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AMD Drops 32-Bit Support for Radeon Drivers

(Image credit: AMD)

AMD has discontinued driver support for 32-bit operating systems. The Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.9.3 WHQL driver was the last 32-bit driver of its kind from AMD. The change is effective immediately and will affect Microsoft operating systems, such as Windows 10 and Windows 7, as well as Linux distributions in the likes of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), CentOS, Ubuntu and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED).

Frankly, it's surprising it took AMD this much time to decide to stop providing 32-bit drivers for its Radeon suite. Rival graphics card manufacturer Nvidia stopped supporting 32-bit operating systems with its GeForce graphics driver last year. Nevertheless, AMD's move probably won't affect a huge portion of gaming population, since the chances of finding a gamer using a 32-bit operating system in 2018 is pretty slim. According to the latest edition of Steam's Hardware & Software Survey, 0.29 percent of its users are on a 32-bit version of Windows 10, 1.63 percent are on Windows 7 and 0.13 percent use Windows XP. The percentage is slowly decreasing every month as more and more users are transitioning over to a 64-bit operating system.

Note, 32-bit operating system owners don't have to upgrade to a 64-bit operating system. They can continue to use the Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.9.3 WHQL driver. But being stuck on an aging driver means they will lose out on future game optimizations and features, bug and security fixes and performance enhancements. Users don't have to shell out a lot of money for Windows 10 or Windows 7 64-bit licenses. The task of backing up and reinstalling everything from scratch might seem like a drag, but it's a one-time thing, and your graphics card will thank you for it.

  • AgentLozen
    Will the next generation Vega chips still run on the Vega 64 drivers?
    Reply
  • richardvday
    I doubt that very much, Node shrink even if otherwise its the same will require new drivers to be recognized. Probably
    Reply
  • mikewinddale
    I had no idea that AMD was still supporting 32-bit OSes. I have a 5 year old laptop with an AMD A10-5750M APU with an integrated Radeon HD8650G, and AMD halted driver support about a year or two ago.

    Meanwhile, all versions of Windows have come in a 64-bit version since Windows XP Professional x64 in 2005.

    So AMD has been supporting 13 year old operating systems all this time, but they don't support 5 year old GPUs? That seems really weird to me.
    Reply
  • pincher.lala.2014
    good to know, i have some 32 bit machines .... ty
    Reply
  • blazorthon
    21431641 said:
    I had no idea that AMD was still supporting 32-bit OSes. I have a 5 year old laptop with an AMD A10-5750M APU with an integrated Radeon HD8650G, and AMD halted driver support about a year or two ago.

    Meanwhile, all versions of Windows have come in a 64-bit version since Windows XP Professional x64 in 2005.

    So AMD has been supporting 13 year old operating systems all this time, but they don't support 5 year old GPUs? That seems really weird to me.

    AMD hasn't made a driver for windows XP (64 bit and 32 bit) in several years.
    Reply
  • Gillerer
    21431641 said:
    Meanwhile, all versions of Windows have come in a 64-bit version since Windows XP Professional x64 in 2005.

    So AMD has been supporting 13 year old operating systems all this time, but they don't support 5 year old GPUs? That seems really weird to me.

    Because of various driver discrepancies, the 64-bit versions of XP and Vista were largely considered unreliable - especially for gaming use. Windows 7 was the first version where 64-bit was preferable over 32-bit.

    Stating "32-bit support" doesn't in any way imply that old operating systems (like Windows XP, Vista, 8, 8.1) are supported - just that 32-bit versions of some modern ones are (in this case: Windows 7 and 10).

    (Just checked. The last Radeon driver release available for Windows Vista is 13.12, and that's for both 64- and 32-bit. Windows XP is not even listed on AMD's driver page.)
    Reply
  • alextheblue
    21431450 said:
    Will the next generation Vega chips still run on the Vega 64 drivers?
    Why in the world would you run a 32-bit OS on next-gen Vega hardware? The OS can't address all that memory without PAE, and in general PAE is a Bad Idea. Just run a 64-bit OS, mmkay? If the WoW64 subsystem isn't good enough for some reason, you can still run full 32-bit in a VM.

    21431641 said:
    I had no idea that AMD was still supporting 32-bit OSes.
    This part I'm onboard with. I thought they gave that up a long time ago. Blazor is right though, they haven't supported WinXP (any flavor) in ages.
    Reply
  • alextheblue
    21432364 said:
    Because of various driver discrepancies, the 64-bit versions of XP and Vista were largely considered unreliable - especially for gaming use.
    Horseplop. I had a daily driver with WinXP Pro x64 for a long time and it ran every single game I threw at it, flawlessly. Very solid OS, based off Server 2003 x64. Driver support was actually far better than I anticipated - even my Audigy 2 worked well with it, and Creative drivers are notorious for issues (although this was back in their better years perhaps).
    Reply
  • vern72
    Wow. I've seen when people were thrilled when 32-bit CPUs hit the scene and now they're beginning to get phased out.
    Reply
  • dlauber3
    You can still upgrade from Windows 7-8.1 to Windows 10 for free according to the legendary Ed Bott. See https://www.zdnet.com/article/heres-how-you-can-still-get-a-free-windows-10-upgrade
    Reply