What you need to know about Ryzen

Please also read our Socket AM4 FAQ here

    Ryzen CPUs do not have integrated graphics, and video ports on motherboard with a Ryzen chips installed will be inactive.  The AM4 motherboards with video ports are for the upcoming AMD APU line, which features integrated graphics.  Buying a motherboard with video outputs will not make it inherently slower with Ryzen than a motherboard without them, but will allow you to swap to a APU in the future if you choose.  You will need a dedicated video card to enjoy Ryzen.  The AM4 platform will continue to 2020 and it is speculated that the new AM4 APUs may be able to take further advantage of CrossFireX graphics than Ryzen in the future, however the Ryzen CPUs will continue to be more powerful in multi-threaded computing.

  Ryzen is designed for Windows 10.  Microsoft offers no official support below Windows 10.  Just like Intel's latest processor lines there are patches and workarounds to get other operating systems up and running, but to experience the best your new computer has to offer, and support future updates, Windows 10 is the way to go.  

  AMD recommends the Ryzen 5 1500X or above for VR.

  Ryzen utilizes an eXtended Frequency Range, or XFR, which automatically overclocks the processor when needed depending on available cooling.  The XFR available is dependant on each model chip.

  All Ryzen processors are core-multiplier unlocked.  That means you can overclock the CPU without needing to modify the FSB, or cause unnecessary voltage/heat increases elsewhere.  Overclocking the CPU will disable XFR, giving you full control of your CPU frequency.  Note:  The A series motherboards do not support overclocking.  And of course, damage caused by overclocking is not covered by AMD or motherboard manufacturers.

  AM4 is a different socket to previous generations, and the cooler mounting back plate has changed as well.  The plastic retainer clips which fit a plethora of aftermarket coolers still work, but if you want to reuse an AM2-3 cooler model which replaces the back plate you may need to get an adapter kit or upgrade to a new cooler.  Many manufacturers offer a free adapter kit for their existing models to fit on the new AM4 platform, and HTPCX will endeavor to source all of the most common ones to have at the ready.

  The Wraith coolers that come with selected CPUs look similar to older generation technology, but they are considerably colder and quieter than previous versions.  They can handle light overclocking, but be aware that temperatures may exceed 80c in temperature reading programs.  The tCTL value is 20c higher than Tj so you have some headroom, and if you don't know what that means then you can send a message asking about overclocking, or simply aim to keep your reported temperature below 75c during load for CPU longevity.  

  Ryzen processors are very new.  Motherboard manufacturers tried to have many models ready for release day, but not all of the CPUs were released at once.  This means BIOS updates may be necessary in order to boot with a newer CPU.  Updating the BIOS can result in permanent failure if the system is not stable during the update.  Many reports of failures have come in from people who did not use compatible RAM, or tried to update the BIOS with an unstable overclock.  If you will be buying a motherboard which may have BIOS revision that does not support the CPU you have chosen, send us a message and we can verify or update the BIOS before sending it to you.  Updating the BIOS and Windows both is very important with this new processor.  Two noteworthy improvements over release day are drastically increased maximum RAM speeds, and a significant improvement in FPS while gaming.

  Lastly, each and every motherboard manufacturer and model may have different VRM/mosfet design, power phase, UEFI design, user accessible features, etc.  Please make sure that you understand what you intend to do, and verify that the motherboard supports it, to avoid purchasing an incompatible motherboard.  It is unreasonable to expect [BrandX] RAM to work at [4000MHz] if it is not listed by the motherboard manufacturer.  Not all X370 motherboards are great for overclocking.  Supported CPUs and Qualified Vendor Lists for compatible RAM can be found from the manufacturers website.  If you have further questions, don't hesitate to send us a message.
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