We need to recap where we came from to see where we’re going, so let’s do a quick recap to jog our memory, as this topic has crumbs and will bring controversy. With the departure of AMD EPYC, those of Lisa Su entered the so-called PSB or translated by its acronym Secure processor platform, where the important security keys for a system are essentially stored thanks to a ARM CPU which is built into the EPYC processor itself.
This dramatically improved security and with that premise the manufacturers wanted to use it to their own advantage, arguing that their systems would be more secure, yes (and here’s the important thing) they weren’t used outside of said platforms certified by themselves. In other words, you couldn’t bring the processor you paid for to a competing server because the keys weren’t digitally signed on the new motherboard. So what happens now with the Ryzen PRO?
AMD, the manufacturers and the crash of the Ryzen PRO
Preprogrammed obsolescence based on IT security. The term is as long as it is controversial and perhaps unwarranted and even illegal, but this is where we are going with the approval of some, not all.
What has already been experienced with EPYC is reaching the PC through companies choosing to buy PRO processors with their security upgrades over the common Ryzen that we all assemble for PC. The information comes from a Reddit user where he showed how his PC displayed a rather disturbing message, which ensures that if you press the Y key the processor hangs while running. PSB and it cannot be used in other models.
It also gives the option to press the N key and avoid this, but the message will still appear every time the system is started, which might disappear by activating the aforementioned PSB. This logically triggered a wave of criticism which generates a very high number of scenarios and which clearly constitutes a clear setback for all in the interest of so-called security.
If it is accepted to block the processor with said PC, the processor can only be used on platforms of this manufacturer as long as it offers support, as this is limited by the firmware of the creator of it. this.
Security in exchange for obsolescence
This means that as the owner of the CPU, if you decide to use the security enhancements that PSB entails, you inevitably accept that the manufacturer marks the path of your CPU in the future, which generates a lot of doubts and criticisms, because no one doubts the safety but… What if the manufacturer stopped providing support? What if the motherboard breaks and you can’t find any from that manufacturer or start speculating with them like they are GPUs?
If there is a security hole in the platform of this manufacturer and it is not fixed, why can’t you change the manufacturer of the motherboard and the PC? These are some of the questions that are on the table, but what seems clear is that they will not stay there, since there are already Ryzen PROs with locks tied to a single motherboard model, so if it breaks you are forced to either leave it in a corner, sell it for very little money and most importantly, buy a new rig, because the same motherboards surely won’t find you.
Plus, it sets a precedent that one might find in classic Ryzen processors. Will they limit the use of each CPU to a single model of motherboard under the pretext of security? If that happened, of course, the processors would last for many more years, on the one hand, they would sell more by the time of the update, but in terms of percentage and year by year they would in theory sell less.