With the recent October releases of Adrenalin Edition, AMD has finally discontinued support for 32-bit operating systems. The latest 32-bit packages can still be manually downloaded through older driver release notes, of which Adrenalin Edition 18.9.3 is the last release with 32-bit drivers.

The change doesn't come as a surprise. Earlier this year, NVIDIA ceased driver development for 32-bit OSes, and early last year AMD dropped graphics driver support for 32-bit Windows 8.1. Pre-GCN hardware was moved to legacy status back in 2015. Ultimately, the idea is to concentrate development and engineering resources, particularly if those resources are limited. Over the past few years, AMD has put in a renewed effort in graphics driver development, retiring Catalyst for "Radeon Software" and embarking on major annual updates, both for gaming and professional products. In that sense, prolonging 32-bit support diffuses focus for very specific edge cases for little benefit, and that goes for both NVIDIA and AMD.

An obligatory glance at the Steam Hardware Survey indicates around 2% of users on 32-bit Windows, though the numbers are not generalizable to the broader PC userbase. In any case, the vast majority of consumers regularly updating their graphics drivers are highly unlikely to be on a 32-bit OS. Older 32-bit systems with AMD graphics are more likely to be in embedded applications, such as casino gaming and digital signage, but those support cycles work somewhat differently.

As usual, the updated drivers for AMD’s desktop, mobile, and integrated GPUs are available through the Radeon Settings tab or online at the AMD driver download page. More information on AMD graphics driver updates can be found in the Radeon Software release notes pages.

POST A COMMENT

22 Comments

View All Comments

  • III-V - Saturday, October 27, 2018 - link

    You efficiently throw away 8 registers. Reply
  • GreenReaper - Sunday, October 28, 2018 - link

    That's why we need the x32 ABI - best of both worlds. Sadly compatibility is not perfect, it's still in Debian Ports but there seems to be not that much effort to get issues in e.g. LLVM fixed for it:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X32_ABI
    Reply
  • lmcd - Sunday, October 28, 2018 - link

    64-bit OSes typically target a higher feature set than 32-bit OSes do. A 32-bit OS targeting all of the newest instructions would be better in many cases than a 64-bit operating system. Reply
  • nismotigerwvu - Saturday, October 27, 2018 - link

    Honestly, I think it's impressive just how long AMD (now) and NV (last December) continued supporting these edge cases. No real case could have been made against this move even years ago. Reply
  • linuxgeex - Sunday, October 28, 2018 - link

    Pretty sure the only reason 32-bit continued to be supported was because of Win 7 Pro support contracts. Once Win7 support was dropped by M$ they were free to stop supporting drivers for it. Reply
  • Gigaplex - Sunday, October 28, 2018 - link

    Windows 7 extended support doesn't end until 2020. Reply
  • PeachNCream - Monday, October 29, 2018 - link

    January 2020, so not very deep into the year. That means ~14 months from now. Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, October 29, 2018 - link

    Where this will eventually bite is when MS updates the driver model and the next feature update can't install without one. This has already happened with a few Intel Atom chips using 3rd party GPUs instead of Intel's in house design. Those systems got moved to a consumer equivalent of a W10 LTSB version that will get 10 years of security fixes but no new features.

    When the same thing happens with Intel's drivers, we'll see the beginning of the end for 32 bit Windows.
    Reply
  • HStewart - Saturday, October 27, 2018 - link

    It good idea because it reduces development costs, but there are applications that because of large amount of installations are still 32 and would have severe issues going to 64 but because of compilers and 3rd party libraries dependencies

    Fortunately for .them integrated graphics card is good enough from them and similarly embedded windows has longer lifespan
    Reply
  • Targon - Saturday, November 3, 2018 - link

    Where do you see a lot of 32 bit operating systems still in use that would use a discrete video card? Virtually every new machine is using a 64 bit OS, with the only exceptions being where someone has some OLD software(which won't support a new video card anyway, or need driver updates). Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now