New AMD Chipset Driver Adds A Sweet Feature Upgrade For Ryzen 6000 Laptops

As gamers and creators are both well aware, AMD's CPUs have been at-least competitive for a few years now, and for a while, roundly superior—at least, depending on your workload. However, there's been one sticking point for several years preventing a certain market segment of users from giving AMD a shot.

That sticking point, believe it or not, is lack of Thunderbolt support. Sure, it was possible to build a DIY AMD machine with Thunderbolt ports, but in the lucrative laptop market, such options were very few and far between. Laptop users love Thunderbolt for its ability to be a single-plug connection tethering the mobile machine to myriad external devices, including input, storage, network, and output.

Well, it won't be long now before that's one more Intel-and-Apple advantage evaporated. AMD's Ryzen 6000-series mobile processors have USB4 built in, but the ports even on supported machines have been limited to USB 3.2 2x2 functionality because there was no available USB4 driver. Well, now, there is. AMD Ryzen Chipset Driver version is all about the Ryzen 6000 series mobile processors, and it includes no less than six new drivers. Among those is, of course, a USB4 driver.

amd new drivers
The new drivers present in AMD's latest Chipset release.

USB4 isn't a perfect analog of Thunderbolt, of course; while it can be just as capable as the brand-new Thunderbolt 4 standard, it doesn't require the same level of certification. So saying, just like with HDMI, a device saying "USB4" doesn't necessarily tell you much about its capabilities. Still, it does guarantee at least a 20-Gbps data rate, meaning sneakernet might really be faster than your LAN now.

The driver isn't the only thing required to make use of USB4 on supporting systems; notably, the laptop vendor needs to have actually built out the physical USB4 ports as well as added support for the feature to the system's firmware. If you've got a Ryzen 6000-family laptop and your USB4 ports aren't working after this driver update (link to download), make sure to check for a BIOS update from the laptop vendor.