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AMD Pulls Driver Update Support for Intel's Kaby Lake-G Processors

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The saga of Intel and AMD's lone collaboration in the processor market continues as AMD has seemingly pulled support for driver updates for the integrated graphics units it provided to Intel for the Kaby Lake-G processors. The issue comes three months after Intel ceded support for the graphics units, which hadn't received an update in a year, to AMD. This comes at a particularly bad time for Intel's customers, as it also prevents them from getting AMD's latest driver enhancements for the Windows 10 version 2004 update.  We reached out to Intel and received a comment on the matter, but AMD hasn't provided us with an official statement yet.

As a quick refresher, in one of the stranger collaborations in PC history, Intel's Kaby Lake-G processors came with a Vega graphics engine from its bitter rival AMD. The chips paired a discrete AMD Radeon RX Vega M graphics unit with Intel's Kaby Lake processing cores in a single package. That combo yielded award-winning levels of performance, but Intel killed the project in October 2019 as it switched focus to its own Xe Graphics Architecture for future products.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Despite the cancellation, Intel promised five years of driver support for its Kaby Lake-G chip. Those plans hit a snag, though, and Intel left its customers without driver updates for 12 months. Intel fixed that problem by turning over support to AMD. The new drivers consisted of AMD's mainline Adrenalin 2020 package. Those drivers allowed Kaby Lake-G customers to install AMD's latest drivers, thus receiving important performance boosts for new games and the other advantages that come along with new drivers.  

But now that upgrade path appears to have come to an end, too. After seeing reports that users couldn't install AMD’s WDDM 2.7 driver (20.5.1) on the Vega M GH/GL in the Hades Canyon NUC, or the latest WHQL (20.4.2), we attempted to install the drives on the Hades Canyon NUC. As you can see in the screenshot above, both driver packages failed to install, providing a nebulous message that says the hardware configuration isn't supported. 

We reached out to Intel for comment, and the company provided the following brief statement to Tom's Hardware

"We are working to bring back Radeon graphics driver support to Intel NUC 8 Extreme Mini PCs (previously codenamed “Hades Canyon”)."

We've inquired with AMD on the matter, too, but have yet to receive an official statement on when, and if, the company will provide support again for the Radeon RX Vega graphics units in the Kaby Lake-G chips. 

For now, Intel's Kaby Lake-G customers are again left without timely updates from the latest drivers. That includes the enhanced support that AMD wrapped in its latest drivers for the new Windows 10 version 2004. We'll update as we learn more.

Paul Alcorn

Paul Alcorn is the Deputy Managing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage and enterprise hardware.