AMD ends graphics driver support for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1
AMD released a new version of its Radeon Software Adrenalin driver this week. Radeon Software Adrenalin 21.6.1 is the first driver of the series that supports Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system only, but not the earlier versions of Windows, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.
The driver adds support for AMD Radeon RX 6800M Graphics and the new game Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance. It also fixes several issues, including crashes and freezes.
The release notes provide the following information in regards to support for older versions of the Windows operating system:
Support for Windows® 7 based operating systems and some older generations of AMD Radeon™ Graphics products have been moved to a legacy support model.
The linked support article on AMD's Community website lists affected graphics products by the company. The final driver that supports Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 is Radeon Software Adrenalin 21.5.2. No driver updates will be released for the operating systems and development focus will be on developing drivers for Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system only going forward.
What end of support means for affected systems
Windows 7 and 8.1 users are stuck with the Radeon Software Adrenalin 21.5.2 driver, as newer driver won't install anymore on their devices. The driver continues to work, but AMD won't release updates anymore that may fix bugs, other issues, security-related issues, or introduce new features or improvements.
The same is true for the listed desktop and mobile graphics drivers, which are also moved to a legacy support system. New drivers won't be released for these, even if the adapters are run on Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system.
Nvidia support ends later this year
Nvidia announced this month that it will end supporting Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 later this year as well. Unlike AMD, Nvidia will continue to support the systems by releasing critical security updates to September 2024. These updates will keep the systems secure through September 2024, but new features, bug fixes or improvements won't be released for Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 anymore by Nvidia.
Gamers who use machines with Windows 7 or 8.1 won't run into major issues right away when playing games. Security is a concern for AMD graphics owners, and critical bugs will affect AMD and Nvidia customers alike.
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