Motherboard Group Buy/Crowdfunded Modded BIOS for the Asrock A300m (Deskmini A300)

Valantar

SFF Guru
Jan 20, 2018
1,147
933
Does anyone know if the 3400G APU enables PCIe 4.0 like other Ryzen 3000 series chips? It looks like ASRock has enabled this on at least one of their motherboards, the X570. Sadly, I haven't found a single m.2 to PCIe 4.0 adapter.
No. The APUs are based on Zen+ and do not have an I/O die, so they are PCIe 3.0 only. As for 4.0 risers, high quality 3.0 risers should work as long as they are relatively short - PCIe 4.0 needs signal repeaters if trace/riser length gets too long.
 

SFF EOL

Cable-Tie Ninja
Dec 9, 2018
155
34
Does anyone know if the 3400G APU enables PCIe 4.0 like other Ryzen 3000 series chips? It looks like ASRock has enabled this on at least one of their motherboards, the X570. Sadly, I haven't found a single m.2 to PCIe 4.0 adapter.
it isn't Zen 2, it is basically a Ryzen 2 so as Ryzen 2 don't support PCIe4 I can't see the 3200/3400G supportig it either. And there are PCIe restrictions on the Ryzen Gs anyway.
 

W4RR10R

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
Bronze Supporter
Jan 29, 2019
181
190
has anyone tried over at www.bios-mods.com?
Yes, no help. One of the most active users refused to help unless I paid them and when I asked for a price I was told that it would be to expensive and that I should just buy another motherboard. Told them that it wasn't a choice for my use case and asked for a price again and never got a response.
 

GLSRacer

Average Stuffer
May 31, 2019
64
42
Yes, no help. One of the most active users refused to help unless I paid them and when I asked for a price I was told that it would be to expensive and that I should just buy another motherboard. Told them that it wasn't a choice for my use case and asked for a price again and never got a response.
Sounds like some folks don't like to get paid haha
 

rook

Average Stuffer
Jul 9, 2018
68
74
I'm keeping this thread alive! A bit of background...I first saw the m-STX form factor on one of @Josh | NFC 's videos. It was a cool mb given the oversized nature of some GPUs & how similar in height the two components are (reference Zotac 1080ti mini & the latest MSI 5700XT mech OC). I then saw this thread and was glued to the idea of a new USFF pc. The A300 board with only a 4 lane m.2 slot & the timing of PCIe 4.0 by AMD seem like a magical convergence of things. Of course lack of CPU support by AsRock is a bummer...they could have solved our problems by adding a little compatibility but they aren't feeling it (I tried asking). And alas, efforts to get something working seem to have reached a dead end around here.

So I thought about my bank account...and treading completely unknown BIOS waters...and buying what I'd need to build a test setup. And well, here I am ...I have an A300, a menial A8-9600 processor & some decent sodimm ram (all for $228). I also got an deal I just couldn't pass up on the aforementioned AMD GPU which will go to good use one way or another. The only thing I'm holding out for is a low, low price on a Ryzen 5 3600.

A bit of research and I'm onto my first foray in BIOS modding. I'll share what I've discovered.
- Some very knowledgeable folks over on Win-Raid created the UBU (UEFI BIOS Updater) tool and a guide on how to use it. It only works with AMI BIOSes & lucky for me, AsRock is using an AMI Amiga V BIOS.
- The AsRock X570 Taichi supports Ryzen Zen 2 CPUs & PCIe 4.0.
Using this knowledge, I dropped A300 BIOS 3.60 into UBU tool and let it decode. I did the same with X570TC BIOS 2.50. Below are my results.
- Lines 7, 12 & 13 are where the two BIOSes differ, with yellow being from the X570TC.
- A little more (elusive) research and the CPUIDs are traced to their familiar names. I believe these to be accurate but can't explain why some CPUs are in the microcode (ie. Carrizo, Summit Ridge) and some supported APUs are not (ie. Brisol Ridge).
- Contrary to previous statements, the microcode for Zen 2 CPUs appears to be missing from the A300 BIOS.
- The next step will be to insert these microcode snippets into the A300 BIOS & see if it will still boot. I'll need to get a 3600 CPU to get further than that. Surely it won't be this easy? To be continued...

Line​
CPUID​
Type​
Cores​
Series​
Stepping​
Fabrication​
100800F82CPUZen+Pinnacle RidgePiR-B212nm
200800F12CPUZenSummit RidgeZP-B214nm
300800F11CPUZenSummit RidgeZP-B114nm
400800F10CPUZenSummit RidgeZP-B014nm
500800F00CPUZenSummit RidgeZP-A014nm
600810F10APUZenRaven RidgeRV-B014nm
700820F00APUZenRaven Ridge 2RV2-A014nm
700820F01APUZenRaven Ridge 2RV2-A114nm
800810F00APUZenRaven RidgeRV-A014nm
900810F80APUZen+PicassoPCO-B012nm
1000810F81APUZen+PicassoPCO-B112nm
1100810F11APUZenRaven RidgeRV-B114nm
1200660F00APUExcavatorCarrizoA028nm
1200870F10CPUZen2MatisseMTS-B07nm + 14nm I/O Die
1300660F01APUExcavatorCarrizoA128nm
1300870F00CPUZen2MatisseMTS-A07nm + 14nm I/O Die
 
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xredlinexx1

Caliper Novice
Mar 18, 2019
32
8
I'm keeping this thread alive! A bit of background...I first saw the m-STX form factor on one of @Josh | NFC 's videos. It was a cool mb given the oversized nature of some GPUs & how similar in height the two components are (reference Zotac 1080ti mini & the latest MSI 5700XT mech OC). I then saw this thread and was glued to the idea of a new USFF pc. The A300 board with only a 4 lane m.2 slot & the timing of PCIe 4.0 by AMD seem like a magical convergence of things. Of course lack of CPU support by AsRock is a bummer...they could have solved our problems by adding a little compatibility but they aren't feeling it (I tried asking). And alas, efforts to get something working seem to have reached a dead end around here.

So I thought about my bank account...and treading completely unknown BIOS waters...and buying what I'd need to build a test setup. And well, here I am ...I have an A300, a menial A8-9600 processor & some decent sodimm ram (all for $228). I also got an deal I just couldn't pass up on the aforementioned AMD GPU which will go to good use one way or another. The only thing I'm holding out for is a low, low price on a Ryzen 5 3600.

A bit of research and I'm onto my first foray in BIOS modding. I'll share what I've discovered.
- Some very knowledgeable folks over on Win-Raid created the UBU (UEFI BIOS Updater) tool and a guide on how to use it. It only works with AMI BIOSes & lucky for me, AsRock is using an AMI Amiga V BIOS.
- The AsRock X570 Taichi supports Ryzen Zen 2 CPUs & PCIe 4.0.
Using this knowledge, I dropped A300 BIOS 3.60 into UBU tool and let it decode. I did the same with X570TC BIOS 2.50. Below are my results.
- Lines 7, 12 & 13 are where the two BIOSes differ, with yellow being from the X570TC.
- A little more (elusive) research and the CPUIDs are traced to their familiar names. I believe these to be accurate but can't explain why some CPUs are in the microcode (ie. Carrizo, Summit Ridge) and some supported APUs are not (ie. Brisol Ridge).
- Contrary to previous statements, the microcode for Zen 2 CPUs appears to be missing from the A300 BIOS.
- The next step will be to insert these microcode snippets into the A300 BIOS & see if it will still boot. I'll need to get a 3600 CPU to get further than that. Surely it won't be this easy? To be continued...

Line​
CPUID​
Type​
Cores​
Series​
Stepping​
Fabrication​
100800F82CPUZen+Pinnacle RidgePiR-B212nm
200800F12CPUZenSummit RidgeZP-B214nm
300800F11CPUZenSummit RidgeZP-B114nm
400800F10CPUZenSummit RidgeZP-B014nm
500800F00CPUZenSummit RidgeZP-A014nm
600810F10APUZenRaven RidgeRV-B014nm
700820F00APUZenRaven Ridge 2RV2-A014nm
700820F01APUZenRaven Ridge 2RV2-A114nm
800810F00APUZenRaven RidgeRV-A014nm
900810F80APUZen+PicassoPCO-B012nm
1000810F81APUZen+PicassoPCO-B112nm
1100810F11APUZenRaven RidgeRV-B114nm
1200660F00APUExcavatorCarrizoA028nm
1200870F10CPUZen2MatisseMTS-B07nm + 14nm I/O Die
1300660F01APUExcavatorCarrizoA128nm
1300870F00CPUZen2MatisseMTS-A07nm + 14nm I/O Die
Let me know if i'm understanding correctly. Attaching a graphics card with pcie gen 4 to the m2 should allow for 100% normal performance of the card? Then you could, with bios fixes, have a regular CPU? Then you could put it all together to create an ultra small performance powerhouse? If that's what you are saying, that's awesome!

With that said, Nvidia cards aren't pcie gen 4 and there are currently no mini itx sized AMD cards that use the new pcie gen4, unless i'm mistaken. You would also have to get power to the card.

I would love to see a mini-STX ryzen, itx GPU combo in something like a reduced size skyreach 4 mini case. Personally, i'd also like to see the power supply externalized as a power brick to reduce size even more. Then strap the machine to the back of your monitor and off you go.
 

rook

Average Stuffer
Jul 9, 2018
68
74
@xredlinexx1 Essentially the bottleneck would be removed from the GPU to CPU interface. Without knowing too much about the board, the PCIe lanes may also not be sufficient to handle the load. What is more likely is that the total performance of the system will be limited by the board power output and VRM, which I bet are lacking given the 65W TDP maximum currently allowed. Still, we can push the system for all it has...higher CPU core count and clock speed help with performance.
 

NateDawg72

Master of Cramming
Aug 11, 2016
385
281
A little more (elusive) research and the CPUIDs are traced to their familiar names. I believe these to be accurate but can't explain why some CPUs are in the microcode (ie. Carrizo, Summit Ridge) and some supported APUs are not (ie. Brisol Ridge).
I think I've heard about Bristol ridge being dropped before. As more CPUs have been released, older CPUs have been intentionally dropped from new bios versions on some motherboards. I think this made the rounds in tech news websites a year or so ago, supposedly it is because some motherboard venders use smaller bios chips that have now run out of space for all the CPUs supported by AM4.
 

Valantar

SFF Guru
Jan 20, 2018
1,147
933
I think I've heard about Bristol ridge being dropped before. As more CPUs have been released, older CPUs have been intentionally dropped from new bios versions on some motherboards. I think this made the rounds in tech news websites a year or so ago, supposedly it is because some motherboard venders use smaller bios chips that have now run out of space for all the CPUs supported by AM4.
Isn't that just for boards being updated to support 3000-series CPUs? Shouldn't be an issue given that the A300 supports something like 6 APUs total.
 

NateDawg72

Master of Cramming
Aug 11, 2016
385
281
Isn't that just for boards being updated to support 3000-series CPUs? Shouldn't be an issue given that the A300 supports something like 6 APUs total.
Exactly. He was talking about the AsRock X570 Taichi bios he was comparing the A300 to and he didn't know why some CPUs weren't in the Taichi's microcode.
 

Valantar

SFF Guru
Jan 20, 2018
1,147
933
Exactly. He was talking about the AsRock X570 Taichi bios he was comparing the A300 to and he didn't know why some CPUs weren't in the Taichi's microcode.
Ah, I guess I got confused, I thought the BIOS in question was on the A300. That explains things :p
 

W4RR10R

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
Bronze Supporter
Jan 29, 2019
181
190
I'd love one too, even though I've already given in for my project and bought a 3400g whichs seems to be enough because my Vega 56 is usually the limiting factor anyway.
 

GLSRacer

Average Stuffer
May 31, 2019
64
42
@rook, thanks for the quick reply. I'll look forward to your next update once you've had some time to work with the new CPU.
 

Hammerfest

Chassis Packer
Jul 15, 2019
16
13
So, I highly recommend anyone actually with the A300 to reach out to ASRock support and be nice about it, but simply request that the AGESA be updated to 1.0.0.4B for this board, ASRock seems to have dedicated minimal manpower for BIOS updates, and don't put the A300 in their eyes as not enough voices making the request.



With that out of the way, and before the posts regarding "hold on, that AGESA was Zen 2 only", read below
First, 1.0.0.4B is the merging back into mainline AGESA for ALL generations
Second, While a vast majority of the fix's are for Zen 2, there are still SEVERAL fix's and performance improvements (boot time, RAID performance) that scale across the Ryzen 3000 lineup (of which the 3200G and 3400G are included in, DESPITE not actually being Zen 2 but being Zen +, it doesnt matter, they are part of the Ryzen 3000 series and are affected), in addition to the many OTHER performance improvements that ALSO reach back to the Ryzen 2000 lineup (again, including 2200G and 2400G despite being Zen and not Zen +).

IE Still important

 

ConsolidatedResults

Average Stuffer
May 4, 2019
61
64
So, I highly recommend anyone actually with the A300 to reach out to ASRock support and be nice about it, but simply request that the AGESA be updated to 1.0.0.4B for this board, ASRock seems to have dedicated minimal manpower for BIOS updates, and don't put the A300 in their eyes as not enough voices making the request.
This is what I did about 3 weeks ago. I mailed and asked about Combo-AM4 1.0.0.4B (Beta) BIOS and got a fairly quick reply:

"Sorry, no beta BIOS available at this moment. Once the tests are done, it will be upload[ed] to [the] website. No ETA yet, but might take some time..."

Seeing that even the lowest tier A320 Mainboards from ASRock have gotten 1.0.0.4B now, the Deskmini really does not appear to be high on the list for them :)

I also asked about fine grained and higher DIMM voltage control. At the moment the A300M-STX only supports 1.2V or 1.35V which I think limits RAM OC capability. To which the answer was:

"The hardware design [does not support] such settings."

I find that a bit hard to believe, are there really DRAM power solutions that only offer discrete voltage levels? I've tried to google markings of ICs that may be related to DRAM power but turned up no results :/

So yeah, please email them and ask for some love for the device :)
 

Quango

Average Stuffer
Apr 6, 2019
72
14
Has anyone tried this STX case from Akasa? It possibly has no room for underside NVMe and offers "Maximum CPU cooler supported height: 46mm"


Cypher ST
 
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