AMD won't support PCIe 4 on pre-X570 motherboards after all

Gigabyte AORUS motherboard
Gigabyte AORUS motherboard (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • AMD has decided not to allow PCIe 4.0 support on older socket AM4 motherboards.
  • The company says it made the decision because a lack of clarity on which motherboards could reliably run PCIe 4.0 would cause confusion in the market.
  • To get PCIe 4.0, you'll have to use one of AMD's new Ryzen 3000 series processors with an X570 motherboard.

AMD this week revealed that it won't support PCIe 4.0 on older motherboards with its Ryzen 3000 series processors. Though the new processors support the feature and are compatible with the same AM4 socket present on older motherboards, AMD says that it can't guarantee a reliable experience on motherboards that weren't designed with PCIe Gen 4 in mind.

In a Reddit post (via PC Gamer), AMD senior technical marketing manager Robert Hallock explained the move:

This is an error we are correcting. Pre-X570 boards will not support PCIe Gen 4. There's no guarantee that older motherboards can reliably run the more stringent signaling requirements of Gen4, and we simply cannot have a mix of "yes, no, maybe" in the market for all the older motherboards. The potential for confusion is too high.When final BIOSes are released for 3rd Gen Ryzen (AGESA 1000+), Gen4 will not be an option anymore. We wish we could've enabled this backwards, but the risk is too great.

In a statement to TomsHardware, AMD elaborated further, stating:

As pre-X570 motherboards were not designed with PCIe 4.0 in mind, their designs may be incapable of running PCIe 4.0 signaling with the requisite stability and performance. To ensure a reliable and consistent experience in the field, PCIe 4.0 will not be an option ultimately available to pre-X570 motherboards. Users may continue with a beta BIOS if they desire, but performance and stability cannot be guaranteed.

If your motherboard has already received an update that added PCIe 4.0 support, AMD says that it will be pulled when the final BIOS updates are released to support the 3rd Gen Ryzen processors.

So, in order to take full advantage of the PCIe 4.0 support arriving with the Ryzen 3000 series, you'll need to have one of the new processors running on a motherboard with AMD's new X570 chipset. We've seen several X570 motherboards shown off ahead of AMD's 3rd Gen Ryzen launch, including a new collection from MSI.

PCIe 4.0 greatly increases the speed with which storage drives and graphics cards can send data on your PC. Some early PCIe 4.0 SSDs from Corsair and AORUS have teased read speeds upwards of 5,000 MB/s, which is incredibly fast.

The new Ryzen 3000 series is expected to go on sale in July with prices starting at $199.

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Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl