Does ASRock really mean it when they say I shouldn't install that BIOS update?

Alt. Title: “Hour 10 of the infernal unRAID installation”

TL;DR: ASRock says “We do NOT recommend updating this BIOS if Pinnacle, Raven, Summit or Bristol Ridge CPU is being used on your system.” I’ve got a 1600 AF, which is Pinnacle Ridge. I think I need that BIOS update. What should I do?

As a stay-at-home order project, I decided to finally get around to rebuilding my main desktop as an unRAID server. I’ve been slowly building up to this (and I still need more memory, but it’ll be fine for now) for a long time. The main goal here is to run Plex and a couple light web servers, as well as a VM gaming system. How hard could it be?

Hard, apparently. Everything was going great, until I tried to set up the GPU passthrough. Every time I start the VM, I get “Unknown PCI Header type 127”. After spending almost the entire day today researching, I discovered that someone on the unRAID forum (which I can’t link to) was able to fix this issue by updating to a BIOS based on AMD AGESA I thought that sounded reasonable, so I went looking for a BIOS update. This system uses an ASRock AB350M Pro4. The only BIOS for that board that says AGESA is the latest one (6.40), which has this in the notes: “ASRock do NOT recommend updating this BIOS if Pinnacle, Raven, Summit or Bristol Ridge CPU is being used on your system”. The 1600 AF is a Pinnacle Ridge CPU. How serious is that “not recommend”? Am I going to have to buy a new motherboard to make this thing work?

I would have asked on the unRAID forums, but I feel like this is more of a hardware compatibility issue. Y’all over here have a reputation (in my mind) for knowing about nearly every weird combination of hardware and software, which I hope I’m right about :smiley:

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If done incorrectly, you risk corruption of your UEFI (BIOS). If the board has a back/dual UEFI then do not worry about it and proceed because you have a backup. If you only have one then I would not recommend it.

The attached warning is probably there because support has seen a lot of cases where upgrading to that specific version caused more issues than it fixed. It’s not often a warning from the vendor is presented in such a way so it’s quite deliberate.

Maybe someone with a similar situation could chime in here with their experience.

I bought that board open box and never got it stable. But even if, I’m not sure that I would build a complex system around it. It’s literally the cheapest B350 board ASRock made and … a bit first gen at that.

I would split the workload into two systems if possible. And if not I would decide between the two.

I could be wrong, but didn’t this pop up here before that some one had done the update not knowing at the time as it was just out and yes unstable after that. I think it was something to do with the auto OC stuff getting updated for the newer CPUs and the new one not playing nice with older CPUs.

Could have been in here but there is a lot of.other stuff in here too Attention amd vfio users do not update your bios

You ever ask a question that you think you know that answer to, just because you hope you’re wrong? Yeah…

I’ll buy a new motherboard. I guess my $45 on the Micro Center clearance shelf got me more than I could have expected anyway. Any recommendations as to what I should go for? Reading the thread that @Zibob linked, it sems like X470 with an AGESA BIOS should work. Should I spend the extra and go for X570 instead?

Thanks for all the responses, everyone!

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I had an X470 taichi board die on me a month ago and replacing it with the x570 version of the same was more cost effective than hunting down an identical board at a decent price. I moved to x570 because I could get it locally; if you are ordering online then I’d stick to the older board if you can get it that much cheaper, otherwise 470->570 isn’t much of a bump, just a newer revision, so it’s a wash unless you are really getting a deal.

In that case, I’ll look for whatever is a good deal. Any brands I should look for/avoid, as far as the BIOS support for this kind of stuff goes?

See of the option to.downgrade the Bios is a thing, if so you could.try the newer one and if it does not work then just go back.

And would it be cost effective to change the CPU to.something g newer that the new bios will be okay with? Just in case the price of x570 turns out to be about the same. Newer CPU will give more performance too.

I don’t think it’s possible to downgrade from that BIOS. Not sure I want to deal with the possible fallout if I do that.

As far as changing the CPU, well… maybe. However, like @noenken said, the motherboard I have is old and very low end. Even if I could get it functional, I’m not sure I want a server running on it long-term. I just upgraded to that CPU, too. Not thrilled about upgrading that again, especially since I’d have to go to Ryzen 3000-series to get anything that ASRock says is compatible. Not really in the mood for spending that much, just to have to replace the motherboard later anyway.

Also, I just ordered an ASUS X470 TUF Gaming. It should be here in a week or so, and I’ll update the thread when I put it in. For now, it’s back to the old SSD to play some games until the new hardware shows up.

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CPU is fine, its Zen+ (=== Ryzen 2600), just get a better board.

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I dunno, I’m a big fan of unRAID, and been using it for the guts of a decade, but I’ve never got it to run happily on Ryzen. There’s always been some sort of bizarre show-stopper.

That said, newer Intel stuff hasn’t been a great success either - Haswell era stuff seems to work the best for me. Currently running an E3-1271v3-based Fujitsu server now, with a GTX1050 for transcoding.

Its almost like it takes time for the software to mature after new silicon is produced before stability is achieved. /s

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Thanks for your snark. :roll_eyes:

Ryzen has been available for close to 3 years. Coffee Lake a little over 2 years, and it really isn’t much different to Sky Lake from 4+ years ago.

The snark wasn’t directed at you.

The snark in this instance is directed at the slow moving stability of the BIOS’s from AMD/Intel and the MB manufacturers. Especially where it pertains to the virtualization technologies.

I’m in the same boat with an x470 Taichi. I have a gpu with the dreaded ‘unknown header type’ and the board’s BIOS only has the latest AGESA for Matisse and does NOT recommend it for my Pinnacle cpu.

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I’ve had a discussion going on here regarding this issue:

But yeah, I think there are three valid options from ASRock:

  1. As mentioned in this thread, it causes issue and they don’t bother to fix them

  2. The haven’t bothered testing in the first case and the BIOS might be fine

  3. The have removed Ryzen 1/2 related stuff from the microcode


@wendell This might be something for a video?

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A Gamers Nexus video talking about new MSi AM4 motherboards noted that they had a higher storage capacity BIOS chip and MSi stated it was to deal with the vast number of CPUs it need to deal with. So point 3 is definitely a thing.


I’d also be interested in a video. Currently, we can just assume but we do not know. This sort of bugs me, since the new AGESAs do have Ryzen 1/2 improvements as well…

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