When AMD launched its Ryzen 2000-series processors last spring, the company knew that some folks would end up having trouble installing its latest and greatest chips in previous generation motherboards. To help, the company would send you a temporary CPU to get the EFI update job done, and then you’d be able to install your latest CPU.
We haven’t thought much about this program since then, but a redditor with a keen eye noticed that the program has been pulled ahead to this launch, and overall, the rules seem to work the exact same.
If you purchase a new-gen Ryzen and can’t boot to your B450 or X470 motherboard, AMD will send an Athlon 200GE along with CPU cooler in order to boot up your rig and allow you to flash your EFI. Note that if you have a higher-end X470 motherboard, you may be able to flash without a CPU at all, or even with the new CPU installed. On Aorus, this feature is called Q-Flash Plus, while ASUS boards call it USB BIOS Flashback.
We actually took advantage of Aorus’ Q-Flash Plus on our X570 MASTER, because we wanted to test the last-gen Ryzen 7 2700X in it before moving onto the newer processors, and the pre-production EFI couldn’t do it. This is actually the first time in a while we’ve had to use that feature, but we’re happy to say that the procedure went off without a hitch. We can’t expect many last-gen owners buying a new X570 motherboard, but the interoperability is really nice.
Nonetheless, AMD is going to need a proof of purchase if it’s going to loan you the 200GE, on its dime, and it will require it back 10 days after it’s received (which seems fair). You don’t have to send back the included modest CPU cooler, but that’s likely because it saves a bit of money on shipping the standalone chip back. Based on the fact that only the 400 chipset series is mentioned, it seems 300-series owners are out-of-luck this time around.
If you’re interested in taking advantage of this program, you can read through the official FAQ page and proceed accordingly.