen 3 game. Assuming of course that you can get your hands on a Ryzen 5000 CPU, as they sold out pretty much immediately at launch. 

Stock levels are starting to look a bit more hopeful as we head towards the end of the year at least, but your ability to get your hands on the new chips may vary depending on where you live. According to UK retailer Scan, it looks like AMD is trying to get stock out there at least—Scan took delivery of over a thousand Ryzen 5000 chips this week alone.

Five different chipsets are getting BIOS updates, covering X570, B550, X470, B450, and A520 motherboards—you can find a complete list of the affected motherboards over on this AM4 Ryzen 5000 microsite. Note that Asus has separated out the 400-series and 500-series motherboards into different sections, so don't be alarmed if you don't instantly see your motherboard listed.

There's a potentially tricky situation here for anyone buying a 400 or 500 series motherboard for the new Ryzen 5000 chips though, and that's actually getting the machine to boot. You generally need a working system in order to update your BIOS in the first place. Not a problem if you're upgrading, but more of an issue if you're buying a new motherboard and CPU. 

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(Image credit: MSI)

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Asus has a clever solution here though, in the form of its BIOS Flashback function, which is only available on its recently released B450 II motherboards, but it does allow you to update the BIOS without needing an older CPU to be plugged in. Magic basically.

Everything you need to update your BIOS is available on this site as well, you just need to pick which motherboard you have and go from there. 

If you want to get the most from the Zen 3 architecture, and here I'm chiefly talking about PCIe 4.0 support, then you're going to want to stick with an X570 or B550 offering, simply because they're the only chipsets that support the next-gen storage standard directly. If you already have a 400 series motherboard though, this is great news, and ahead of AMD's promise of those motherboards getting updates in January 2021. 

Alan Dexter

Alan has been writing about PC tech since before 3D graphics cards existed, and still vividly recalls having to fight with MS-DOS just to get games to load. He fondly remembers the killer combo of a Matrox Millenium and 3dfx Voodoo, and seeing Lara Croft in 3D for the first time. He's very glad hardware has advanced as much as it has though, and is particularly happy when putting the latest M.2 NVMe SSDs, AMD processors, and laptops through their paces. He has a long-lasting Magic: The Gathering obsession but limits this to MTG Arena these days.