Last week saw the release of AMD's Ryzen Desktop APUs, which combine the Zen cores of Ryzen CPUs with a Vega GPU. As we have known since before the launch of the Ryzen CPUs last year, these APUs would use the same AM4 socket as the CPUs, which means they could be dropped into existing AM4 motherboards and work fine, naturally following a BIOS update. While this is a very nice feature of the Ryzen platform, it hit a serious snag as consumers installed their new APU in their motherboard to find it would not boot. While all it takes is a BIOS update to fix the problem, not all motherboards allow a new BIOS to be flashed without a bootable processor installed, along with a GPU so you can see what you are doing. Luckily, AMD has a solution.
If this happens to you, and you do not have a friend you can borrow a CPU (and possibly a GPU) from, you can go through AMD support to have a boot kit sent to you, and part of the kit is an A6-9500, dual core APU. This is an older and slow APU but also uses the AM4 socket, so you can drop it in, update the BIOS, then pull it out and stick your new Ryzen APU in. Once this is done, AMD does want you to send the A6-9500 APU back, but according to Ars Technia, you can keep the heatsink it comes with. Not sure what you can do with the heatsink, as it is not compatible with Ryzen parts, but maybe you can still find something fun to do with it. (I like using the old aluminum block I have from a Phenom II 720 BE heatsink whenever I need to demonstrate heating and cooling.)
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