Incoming AMD Ryzen Microcode Update Expands DDR4 Memory Module Support

AMD has risen in rank thanks to its Ryzen launch and is once again a competitive force in the enthusiast market, but the roll out has not been without some bumps in the road. There are two main issues working to undermine Ryzen. One is that gaming performance is not where many thought it would be, and the second is memory compatibility. AMD already addressed the former, saying that gaming performance will improve in time as developers start to take advantage of Ryzen's features. And in regards to the latter, Gigabyte is readying a firmware release should help the situation.

Aorus Motherboard

A representative for Gigabyte has been relaying information back and forth between forum members at Overclockers UK and Gigabyte. In one of his most recent posts, he indicated that Gigabyte's team is hard at work on a beta BIOS update that will address several issues. They include the following:
  • For those looking for IOMMU fixes we are hopefully going to have an option to force boot off a specific PCIe slot. It's not the grouping fix, but a work around for now.
  • Disable LAN (per request)
  • Disable Audio (per request)
  • "ROM Image update" (Being worked on with AMI, no ETA)
  • Cold boot / Won't boot. Have to re-flash BIOS. (people have referred to this as "soft brick")
  • AGESA 1006 - improve memory (Got high hopes for this one. Going to enable 20+ memory register)
The AGESA microcode update could have a big impact on memory compatibility, especially higher clocked DIMMs. Whatever fixes are in the pipeline will be in addition to the ones AMD already hammered out with its AGESA microcode update that it delivered to motherboard makers last month. AMD outlined those fixes and improvements in a blog post in which it noted the following changes::
  • We have reduced DRAM latency by approximately 6ns. This can result in higher performance for latency-sensitive applications.
  • We resolved a condition where an unusual FMA3 code sequence could cause a system hang.
  • We resolved the “overclock sleep bug” where an incorrect CPU frequency could be reported after resuming from S3 sleep.
  • AMD Ryzen Master no longer requires the High-Precision Event Timer (HPET).
G.Skill Flare X RAM

With Gigabyte working to add more than 20 new memory registers, Gigabyte/Aorus motherboard owners should see better compatibility with a wider range of existing DDR4 memory modules that already work fine with Intel platforms. As it stands, users report seeing best results with memory kits that use Samsung's B die memory chips. If you're shopping for memory and want the best shot at hitting advertised speeds and latencies with the least amount of fuss, look for memory kits developed specifically for Ryzen, and be on the lookout for future BIOS updates.

While you're waiting for a BIOS update, there are some tweaks you can apply right now for optimal gaming, overclocking, and general performance improvements. Check them out here.