AMD confirms Polaris and Vega architectures will only to receive critical updates going forward

Published: Nov 8th 2023, 15:09 GMT   Comments

AMD Polaris and Vega GPUs only to receive critical updates

AMD is sunsetting its Polaris and Vega support on Windows. The company will only provide critical security patches. 

It has been long speculated that AMD has already abandoned the Vega and Polaris architectures, but the company has now confirmed that this is indeed the case. Some users have thought that the latest driver, although carrying new numbers such as “23.10” were still supporting Polaris and Vega architecture, but the truth is that those drivers only integrated September release as an additional package. The support for AMD drivers for these architectures for Windows users has effectively ended two months ago, reports Anandtech.

AMD has recently announced it will discontinue supporting both GPU architectures in its official Vulkan driver for Linux (AMDVLK). However, the company still provided updates for them on Windows. Those drivers did not include the same optimizations as RDNA, RDNA2 and RDNA3 architectures, which receive frequent updates for new game releases and features.

In September AMD introduced HYPR-RX, Fluid Motion Frames (AFMF) and FSR3 technologies, all designed for the newer architecture. While the RDNA series continues to use the official branch, the AFMF and Polaris/Vega GPU architecture support has been forked into beta and secondary branch, specifically for these two older GCN-based series. It is now confirmed that the latter is only for security patches going forward.

The AMD Polaris and Vega graphics architectures are mature, stable and performant and don’t benefit as much from regular software tuning. Going forward, AMD is providing critical updates for Polaris- and Vega-based products via a separate driver package, including important security and functionality updates as available. The committed support is greater than for products AMD categorizes as legacy, and gamers can still enjoy their favorite games on Polaris and Vega-based products.

— AMD Spokesperson to AnandTech

AMD GCN-based architectures are parked into maintenance driver branch “23.19” which is not the same branch as the official one for RX 5000 and newer series. According to AMD, those architectures have now matured, and they will no benefit from regular updates. However, AMD is not completely discontinuing supporting these architectures, instead, they will enter an extended support phase where only major updates will be provided.

It is worth noting that Radeon RX 590 based on Polaris 31 GPU is officially supported by AMD FSR3 technology, but without the Frame Generation component. It will be interesting to see how this GPU will work with FSR3 once it becomes more widely available.

Radeon RX 590 still supports FSR3,Source: AMD

AMD Polaris and Vega architectures encompass a wide range of GPUs, including Radeon RX 400 series from 2016, the RX 500 SKUs from 2017/2018 and Vega RX 56/64 from 2017. AMD also released Radeon VII with Vega 20 in 2019 and RX 590 GME edition in 2020. Its expected that all these series and products will only get security updates now.

NVIDIA still supports older GPU architectures such as GeForce GTX 750 (Maxwell) series from 2014. This fact has been reiterated today by Sean Pelletier, Director of Game Ready Technology at NVIDIA.

Source: AnandTech

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