One of the major selling points of the AMD AM4 platform is that it can support all kinds of chips from the AMD Ryzen 2000 series chips that were released a while back to the AMD Bristol Ridge CPUs of old. It seems that some motherboard makers are not going to support Bristol Ridge CPUs much longer and the AMD AM4 motherboards that they will bring to the market will not support the previous chips.
The reason behind this is pretty simple. Supporting so many CPUs will make BIOS’s capacity exceed 128Mb (16MB), which is the capacity used by most suppliers and force them to use higher capacity, ie 256Mb. The cost of a 128Mb chip is less than half that of a 256Mb chip, which is a cost that motherboard manufacturers are unwilling to pay.
Keep in mind the limited impact of Bristol Ridge. While this is a difference of 3-4 dollars, which sounds like nothing for a motherboard, but if you account for the millions of motherboard shipments the cost does add up to a significant amount. These few dollars can often give motherboard makers an edge over the competition and businesses often want to shave the few dollars wherever they can.
This is something that is limited to a select few AMD AM4 motherboards and partners, so we are not sure regarding the extent to which compatibility will be affected. It is possible that all motherboard manufacturers will take this route but this is something that we will have to wait and see.
While people have moved on to the new AMD Ryzen CPUs, there are people that are still using older platforms. If that is the case, then now might be a good time to upgrade your PC. AMD did promise support till 2020, so that is something that we need to hear more about. There has been no comment from AMD regarding the matter but we should hear something soon.
We will keep you updated regarding the matter so stay tuned for more information regarding AMD AM4 motherboards and supported CPUs.