AMD Ryzen Microcode Update To Improve DRAM Overclocking Flexibility And Virtualization Support
To be clear, AMD is not building custom BIOSes for motherboard manufactures, or at least not the final version that you might download from, say, Gigabyte or
Most current BIOSes for AM4 motherboards are based on AGESA version 22.214.171.124. That is about to change, as AMD is wrapping up beta testing on AGESA version 126.96.36.199, which is primarily focused on stabilizing overclocked DRAM (anything faster than DDR4-2667).
"We are now at the point where that testing can begin transitioning into release candidate and/or production BIOSes for you to download. Depending on the QA/testing practices of your motherboard vendor, full BIOSes based on this code could be available for your motherboard starting in mid to late June. Some customers may already be in luck, however, as there are motherboards—like my Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming5 and ASUS Crosshair VI—that already have public betas," AMD's Robert Hallock states in a blog post.
Though it is an incremental update, AGESA 188.8.131.52 adds more than two dozen new parameters to improve the compatibility of overclocked DRAM. If you've had trouble booting your Ryzen rig with faster clocked RAM, upcoming BIOS updates based on AMD's latest microcode should help the situation.
Beyond the focus on overclocked memory, AGESA 184.108.40.206 beefs up Ryzen's virtualization capabilities by adding fresh support for PCi Express Access Control Services (ACS).
"ACS primarily enables support for manual assignment of PCIe graphics cards within logical containers called 'IOMMU groups'. The hardware resources of an IOMMU group can then be dedicated to a virtual machine," Hallock explains.
Where this pays dividends is for users who want 3D accelerated graphics inside of a virtual machine. Using ACS, it is possible to split a dual GPU system that has a host Linux OS and a Windows VM, both with a dedicated graphics card. The virtual machine can access all of the capabilities of the dedicated GPU, with AMD claiming that games running inside a VM will perform at near the same level of performance as outside of a VM.