The new AMD Polaris and Vega driver finally here
Not dead and not forgotten.
In September, when AMD released FSR3, HYPR-RX and Anti-Lag+ technologies, they decided it was time to do some housekeeping. The Polaris and Vega architectures are old, but they are not as old as the NVIDIA Maxwell architecture, which is still being maintained with new drivers. Meanwhile, AMD decided to make a new graphics driver branch for some of its older series. This branch is finally being updated.
What is interesting is that this driver, although carrying the same number as the main branch, does not mention any game optimizations. Actually, the fixed and known issues lists are not the same, which raises the question whether this is even the same driver.
The official release name may indeed be the same, but the driver version is not. AMD lists RDNA drivers with a different number “23.20.23.01” compared to 23.19.05.01 Polaris Vega, so those are clearly different drivers.
23.11.1 Changelog (Polaris & Vega)
- Intermittent corruption may be briefly observed while playing Counter Strike 2 with Vulkan API on some AMD Graphics Products, such as the Radeon™ RX 580.
- Unable to select summary table in ACCA Software Edificius Architectural Design on some AMD Graphics Products, such as the Radeon™ VII.
- Performance Metrics Overlay may report N/A for FPS on various games.
- System crash or AMD Software: Adrenalin Edition may fail to respond when changing Tuning Present on some AMD Graphics Products, such as the Radeon™ RX Vega 64.
AMD has clearly not abandoned their Polaris and Vega graphics cards, but the driver release schedule is very different from the RDNA series. It’s the first major release since September, and it’s not even the same as the main branch.
As we can see, this driver also doesn’t have game optimizations, or they were simply not listed, but the point is that AMD doesn’t plan to give day-0 updates for new games for older architectures. New games, which frequently have high GPU requirements, may not perform well on these GPUs anyway. Nevertheless, it wouldn’t hurt if AMD made an official statement confirming that these architectures are slowly going into retirement.