hardware Technology Reviews

Upgrading 4 year old AM4 motherboard X470 bios firmware to install Ryzen 9 5950X chip

AMD prices for AM4 socket chipsets have come crashing down in recent weeks due to the release of next gen AM5 socket parts. Now is a great time to scoop up some terrific bargains!

I bought my current Ryzen 7 2700 CPU (8C 16T) in October 2022, so a little over 4 years ago. It’s served me well over the years.

Today’s brand new AM5 motherboards (even the entry level ones) cost double what previous gen boards cost. The same is true for DDR5 ram sticks compared to DDR4.

So from my perspective, it makes more sense to take my PC to my local repair shop and have a professional flash the bios on my aged AM4 motherboard and then purchase a high end Ryzen 9 5950X CPU (16C 32T) for a really great price.

Here is the output for the following command:


$ inxi -mobo
Type: Desktop System: Gigabyte product: X470 AORUS ULTRA GAMING v: N/A
serial: <superuser required>
Mobo: Gigabyte model: X470 AORUS ULTRA GAMING-CF v: x.x
serial: <superuser required> UEFI: American Megatrends v: F2
date: 03/14/2022

As you can see in the first line, the version/revision ID is not specified. I ran the same command as superuser and the serial was still redacted. Not sure what that is about.

Here are the specs for my motherboard on the manufacturer’s website.

Under support, they offer downloads for firmware updates but there is no option for Linux. All it shows is Windows 10/11 (yuk).

How are Linux users like myself expected to download and install bios firmware updates?

Even if the repair technicians flash the motherboard successfully without Windows, my next question is: What should I expect in terms of stability?

I’m worried that since my X470 board is 4 years old, even with the latest firmware, I could experience frequent or even infrequent crashes which the repair shop technicians won’t be able to test or detect long enough to know for sure. If I discover stability issues after running my hardware over a one or two week period, then that is an expensive $549 mistake forcing me to return to the PC shop to then have to buy a brand new AM4 motherboard, RAM, and CPU.

Having said all of that, based on the knowledge and experience all of you people have with AMD motherboard hardware / firmware updates, what can I expect in terms of reliability and stability on Linux when installing a 5950X CPU into a 4 year old motherboard after flashing the bios?

That’s my main question.

As a side note, to comment further on the purpose for an upgrade: The AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D is even more affordable and it outperforms the 5950X but primarily in gaming which isn’t relevant to my use case. My use case involves, among other things, many concurrent Chrome and Chromium instances running with hundreds of tabs open in each. I already have plenty of RAM (64 GBs DDR4). So maximum threads would help handle my load rather than fewer threads and more cache.