AMD Strikes GCN 1, 2, & 3-based GPUs and APUs To Legacy; Additionally Drops Win7 Help

AMD Moves GCN 1, 2, & 3-based GPUs and APUs To Legacy; Also Drops Win7 Support

Alongside in the present day’s launch of their new Radeon Software program Adrenalin 21.6.1 driver – the primary to carry assist for FidelityFX Tremendous Decision tech – AMD can be utilizing this chance to wash home on supported graphics merchandise. As introduced in a brand new weblog publish and efficient instantly, AMD is transferring all of its 1st, 2nd, and threerd era Graphics Core Subsequent (GCN) primarily based GPUs and APUs to legacy standing. Consequently, pre-RX 400 sequence video playing cards and pre-Ryzen APUs are now not supported by AMD’s present drivers, and AMD’s earlier 21.5.2 driver set would be the closing launch for these merchandise. 21.5.2 may also be the ultimate driver that helps Home windows 7, as AMD can be utilizing this chance to drop assist for that already-retired OS.

This week’s change in assist marks the primary time since 2015 that AMD has moved any video {hardware} to legacy assist. On the time, the corporate retired its pre-GCN {hardware}, leaving AMD’s GCN-based Radeon HD 7000 sequence and newer merchandise as their assist baseline. And, after practically 10 years of assist for the oldest items of GCN {hardware} – the then-revolutionary Radeon HD 7970 was launched on the very begin of 2012 – AMD is lastly winding down assist for the primary couple of waves of GCN {hardware}.

First launched in 2011, GCN was a significant overhaul of AMD’s graphics structure, transferring from an ILP-centric design to a extra trendy and compute-friendly TLP-centric design. GCN itself has since been supplanted by the RDNA household, however lots of the primary design rules of GCN are nonetheless alive in the present day in AMD’s enterprise compute-focused CDNA structure.

As for this week’s product assist modifications, AMD is basically retiring all graphics {hardware} – GPU and APU – that pre-dates 2016’s Polaris (GCN 4) structure. Consequently, AMD’s prolonged legacy listing consists of the Radeon 7000 and 8000 sequence, in addition to the 200, 300, and Fury sequence. Even a couple of items of mobile-focused M400 {hardware} are on there, since these low-end elements have been primarily based on older GCN chips. General, this marks a roughly 5-year span of {hardware} being retired this week, with the youngest elements simply turning 5.

On the APU entrance, the legacy listing consists of a number of of AMD’s standard pre-Ryzen APUs, together with Bristol Ridge, Carrizo, and Kaveri, which have been predominantly offered beneath the AMD A-series moniker (e.g. A10-9700). It’s value noting that the ensuing assist window for these merchandise does find yourself being a bit shorter than the discrete GPUs, since AMD didn’t launch their first Ryzen + Vega APUs till 2018.


















The Dearly Departed
Desktop Cell
AMD A-Collection APUs with Radeon R4, R5, R6, or R7 Graphics AMD A-Collection PRO processors with Radeon Graphics
AMD Professional A-Collection APUs with Radeon R5 or R7 Graphics AMD FX-Collection APUs with Radeon R7 Graphics
AMD Athlon Collection APUs with Radeon R3 Graphics AMD E-Collection APUs with Radeon R2 Graphics
AMD Sempron Collection APUs with Radeon R3 Graphics AMD Radeon R7 M400 Collection Graphics
AMD Radeon R9 Fury Collection, R9 Nano Collection Graphics AMD Radeon R9 M300 Collection Graphics
AMD Radeon R9 300 Collection Graphics AMD Radeon R7 M300 Collection Graphics
AMD Radeon R9 200 Collection Graphics AMD Radeon R5 M300 Collection Graphics
AMD Radeon R7 300 Collection Graphics AMD Radeon R9 M200 Collection Graphics
AMD Radeon R7 200 Collection Graphics AMD Radeon R7 M200 Collection Graphics
AMD Radeon R5 300 Collection Graphics AMD Radeon R5 M200 Collection Graphics
AMD Radeon R5 200 Collection Graphics AMD Radeon HD 8500M – HD 8900M Collection Graphics
AMD Radeon HD 8500 – HD 8900 Collection Graphics AMD Radeon HD 7700M – HD 7900M Collection Graphics
AMD Radeon HD 7700 – HD 7900 Collection Graphics  

As issues stand, I’m not shocked to see AMD lump collectively GCN 1/2/3 from a driver assist standpoint. Regardless of some very materials structure tweaks amongst these successive generations, from a product growth standpoint all of them symbolize one prolonged product household, as AMD launched and changed GPUs in a piecemeal style. Mixed with the truth that AMD continued utilizing early GCN elements in newer playing cards for years, it wasn’t till Polaris in 2016 that AMD lastly executed an entire top-to-bottom refresh of its whole GPU product stack. In different phrases, GCN 1/2/3 are being retired in the identical method they lived: collectively.

In any other case, as beforehand talked about, AMD can be utilizing this chance to retire assist for his or her final pre-Home windows 10 OS. Like most different {hardware} distributors, AMD had opted to proceed creating drivers for Home windows 7 even after the OS itself was retired in the beginning of 2020, owing to the truth that it was nonetheless seeing important use in some locales. However, after one other 18 months of prolonged assist, Home windows 7 assist can be being dropped. As of in the present day’s 21.6.1 drivers, the one variations of Home windows supported are 64-bit editions of Home windows 10.

For his or her half, AMD’s weblog publish on the retirement notes that “This variation allows AMD to dedicate beneficial engineering assets to creating new options and enhancements for graphics merchandise primarily based on our newest graphics architectures.” It’s additionally value noting that this announcement comes lower than 2 weeks after NVIDIA’s personal legacy announcement, the place the corporate introduced that the equally aged Kepler structure can be moved to legacy standing later this summer season.

Closing out assist for all these legacy merchandise then can be AMD’s 21.5.2 driver. The corporate has posted a contemporary “legacy” model of the motive force only for these retired merchandise, although it doesn’t seem like there’s something new versus AMD’s present drivers. In response to the corporate, there are not any additional driver launched deliberate, and the announcement makes no point out of a safety replace assist interval.

General, AMD’s early GCN structure elements marked an essential transition for AMD, and the ensuing {hardware}, for all of its deserves and weaknesses, saved AMD within the recreation throughout a really powerful interval for the corporate. So for GCN 1, 2, and three, this can be a retirement that’s well-earned.

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