Thursday, November 11th 2021

AMD ROCm 4.5 Drops "Polaris" Architecture Support

AMD's ROCm compute programming platform—a competitor to NVIDIA's CUDA, dropped support for the "Polaris" graphics architecture, with the latest version 4.5 update. Users on the official ROCm git raised this as an issue assuming it was a bug, to which an official AMD support handle confirmed that the Radeon RX 480 graphics card of the original poster is no longer supported. Another user tested his "Polaris 20" based RX 570, and it isn't supported, either. It's conceivable that the "Polaris 30" based RX 590, a GPU launched in November 2018, isn't supported either. Cutting out a 3-year old graphics architecture from the compute platform sends the wrong message, especially to CUDA users who AMD wants to win over with ROCm. With contemporary GPUs priced out of reach, IT students are left with used older-generation graphics cards, such as those based on "Polaris." NVIDIA CUDA supports GPUs as far back as "Maxwell" (September 2014).
Source: boxerab (Github)
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52 Comments on AMD ROCm 4.5 Drops "Polaris" Architecture Support

#1
Mysteoa
It seems AMD wants to get rid of GCN support, so to get people to move to RDNA.
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#2
Vayra86
Thanks Raja! We're working to forget your legacy ASAP
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#3
Flanker
Oh ROCm is still going?
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#4
Turmania
If true, shamefull move by AMD.
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#5
AnarchoPrimitiv
TurmaniaIf true, shamefull move by AMD.
It would be better if they didn't do this, but when you're on relatively small budget compared to both your competitors, and you have brand new products like the MCM GPUs MI250x announced just the other day which will probably require ample resources to develop based upon being the first MCM GPUs to market, you have to make cuts somewhere, and I honestly cannot think of any area better to which they could have done this. AMD's combined R&D budget for x86 and graphics is $1.98 Billion, and since x86 represents more of their annual revenue and has a larger T.A.M., I would assume at least 60% of that figure is allotted for x86, which would leave $0.79 billion or less for graphics vs Nvidia whose R&D budget is $4 Billion and it all goes to graphics in one way or another. Intel's R&D Budget as of 2020 is $13.56 Billion, and while that's to multiple areas of development, I would safely assume that since the creation of their dGPU division they're at the least out spending AMD on graphics and probably approaching Nvidia's expenditures as they're the primary obstacle and from whom they'd want to steal market share.

That being said, while all corporations are notoriously hard to petition to reverse course, AMD has done it in the past, and if there's enough grumbling among the users of ROCm, it's a possibility that they may bring back support for Polaris.
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#6
pavle
Adios My Dineros at it again, how fitting!
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#7
Baum
what a dick move in these times..

goes to show what a scam the rx580 / rx590 respin of that ancient rx 480 was...

posts a user who owns actually one asrock rx590 "rape my ears" dual 60mm fans edition... oc pfff does not want a single mhz.
( which now have been massive modified not to sound like a jet engine strapped two 120mm fans to it with high rpm just to quiet it down)
2D no fans / 3D Fan 100% problem solved
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#8
bug
AMD usually gets pass on these "because they don't have many resources and cards were old anyway".

But the truth is they're locked in a vicious circle, their compute efforts are behind and these moves only serve to further alienate prospective users. Worse even, they do include the silicon for a capable compute GPU. But they sabotage all that in software.
In all honesty, OpenCL isn't making them any favors either.
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#9
owen10578
Wow they really really want to lose to CUDA
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#10
trsttte
a bunch of you guys are confusing dropping support for ROCm which most people don't even know what it is to dropping support for polaris entirely
owen10578Wow they really really want to lose to CUDA
They'll problaby want to prioritize oneAPI that is open and will probably get more adoption in the future
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#11
bug
trstttea bunch of you guys are confusing dropping support for ROCm which most people don't even know what it is to dropping support for polaris entirely



They'll problaby want to prioritize oneAPI that is open and will probably get more adoption in the future
That's not it. Nothing prevents them from supporting two APIs at once. Nvidia themselves have supported both CUDA and OpenCL for years. Even if nobody wants to use OpenCL :D
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#12
Punkenjoy
The main dick move here is that they dropped support without telling people. It's a thing to cut support early, it's next level to cut support without telling people. People have to fill bug report to discover it.

Normally, it's best practice to declare those things in advances so that people can prepare. Amateurish move by AMD
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#13
TheinsanegamerN
Not really sure why anyone is surprised by this, AMD has always had shorter support for products then nvidia, I said back when rDNA came out that GCN finewine was a fluke, and once rDNA got traction GCN would get dropped like a potato. Looks like I was proven correct, again. I'd bet within 2 years the RX 400 series is dropped altogether. It's a shit move, especially since new cards are both unobtanium and cost as much as unobtanium, but that has never stopped AMD before.

Then again, this is the same AMD that didnt want to support their 300 and 400 series chipsets for ryzen 3000 or 5000, wanted OEMS to compile their GPU drivers for mobile ryzen, had to be bullied into investigating rDNA's clocking issues, raised the prices of vega after reviews came out, dropped evergreend river support years before their nvidia counterparts, had to be bullied into admitting that the black screen issue still affects several of their product lines, abandoned radeon VII drivers for almost half a year, and dropped 7000/200/300 series support in the middle of a massive card shortage (arguably a justified act, but terrible PR, and included much newer products like the fury cards). We all should expect AMD to act like this.
AnarchoPrimitivIt would be better if they didn't do this, but when you're on relatively small budget compared to both your competitors, and you have brand new products like the MCM GPUs MI250x announced just the other day which will probably require ample resources to develop based upon being the first MCM GPUs to market, you have to make cuts somewhere, and I honestly cannot think of any area better to which they could have done this. AMD's combined R&D budget for x86 and graphics is $1.98 Billion, and since x86 represents more of their annual revenue and has a larger T.A.M., I would assume at least 60% of that figure is allotted for x86, which would leave $0.79 billion or less for graphics vs Nvidia whose R&D budget is $4 Billion and it all goes to graphics in one way or another. Intel's R&D Budget as of 2020 is $13.56 Billion, and while that's to multiple areas of development, I would safely assume that since the creation of their dGPU division they're at the least out spending AMD on graphics and probably approaching Nvidia's expenditures as they're the primary obstacle and from whom they'd want to steal market share.

That being said, while all corporations are notoriously hard to petition to reverse course, AMD has done it in the past, and if there's enough grumbling among the users of ROCm, it's a possibility that they may bring back support for Polaris.
AMD made record profits in 2019, then again in 2020, then again in 2021. That excuse doesnt fly anymore. People wuote AMD's budget all the time, yet fail to mention that AMD also has less people to pay, less fluff to push and support, and doesnt have the mass of software engineers to pay like intel and nvidia do. And the support is already coded in. Maintaining it is nowhere near as expensive as building out new support.
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#14
trsttte
PunkenjoyThe main dick move here is that they dropped support without telling people. It's a thing to cut support early, it's next level to cut support without telling people. People have to fill bug report to discover it.

Normally, it's best practice to declare those things in advances so that people can prepare. Amateurish move by AMD
Goes to show how many people were even using it :D
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#15
_Flare
AMD bought Ati because they learned in 2005 that the inventions made with Ati Terascale architecture wich launched with the HD2000 series in 2007 and some parts of it even a bit earlier with the Xenos engine of the Xbox 360, would be superseded with a new GPGPU architecture Ati was starting around 2005 ... wich became GCN later (launched HD7970 in 2011).
So GCN is really old.
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#16
RedBear
_FlareSo GCN is really old.
Being old is no excuse for dropping GPU-accelerated computing support without any warning whatsoever (and without mentioning it in the release notes either, just to add insult to injury). And I suppose that AMD didn't go out of their way to warn people about the implicit risk in buying a GPU based on an old architecture like the RX 590 just three years ago. People affected should just take note, maybe Nvidia isn't that bad after all, considering how they still support the old Maxwell and make announcements when they stop supporting older architectures...
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#17
kruk
Interesting, although it says here Polaris 11 and 12 are still enabled (the bug says it doesn't work at all):
The following list of GPUs are enabled in the ROCm software, though full support is not guaranteed:
  • GFX8 GPUs
    • "Polaris 11" chips, such as on the AMD Radeon RX 570 and Radeon Pro WX 4100
    • "Polaris 12" chips, such as on the AMD Radeon RX 550 and Radeon RX 540
  • GFX7 GPUs
    • "Hawaii" chips, such as the AMD Radeon R9 390X and FirePro W9100
Source: github.com/RadeonOpenCompute/ROCm#Hardware-and-Software-Support

The line with Polaris 11 should obviously say RX 460/560. So it's seems not fully supported, but it runs on Polaris 11/12, on the other hand it's not supported and doesn't run on Polaris 10? Doesn't really make sense ...

Also their rep ROCmSupport also doesn't know why it isn't working anymore so it might be a bug ...
Posted on Reply
#18
Vya Domus
There's like one Polaris based compute card, which probably wasn't even that successful, this isn't exactly a tragedy.
RedBearBeing old is no excuse for dropping GPU-accelerated computing support without any warning whatsoever (and without mentioning it in the release notes either, just to add insult to injury).
What are you talking about ? Polaris was released with support for OpenCL, which it continues to have, there is no "dropping GPU-accelerated computing support". What does that even mean ?

ROCm is something completely irrelevant to regular consumers and I bet 90% of people posting these comments don't even know what this is. What are you all exactly mad at ?
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#19
TheinsanegamerN
Vya DomusThere's like one Polaris based compute card, which probably wasn't even that successful, this isn't exactly a tragedy.
Low sales numbers does not excuse cards being dropped with no warning, especially after only a few years of support. What this tells consumers is that if an AMD product doesnt sell to some arbitrary number of a product they wont support it properly, so you may as well go nvidia and get proper support instead.

This kind of thing is egg on both consumer's face and AMD's face.
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#20
Darmok N Jalad
Can’t you just keep using the AMDGPU driver instead to get compute? From what I gather, pre-Vega the AMDGPU driver is recommended, Vega and up you must go with ROCm since the AMDGPU driver doesn’t support OpenCL for Vega and newer. Still dumb, but not exactly “no support.” AMDGPU was last updated in August.

My bigger complaint is that AMD makes this way too hard on Linux. I’m not a Linux pro, but I’m not exactly an idiot either. I followed the ROCm install steps and it always gave me some sort of reason it couldn’t install when I had a 5700G. Even with the AMDGPU drivers, you have to amend the Ubuntu installer to work on PopOS. I finally got to the place where I could install AMDGPU with some consistency! With Intel, you enter one command and OpenCL support is added.
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#21
mechtech
Baumwhat a dick move in these times..

goes to show what a scam the rx580 / rx590 respin of that ancient rx 480 was...

posts a user who owns actually one asrock rx590 "rape my ears" dual 60mm fans edition... oc pfff does not want a single mhz.
( which now have been massive modified not to sound like a jet engine strapped two 120mm fans to it with high rpm just to quiet it down)
2D no fans / 3D Fan 100% problem solved
Dual 60mm fans lol. Sounds like a bad asrock design to me.
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#22
trsttte
TheinsanegamerNLow sales numbers does not excuse cards being dropped with no warning, especially after only a few years of support. What this tells consumers is that if an AMD product doesnt sell to some arbitrary number of a product they wont support it properly, so you may as well go nvidia and get proper support instead.

This kind of thing is egg on both consumer's face and AMD's face.
What consumers? This is not a consumer technology lol
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#23
Lord_Soth
Baumwhat a dick move in these times..

goes to show what a scam the rx580 / rx590 respin of that ancient rx 480 was...

posts a user who owns actually one asrock rx590 "rape my ears" dual 60mm fans edition... oc pfff does not want a single mhz.
( which now have been massive modified not to sound like a jet engine strapped two 120mm fans to it with high rpm just to quiet it down)
2D no fans / 3D Fan 100% problem solved
The cooling solution is built by the card verdor not AMD so why you bought that custom 2x60mm AsRock card? they are for 99% mb makers not video cards.
Once i bought an GTS250 with a single 90mm fan by ASUS and it sell much more cards than AsRock, and even on idle it seem an F-14 at full power while all other GTS250/9800GTX are quite silent but cannot blame nvidia for this.
On youtube "The Good Old Gamer" review rx480 in 2020 and he say it's still great cards and with driver update it become even better.
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#24
bug
_FlareAMD bought Ati because they learned in 2005 that the inventions made with Ati Terascale architecture wich launched with the HD2000 series in 2007 and some parts of it even a bit earlier with the Xenos engine of the Xbox 360, would be superseded with a new GPGPU architecture Ati was starting around 2005 ... wich became GCN later (launched HD7970 in 2011).
So GCN is really old.
So is x86_64 :D
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#25
TheGoddessInari
MysteoaIt seems AMD wants to get rid of GCN support, so to get people to move to RDNA.
Which ROCm doesn't yet support.
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