Motherboard Vendors Prepare For Ryzen 8000G APUs With Fresh AGESA Firmware

amd ryzen socket am5
Like all modern processors, AMD's Ryzen chips require microcode updates at boot to do their thing. These microcode updates come from AMD as part of its AGESA firmware that contains System Management Unit (SMU) configurations for each type of processor supported by that particular mainboard. Right now, all AMD Socket AM5 processors are based on the "Raphael" design, but that won't be the case before long.

We're talking of course about AMD's Ryzen 8000G family that will almost assuredly be the first and quite possibly the only Ryzen 8000 processors to come out for Socket AM5. These chips are expected to use the same Phoenix and Phoenix 2 silicon that you'll find in AMD's current Ryzen 7040 mobile processors. They'll offer a monolithic design with up to eight Zen 4 CPU cores and up to six RDNA 3 workgroup processors (WGPs).

gigabyte x670e aorus extreme bios updates
Gigabyte straight up says its boards are ready for Phoenix.

AGESA version ComboAM5PI, released in early October, was the first to add support for Phoenix to the Socket AM5 platform, but the version number of the Phoenix SMU microcode has incremented rapidly, changing with every successive AGESA release. The latest version, AGESA, was released just last week, and while the primary purpose of BIOS updates bearing this code was to address the serious LogoFAIL exploits, they also updated the Phoenix SMU code once more, to version 76.78.0.

ryzen 8000g skus chart

Looking at the speculative Ryzen 8000G lineup is interesting because Phoenix supports four simultaneous display connections, yet very few Socket AM5 motherboards have more than two display outputs, and many only have a single HDMI or DisplayPort connection. We're curious to see if motherboard vendors will start to release boards designed specifically with Phoenix-based processors in mind, with extensive display connections and perhaps improved support for high-speed DDR5 memory overclocking.

We're also curious to see how a processor like the Ryzen 7 8700G will hold up against the Ryzen 7 7700X in benchmarks. It only has half the PCIe connectivity and half the L3 cache, but its monolithic design will give it an edge in memory latency. When comparing the Zen 3-based Ryzen 7 5700G against the chiplet-based Ryzen 7 5700X, performance can vary quite a bit depending on whether the application fits in the chiplet CPU's larger 32MB L3 cache.

AMD is expected to announce the Ryzen 8000G APUs at or around CES, which is barely more than a week away at this point, so those of us who are keen to build a DIY mini-PC with fast Radeon 780M integrated graphics shouldn't have too long to wait.