Asrock creates new AM5 BIOS to resolve previously reported long boot times

Jimmy2x

Posts: 141   +11
Staff
Why it matters: Earlier this month, sources on Twitter identified a potential issue related to Asrock's new AM5 BIOS and boot times. Asrock's recently released x670 Steel Legend motherboard includes a table outlining several RAM configurations and their associated boot times. Fans and tech enthusiasts were taken aback by the length of those times, which could range from 100 to 400 seconds. Thankfully, a new BIOS and firmware update fixes the problem.

Twitter by user HXL initially pointed out the problem on September 1st. The post highlights a table attached to Asrock's x670 Steel Legend that described boot times based on the user's chosen DDR5 RAM configuration and capacity. The boot times ranged from 100 seconds in a 2x16GB configuration to upwards of 400 seconds with a 4x32GB configuration.

Fortunately, a September 8th press release claims the motherboard manufacturer has fixed the RAM-related issues and significantly decreased the required boot times.

The issue appeared to be related to the AM5 platform's RAM training sequence, which runs at the board's first boot cycle and any time a user clears the board's CMOS to reset the board's factory defaults. When a new (or recently reset) system boots, the installed RAM undergoes an initial power-up and initialization sequence.

Once complete, the system continues to a calibration phase known as read/write training. During this process, the system runs algorithms to align the DRAM clock and data strobe, determine appropriate read and write delays, prepare for ongoing data reads, and report any errors encountered during the sequence.

The training is critical to proper DRAM operation, as it enables the system to compensate for differences in the physical distance of each dual inline memory module (DIMM) from the processor. While small, the distance from each module to the CPU can significantly impact the clocks and data transferred from each DIMM location during both write and read operations. The difference in transmission time due to these small distances, if not corrected, can result in anything from degraded performance to complete system instability.

The issue does not appear widespread across all AM5 implementations and seems limited to Asrock's AM5 BIOS build. The AM5 from Asrock and boards from other vendors hit the shelves on or around Ryzen 7000's September 27th launch date.

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Rocky4040

Posts: 129   +164
Glad you finally put in even though it was near the end this was only on first boot up or if you cleared the bios other wise people would have proclaimed ASrock boards take a whole 6 minutes to boot OMG end of the world. The cries of outrage would have been heard across the internet. /s

Then again it don't matter if it was written as every word in the post this only happens on the first boot there would be those that just read the title and scurry to the comments to cry in outrage and that they were being wronged in some way because of it. whether it's 6 seconds or 6 minutes if you don't like something then do not buy it simple as that. There I saved those that would cry for a pity party some time /s

Glad they got it worked out though.
 

Nanochip

Posts: 109   +153
Glad you finally put in even though it was near the end this was only on first boot up or if you cleared the bios other wise people would have proclaimed ASrock boards take a whole 6 minutes to boot OMG end of the world. The cries of outrage would have been heard across the internet. /s
Technically it wouldn't be only on first boot right? On first boot, the system boots with default values, which may need tuning. For example, XMP is not on by default, so after the long first boot, you then have to go into the BIOS and enable XMP, which will necessitate another long boot cycle to train the RAM on the overclocked values.

Also, in the early days of a new platform release, there are usually frequent BIOS updates that tune performance, stability, and possibly even address security issues as they are found. So every time there's a new BIOS update issued, you have to endure the long boot time at least twice. Also, we don't know what other settings in the BIOS trigger the need to retrain memory (and thus trigger a long post time).

No production BIOS on client (I.e., non-server) platforms should take so long to POST... in a highly competitive market like the motherboard market, ultra long POST times are a competitive disadvantage. So for their sakes, I'm glad they fixed it.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 3,054   +3,949
TechSpot Elite
I find that what affects my boot times the most is the amount of disk space that I have in or attached to the PC. When I have just the system drive attached, it takes seconds but when I have the 20+TB of drives attached, it can take minutes. This has been true for both of my AM4 boards (X370 & X570) and also for my craptop. When I have two 8TB external drives attached to my craptop, the boot time more than triples. I assume that it's the time taken for the computer to check the discs.