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MSI Had to Dumb Down the BIOSes of Its Older Motherboards for Zen 2 Compatibility

Tsing

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Due to the limited capacity of its motherboards' EEPROMs, MSI had to reduce its BIOSes in order to fit the AGESA combo microcode for Ryzen 3000 compatibility. The result is a barebones BIOS ("GSE Lite") with a new but basic, low-resolution UI that lacks many of the original's features.

MSI also had to drop support for A-series and Athlon processors to get the microcode to fit. That's a trivial loss (the goal here, obviously, is to install a Zen 2 chip), but then there's the fact that the RAID module was removed, too, breaking SATA RAID on some of the boards.

Some are blaming manufacturers for being cheap and using low-capacity modules, while others suggest UEFI or AGESA is too bloated.

The scary part? Many other motherboard brands appear to be using 16-megabyte EEPROMs on their older socket AM4 motherboards. These companies are bound to run into similar ROM capacity issues unless they keep their UEFI setup programs lightweight. Motherboards based on the latest X570 chipset feature 32-megabyte EEPROMs. The AMD X570 chipset lacks support for not just "Bristol Ridge," but also first-generation Ryzen "Summit Ridge" and "Raven Ridge" processors.
 

AntiQuark

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The question needs to be asked, why such a huge eprom required for full function?
 

Brian_B

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The days when our BIOSes were only ASCII graphics and keyboard input
 

Azrak

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The Asus Crosshair VII Hero (wifi) uses a 32 MB EEPROM. It's one of the few X470 boards that does from what I recall.
The last couple of BIOSes released for it have been 32 MB in size, whereas the older releases were 16 MB.
 

Dan_D

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This is something I've often wondered about running into over the years. I knew some companies used smaller EEPROMs than others as its usually mentioned in the specs. Although, they list them as 64Mbit or 128Mbit's. Most motherboards these days use the larger ones. But X470 motherboards often have a lot of cost cutting measures in place you don't see on Z390 or X570 motherboards. Specifically as it relates to MSI, the thing is, MSI publishes no technical information on what BIOS ROM sizes are. It's the only major manufacturer that says nothing about them.

If you'll recall, there was a story about MSI not updating some of its 300 series boards for use with Zen 2 CPU's. I have to wonder how many X370 boards will never see an update due to the EEPROM's being too small.

I have also spoken many times about how retaining socket compatibility for so long is problematic. This is a great example of what I'm talking about.
 
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Strelok

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Where do you find the size of this? Asus mentions a 256Mb flash rom bios which would be 32MB.
 

Dan_D

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Where do you find the size of this? Asus mentions a 256Mb flash rom bios which would be 32MB.
Most companies use a 128Mb flash ROM which is stated in the detailed specifications on their product pages for the motherboards. MSI doesn't. It's the only company I can think of that says literally nothing about its BIOS.

Good question, but I would be interested to know what is "normal" sized? 6MB?
16MB is normal. 32MB is what you find on higher end and more advanced motherboards.
 

Strelok

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Most companies use a 128Mb flash ROM which is stated in the detailed specifications on their product pages for the motherboards. MSI doesn't. It's the only company I can think of that says literally nothing about its BIOS.
Looks like Asus is using 256Mb on their X470 boards and 128Mb on their B450. Good to know they didn't skimp out.
 

s3thra

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Looking at the screenshot, I actually like the simple version better. Functionality over all else is all that should be required of this environment.
 
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