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AMD Drops 32-Bit Support for Radeon Drivers

mikewinddale

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Dec 22, 2016
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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.
 

Gillerer

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Sep 23, 2013
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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.)
 

alextheblue

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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.

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.
 

alextheblue

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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).
 
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For those looking to upgrade to 64-bit Windows 10:
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

You will have to do a clean installation since you CANNOT install 64-bit Windows over a 32-bit Windows. So be sure to back up everything on the where your operating system is located before upgrading to 64-bit Windows 10.
 


considering how bad the 64-bit version of XP was i would be surprised if there were any drivers for it

 

stdragon

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WinXP Pro x64 was a rare bird though. No one installed it unless there was a specific need. I know of a GIS (Geoscience) business where there program worked with some seriously large SEGY files and needed a lot more RAM beyond the 4GB limitation inherent with 32bit. The number 1 problem was getting proper printer drivers support. At the time, they were buggy as heck and would often crash the printer spools service. In some cases, BSOD the computer. Though I blame that on the vendor than Microsoft.

TLDR; Windows 7 was the first true "prime time" 64bit OS for the desktop.
 

Jim90

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I know! I can remember purchasing a CBM64...when they were first released. We need to slow time down a wee bit.
 

AgentLozen

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I was wondering about future hardware support on 32-bit drivers. The final few lines of the article made it seem like it would be okay to keep running AMD hardware on 32-bit drivers. Take a look:

"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."

The writer of the article didn't mention lack of support for next generation hardware. It seems obvious that new hardware should require new drivers but a little doubt was creeping in my mind because that wasn't a disadvantage that was mentioned.
 

shrapnel_indie

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Not necessarily. a Die or Node shrink doesn't mandate a driver change unless there are other changes. After all, how it communicates with everything else isn't necessarily changing.
 

alextheblue

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Indeed, but 32-bit had much greater longevity than 16-bit did.

I agree with you for the most part. But you didn't have to have a specific "need", just as I don't "need" to overclock but I do it anyway. Here was my scenario... I had more RAM (system and VRAM) than WinXP 32-bit can address (without horrible driver-murdering PAE). My choices were: Vista 64-bit, or WinXP Pro x64. So I gave x64 XP a shot, knowing it was Server 2003 derived.

The result? It was so solid I never switched that particular system over to Windows 7 64-bit. It handled gaming like a champ. The whole machine was retired before MS (and others, such as game devs) dropped support for various flavors of XP. I never had any issues with drivers for any of my hardware. I even had an old Samsung MF laser printer (SCX-4100) that worked great with drivers from Samsung's website.

But again, I agree with the gist of what you're saying. It was a rare bird. But it was very reliable and used the same kernel as Server 2003. Possible shoddy drivers notwithstanding - which was a greater problem for Vista actually, what with the new WDDM driver model that caused vendors to scramble and release alpha-quality drivers as "release".
 

alextheblue

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Yes, I understood that the first time you asked. My question is: Why? Why would you care if the next-gen successor to the Vega 56/64 is supported on an OS that is unsuited for the hardware in question, what with all the Gee Bees of RAM.
 

alextheblue

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OK, fair enough. Generally when I ask a question that far out in left field I either try to make it obvious I'm joking or tack on a "I know it's silly but I'm just curious".
 

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