AMD's AM5+ Platform And Granite Ridge Zen 5 CPUs Break Cover In Microcode

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If you needed any further confirmation that AMD's "Granite Ridge" desktop processors sporting the Zen 5 architecture were on their way before long, the latest piece of evidence is an update for the popular MC Extractor binary microcode extraction tool. This update adds support for two different AMD CPU identification codes, and if HXL is to be believed, they both refer to Granite Ridge processors.

microcode extractor am5plus

The MC Extractor update notes, which you can see above, remark that the r293 release of the application (coinciding with version 1.101.0) add support for two new AMD CPU microcodes, for CPUs 00B40F00 and 00B40F40. Those numbers are pretty cryptic, but fortunately, we don't have to decode the values ourselves—HXL has already done it for us.

hxl am5plus twitter screenshot

According to the frequent leaker, these codes correspond to Granite Ridge or Fire Range processors. Fire Range is the successor to Dragon Range, and where that chip was essentially Raphael (desktop Zen 4) for laptops, so too is Fire Range essentially "Granite Ridge for laptops." So saying, they're the same thing, but there is a difference in the two microcodes. One is apparently for an engineering sample processor, while the other is possibly for a closer-to-final qualification sample.

What does that mean? If true, it means that Zen 5-based Granite Ridge processors (and their Fire Range siblings) are indeed quite close to their final form, and from there, it shouldn't be long until release. Many rumors have stated that AMD will announce its next-generation Ryzen desktop CPUs at Computex, with a launch not long after. That's in May, so we don't have too long to wait.

AMD AM5 Slide

But wait, what about that "AM5+" in the headline and in the MC Extractor patch notes? Is Granite Ridge going to require a new motherboard? No, probably not; AMD already committed to supporting AM5 at least through 2025. Instead, it's more likely a similar situation that we saw with Socket AM4. While AMD never officially called anything "Socket AM4+", the launch of the 500 series chipsets brought considerable upgrades over previous generation Socket AM4 boards, including PCIe 4.0 and USB 3.2 support. It's likely that "Socket AM5+" here refers to just such an upgrade, as we are expecting 700 series chipsets and corresponding motherboards with the new CPUs.