AMD is making some big changes in its graphics business. First it created the Radeon Technologies Group and appointed Raja Koduri as senior vice president and chief architect of the group, and then earlier today, the company launched the first iteration of the Radeon Software Crimson driver package. Radeon Software Crimson has received much media attention, but another announcement was made by AMD today that likely affects more than a few of our readers.
AMD announced that it has discontinued support for legacy GPUs that pre-date the company's switch to Graphics Core Next technology. The last driver for non-GCN GPUs has been released, and the company will not be dedicating any more resources on these legacy devices. Instead, AMD will be shifting its efforts entirely towards developing new features for GCN cores and enhancing existing features.
The affected products include AMD Radeon HD 8400 and lower 8000-series cards, and Radeon HD 7600 and below. The entire line of Radeon HD 5000 and HD 6000 cards have also been added to the legacy support list.
AMD said that it has released an "As is" beta version of Radeon Software Crimson that will work with these cards, but there will be no further updates for this driver. AMD said the Crimson Beta was released as a courtesy to its valued customers so they can use the new interface, but the last WHQL driver for these products is Catalyst Software Suite 15.7.1, which was released in late July, and there won't be any further updates to the Crimson beta for legacy hardware.
The beta version of Radeon Software Crimson that supports the HD 5000 series and up is available from AMD's website.
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If you upgrade, you'll save a lot of power. ;)
But okay, AMD probably has to strictly prioritize its resources.
It would take years, even more than a decade to save in power what money is accounted for the purchase of a new graphics card. I did calculations of similar stuff a while back comparing Nvidia and AMD cards: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-2833574/electric-bill-amd-nvidia-mathematics-calculated.html
Not that it makes too much of a difference in my case since I was already not bothering with upgrading graphics driver more than once or twice a year and I was planning to get a 2GB 15nm GPU to replace my 1GB HD5770 next year anyway.