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AMD sending out free CPUs (that you must return) to those who can't get the new 2400G and 2200G working without a BIOS update

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Posted · Original PosterOP

If you bought a Ryzen CPU with Vega graphics, and you can't get your computer to POST (a common catch 22 situation when buying a backwards compatible CPU) you shouldn't have to buy a cheap CPU to flash your BIOS this time around.

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While some motherboards support installing firmware updates without a working CPU, many don't.

Motherboards that allow users to flash a BIOS without a CPU (usually if not always through a specified USB port) come at a premium, but are many times worth it in these situations.

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For these new chips, however, AMD is stepping up to help out. Follow the instructions on the company's support page and the company will send you what it calls a "boot kit" to flash your firmware. What that actually means is that you'll get a free CPU—a dual core A6-9500, which is probably the cheapest, slowest CPU with integrated GPU that AMD has—that you can plop into your board and flash. With that taken care of, you'll then be able to swap it out for the good chip.

The A6-9500 goes for around $65.00 US dollars currently, and uses the Excavator microarchitecture.  It's by no means fast, but it is compatible with the AM4 socket, which means it will get the job done when it comes to flashing your BIOS.

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Once you've got everything up and running on the new chip, you're then meant to send AMD back the temporary chip, though oddly, without its required heatsink. The heatsink isn't compatible with the Ryzen chips, so it's not particularly worth keeping, but apparently AMD has no use for it either.

Hopefully, people will honor this, because if not, AMD may not do this in the future.

 

Either way, this is a good PR move, and one that makes sense.  Due to the fact that you have to return the CPU after using it should make this a cost effective solution.

While there will be some assholes that will just sell the CPU after using it to update their BIOS, I believe that this will be the vast minority, and AMD could keep a record of addresses for people that didn't return their loaned CPUs.

 

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/02/amd-sending-out-free-processors-to-solve-firmware-flashing-catch-22/

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Really enjoy AMD for what they've done. There are plenty of bumps in the road but they've grown into a respectable company. My only irk is that they should have included a web document as a legally binding agreement to send the CPU back when they're finished but I doubt they'd want to spend they much money. 


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And what happens if I don't return the chip? Why should I return it? The honor system? When has that ever worked? 


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thats cool

rather than have people stuck with buying a new one or looking for a repair shop like when the Devil's Canyon chips came out


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3 minutes ago, Hiitchy said:

Really enjoy AMD for what they've done. There are plenty of bumps in the road but they've grown into a respectable company. My only irk is that they should have included a web document as a legally binding agreement to send the CPU back when they're finished but I doubt they'd want to spend they much money. 

They should just void your warranty if you don't send it back 

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Just now, DrMacintosh said:

And what happens if I don't return the chip? Why should I return it? The honor system? When has that ever worked? 

you probably get charged


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Posted · Original PosterOP

@DrMacintosh @Blademaster91 @Hiitchy

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To obtain the boot kit, please carefully follow these instructions:

  1. Go to the AMD online warranty claims page: https://support.amd.com/en-us/warranty/rma
  2. Fill in your full contact and product details
  3. In the Problem Description field enter "Boot kit Required" (without quotes)

Then god help you, since AMD will know where you live.

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Seriously though, they will probably just blacklist you.

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55 minutes ago, DrMacintosh said:

And what happens if I don't return the chip? Why should I return it? The honor system? When has that ever worked? 

...This post is stupid and ignorant, but quick, let's go to the AMD site:

 

Quote

To obtain the boot kit, please carefully follow these instructions:

  1. Go to the AMD online warranty claims page: https://support.amd.com/en-us/warranty/rma
  2. Fill in your full contact and product details
  3. In the Problem Description field enter "Boot kit Required" (without quotes)

Yup, they're doing it as an RMA unit.  You know how RMA's work?  Yeah, they take your credit card info.  Don't return the stuff?  They'll BILL you for it.

 

It'll work like how some advanced RMAs work where they ship YOU the new unit before you ship THEM the old broken unit.  They take your credit card info because if you decide you'd like to have both units they will decide that they would like to have your money.

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1 minute ago, AshleyAshes said:

...This post is stupid and ignorant, but quick, let's go to the AMD site:

 

Yup, they're doing it as an RMA unit.  You know how RMA's work?  Yeah, they take your credit card info.  Don't return the stuff?  They'll BILL you for it.

I do not believe the question warranted this amount of sass........


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39 minutes ago, Max_Settings said:

They need to do this how EVGA does RMAs. They charge you for the new card they send, and then once you return the old one they credit back your money. Just charge people $65, send them the CPU, and when they send it back credit them back the money.

They seem to be doing it one step better than EVGA - you only get charged if you don't return the CPU. That way an honest customer is never out any money.

 

I mean EVGA's system is great in its own right, but AMD seems to be going above and beyond here.

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43 minutes ago, Name Taken said:

They have a stockpile of old obsolete APUs so what are they going to do them after people return it?

Wait until all AM4 boards ship with the BIOS.

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This is pretty awesome tbh


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5 hours ago, Name Taken said:

They have a stockpile of old obsolete APUs so what are they going to do them after people return it?

use them for this same purpose again? as soon as one comes back just send it to another customer


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6 hours ago, FBI said:

They should just void your warranty if you don't send it back 

I don't know what you do in USA but in Europe you can just send your product to the retailer, how can manufacturer know someone's identity if it's not coming from them?

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5 hours ago, Sakkura said:

They seem to be doing it one step better than EVGA - you only get charged if you don't return the CPU. That way an honest customer is never out any money.

 

I mean EVGA's system is great in its own right, but AMD seems to be going above and beyond here.

In fairness the 40-50 bucks is a lot less money to potentially lose with each transaction than 100-500*.

 

 

*Cost to AMD/EVGA, not retail.

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classy move amd


 

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7 hours ago, Name Taken said:

They have a stockpile of old obsolete APUs so what are they going to do them after people return it?

they'll still end up having to do this for zen+ and zen 2, so those old things still have use until am4 goes EOL. they can probably sell them off as cheap refub stock after that though i hope the guys who receive them don't bend/break the pins.


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7 hours ago, DrMacintosh said:

I do not believe the question warranted this amount of sass........

Are you kidding me? Sass like that is ALWAYS warranted. :D

 

*snaps fingers sassily*


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Had a few thoughts while I was reading this thread.

 

What about coming up with a very low-power cheap CPU?  I'm thinking something that would have a retail value under $5-10 or so, and, the main reason for this idea: a low-enough TDP (like 1-2 watts) to not need a heatsink or heatspreader at all even in a warm (40°C/104°F) room.

It might only do like 20 or less in Cinebench R15 and 150 in Ice Storm Unlimited (if it even supported the necessary instructions), but shouldn't that be enough to flash a BIOS?

 

I do think the "advanced RMA" like @AshleyAshes mentioned is good, as well.  I kinda remember several years ago doing an advanced RMA on a WD HDD.  They sent me the replacement drive, I copied the data over (it was still working enough to do that IIRC but was on the fritz), and sent the failing drive back.

 

Or, another idea:  How about the motherboard makers sending updated BIOS chips?  I don't know about all motherboards, but it looks like my Z97 board has dual socketed BIOS chips. :)

 

IMG_20180217_035527707.thumb.jpg.b87cbab6eb3c2127c12c353325886a1b.jpg

(Of course I can't upgrade to Coffee Lake, Ryzen, EPYC, Skylake-EX, etc. on this board, so its i7-4790K is staying put until it's time for a new board.)

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9 hours ago, Cinnabar Sonar said:

If you bought a Ryzen CPU with Vega graphics, and you can't get your computer to POST (a common catch 22 situation when buying a backwards compatible CPU) you shouldn't have to buy a cheap CPU to flash your BIOS this time around.

Motherboards that allow users to flash a BIOS without a CPU (usually if not always through a specified USB port) come at a premium, but are many times worth it in these situations.

The A6-9500 goes for around $65.00 US dollars currently, and uses the Excavator microarchitecture.  It's by no means fast, but it is compatible with the AM4 socket, which means it will get the job done when it comes to flashing your BIOS.

Hopefully, people will honor this, because if not, AMD may not do this in the future.

 

Either way, this is a good PR move, and one that makes sense.  Due to the fact that you have to return the CPU after using it should make this a cost effective solution.

While there will be some assholes that will just sell the CPU after using it to update their BIOS, I believe that this will be the vast minority, and AMD could keep a record of addresses for people that didn't return their loaned CPUs.

 

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/02/amd-sending-out-free-processors-to-solve-firmware-flashing-catch-22/

Good move by AMD, shows what CAN be done to garner respect from the public. They should make it where the amount the temp CPU costs is placed on hold at your bank, same for a legit purchase, and the funds cleared again after the CPU is returned... that way they will only take the funds if the CPU isn't returned.


Please quote my post, or put @paddy-stone if you want me to respond to you, I may not see your post otherwise.

 

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1 hour ago, herman mcpootis said:

they'll still end up having to do this for zen+ and zen 2, so those old things still have use until am4 goes EOL. they can probably sell them off as cheap refub stock after that though i hope the guys who receive them don't bend/break the pins.

It'll only be necessary for mid cycle releases. If you buy Zen+ you'll either buy a new 400 series board or have a chip for your existing 300 series board to update BIOS. There will be edge cases of course but it's going to be rare.

Same goes for Zen2. I suspect every APU release will have some issues like now but perhaps AMD will have come up with a solution to fix it with board vendors and stores to avoid shipping incompatible boards to customers buying the latest processors.

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