AMD Ryzen 5000 CPUs are now supported by MSI’s older motherboards

MSI Tomahawk B450
(Image credit: MSI)

MSI has announced that it’s releasing fresh firmware for its AMD 400-series motherboards which will bring in full support for the newest Ryzen 5000 processors, as well as support for AMD’s nifty Smart Access Memory (SAM) performance boosting tech.

MSI is introducing all this with the AGESA Patch D update for 400-series motherboards, which will first be delivered to ‘Max’ boards from the middle of December, so that should be imminently (if it hasn’t already started).

Those with non-Max motherboards (meaning there’s no ‘Max’ in the name) will get the update later in December – it should arrive before the month is out.

Supporting Ryzen 5000 chips is obviously important for those who want to upgrade their PC to the newest processor range that AMD has only recently released, offering some seriously impressive chips (including the Ryzen 5800X, which hit full marks in our review as a ‘best in class’ CPU).

SAM boost

SAM is a further boon for those who upgrade to Ryzen 5000, providing they also have one of AMD’s new Big Navi graphics cards. Folks running both of those components in an MSI 400-series motherboard will be able to switch on SAM which can give an impressive frame rate boost to games of around 5% to 10% (or possibly more).

Previously, this only worked with 500-series motherboards, but board makers are planning to introduce it for their 400-series kit, and it’s good to see MSI leading the pack in actually starting the rollout of that support now (or imminently).

Eventually, SAM should benefit a range of hardware and not just AMD’s own components, as it’s actually just AMD’s take on PCIe’s resizable BAR feature, and that’ll play just fine with Intel CPUs and Nvidia graphics cards. Indeed, Asus has already enabled the resizable BAR feature on its Intel Z490 motherboards, with some impressive early test results.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).