Tuesday, April 24th 2012

Pre-HD 5000 Will be Removed from Catalyst Mainline, But Onto a New Support Model: AMD

AMD confirmed to TechPowerUp its plans of removing pre-HD 5000 series Radeon GPUs from the Catalyst mainline update model (where WHQL-certified driver updates are released on a monthly basis), but that doesn't necessarily mean a discontinuation of support for those products. AMD told us that it is merely relocating pre-HD 5000 GPUs (under the Radeon HD 2000, HD 3000, and HD 4000 series), to a new update model that will have new WHQL-certified drivers being released on a quarterly basis.

This model is carved out of the mainline, because the driver team is encountering a diminishing number of problems that can be addressed, with the older chips, and can pool them up over a quarter and release updates for them. The driver team can then focus on Radeon HD 5000 (and later) product lines. AMD also talked about the current lack of driver support for pre-HD 5000 GPUs on Windows 8 consumer preview. It said that the driver that Microsoft ships with Windows 8 will support for pre-HD 5000 GPUs, and of course in the future AMD will have WHQL-certified Windows 8 drivers for these chips, part of its new update model. A variant of the driver version 8.97, released in May, will be the first pre-HD 5000 driver in this new update model.

A transcript of AMD's statement follows.

AMD will be moving the AMD Radeon HD 2000, AMD Radeon HD 3000, and AMD Radeon HD 4000 Series of products to a new driver support model. We will continue to support the mentioned products in our Catalyst releases, but we’re moving their updates to a quarterly basis, whereas our AMD Radeon HD 5000 and later products will continue to see monthly updates. The Quarterly Catalyst releases will focus on resolving application specific issues and critical updates. The reason for the shift in support policy is largely due to the fact that the AMD Radeon HD 2000, AMD Radeon HD 3000, and AMD Radeon HD 4000 Series have been optimized to their maximum potential from a performance and feature perspective. The 8.97 based driver, released in May 2012 will be the first driver for the AMD Radeon HD 2000, AMD Radeon HD 3000, and AMD Radeon HD 4000 Series under the new support model; it is an extremely stable and robust driver branch for these products and will be the baseline for our quarterly update.

Our main development and testing efforts will now be focused on the AMD Radeon HD 5000 and later products. This is the best use of our resources as the AMD Radeon HD 5000, AMD Radeon HD 6000, AMD Radeon HD 7000, and future products have the greatest potential for further performance and feature enhancements.

Also with regards to Windows 8 support for the AMD Radeon HD 2000, 3000, 4000 Series of products; the In-the-box AMD Graphics driver that ships with Windows 8 will include support for the AMD Radeon HD 2000, 3000, and 4000 Series, and it will support the WDDM 1.1 driver level features. The AMD Catalyst driver for Windows 8 will only include support for WDDM 1.2 support products (AMD Radeon HD 5000 and later).
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27 Comments on Pre-HD 5000 Will be Removed from Catalyst Mainline, But Onto a New Support Model: AMD

#1
damric
I wouldn't even update the old stuff quarterly. I'd do it semi-annually or even annually. People that hang onto the old stuff generally don't update drivers all that often.
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#2
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: eidairaman1
Gotta realize for the vid cards, NV dont want u to run anything but NV. Only Lucid brought about the idea of mixing different chips.

N it worked for my Laptop and My Sig Rig, despite the sig rig not having a Optimized AGP GART (Uses the 440 BX gart driver just to get it running)

My laptop i wasnt sure if there was a 865 PE Chipset Driver for Win Vista/7 that wasnt built into windows (Drivers in Windows Suck Donkey Dick anyway)
This has nothing to do with nVidia, it is AMD not supporting win7 for the X1000 and older cards, which means no WDDM1.1 support, which is what gives Win7 the ability to mix and match cards. So it is AMD stopping me from putting an x1000 series card in my computer along side an nVidia. NVidia has no problems doing this, and they never have, the only time they didn't want you using an AMD card was when you were using an nVidia card as a PhysX card with an AMD primary, other than that they have no problems with mixing and matching cards.

And Lucid didn't bring about the idea of mixing chips, I've been running AMD/ATI along side nVidia for years, since early XP days.
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