AMD Polaris and Vega only receive critical updates in the future
Over the recent period, speculation has been rife among users that AMD might phase out its Polaris and Vega architectures. In the past few months, AMD has begun to segregate the installation packages for GPUs based on the RDNA architecture (commencing with the Radeon RX 5000 series and subsequent products) from those not based on RDNA. The latest drivers, such as version “23.11.1,” actually offer two separate packages, with the smaller one exclusively supporting the former.
AMD has now resolved to transition products featuring non-RDNA architectures to a slower driver update cycle, signaling a prelude to the discontinuation of support for older GPUs. AMD has stated AnandTech, confirming that future updates for Polaris and Vega architecture products will be limited to critical updates, which are as follows:
“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.“
Products that incorporate the Polaris and Vega architectures include the Radeon RX 400 series from 2016, the Radeon RX 500 series from 2017/2018, the Vega RX 56/64 from 2017, the Radeon VII from 2019, and the Radeon RX 590 GME from 2020. On the competitive front, NVIDIA currently continues to support some of its older architectures, with regular driver updates commencing with the Maxwell architecture, a commitment that NVIDIA has recently reiterated officially.