AMD drops Windows 8 support for Radeon HD 4000 and older

By on April 24, 2012, 4:00 PM

Alongside recent news that AMD is dropping official legacy card support for Linux, it appears that AMD will also be dropping support for aging Radeon products in Windows 8. Although the next iteration of Windows is expected to ship with driver support for some legacy Radeon cards, AMD will not be providing future driver updates for those graphics cards. The company makes that clear in this following paragraph from a purported press release.

Also with regards to Windows 8 support for the AMD Radeon™ HD 2000, 3000, 4000 Series of products; the In-the-box AMD Graphics driver that ships with Windows 8 will include support for the AMD Radeon HD 2000, 3000, and 4000 Series, and it will support the WDDM 1.1 driver level features. The AMD Catalyst driver for Windows 8 will only include support for WDDM 1.2 support products (AMD Radeon HD 5000 and later).

Source: hardwarecanucks.com, ATI press release

It's important to note what AMD considers "legacy" may not align with everyone's preconceived visions of what "legacy" means. To AMD, legacy products appear to include the Radeon HD 2000, HD 3000 and HD 4000 series graphics cards. Interestingly, the HD 4000 series sports the R700. For anyone blessed with a good memory and reasonable powers of recollection, they may remember finding the R700 CPU in ATI's flagship Radeon products as little as four years ago. Only HD 5000 cards and newer will be spared from the recent changes.

Unfortunately for customers with legacy Radeon cards, there is more bad news. Currently, HD 2000, HD 3000 and HD 4000 products receive updates with every monthly Catalyst release. However, beginning in May, AMD plans to include updates for legacy products on a quarterly basis. The company explains that moving to a slower release schedule for its older series will help them focus on their newer and existing line-ups. The company also reasons that older products have plateaued in terms of performance and functionality. After so many years of development, AMD claims, there is little room for optimization or additional features.

We will continue to support the mentioned products in our Catalyst releases, but we’re moving their updates to a quarterly basis, whereas our AMD Radeon HD 5000 and later products will continue to see monthly updates. The Quarterly Catalyst releases will focus on resolving application specific issues and critical updates. The reason for the shift in support policy is largely due to the fact that the AMD Radeon HD 2000, AMD Radeon HD 3000, and AMD Radeon HD 4000 Series have been optimized to their maximum potential from a performance and feature perspective.




User Comments: 50

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Xero07 said:

Quarterly updates for older cards isn't too bad but I'm surprised the 4000 series didn't at least make the windows 8 cut.

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

Quarterly updates for older cards isn't too bad but I'm surprised the 4000 series didn't at least make the windows 8 cut.

Since the HD 5000 series was basically a die shrink of the 4000 with added DX11 support, I simply don't see a technical reason for this.

One might argue that HD 4000 cards support DX10 while HD 5000 support DX11. However, DX11 is supposed to be backwards compatible with DX10, right? And what could Windows 8 possibly demand that any Radeon HD 4000 series couldn't handle?

Smells like planned obsolescence to me.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Seems like an efficiency move to me. Now they just have to primarily concern themselves with DX11 and DX12, with DX9 and DX10 only occupying a portion of their driver update curve.

Considering how badly AMD gets flogged by techies for their lackluster driver situation, I'd hope this is an omen pointing to some better effort on that front. If they still fall short after narrowing their concentration down like this, then there's really not much hope moving forward.

bandit8623 said:

its really not that big of a deal, as all newer drivers dont really do anything to help those cards anyways.

all new drivers mostly help the newest line out.

ikesmasher said:

but so many people have laptops with that crappy 4250...what about them?

or does that not count?

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

but so many people have laptops with that crappy 4250...what about them?

or does that not count?

They'll have Win8 driver support right out of the box, just not continuous (monthly) updates to their video drivers. I would guess they are basically the best optimized versions of the hardware drivers available to date, bundled in with the standard Windows device driver package. And, as @bandit8623 noted, changes to the performance of older cards is typically nonexistent in current driver revisions... Or, at the most, very minimal tweaks... So, honestly, I can't see this affecting those 4250 users much at this point.

Guest said:

I own a HD4850 and it's still a capable gaming card, WTH is the legacy part , specially that most game are bad coded dx9 console ports T_T.

Guest said:

ati, wtf?!!! no win8 for hd 4000?!!

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

ati, wtf?!!! no win8 for hd 4000?!!

Win8 for HD4000? Yes

Catalyst support for HD4000 in Win8? No

Need to actually read the info, not just the headline. Win8 will have native drivers to run the 2k-4k card families right out of the box. They just won't be on the continuous update cycle like the later gen cards.

EXCellR8 EXCellR8, The Conservative, said:

This is kind of silly as the HD 4000 series is still a very capable series of GPUs. No official software from AMD is a little discerning but the cards are older so I guess you can justify the cut. I still use a 4870 in one of my windows 7 machines and it's still one of my favorite cards of all time.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Dang, I got a 4850 and a pair of 4870s that are all working darn well in my other computers. But then frankly, as other people have pointed out, most driver updates deal with new cards and new games. Can't imagine they have a team trying to squeeze every ounce of power out of cars several years old.

But, to be honest, sometimes I'll be surprised when some game several years old all of a sudden is given some performance gain in a driver update, but those are relatively rare.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Seems like an efficiency move to me. Now they just have to primarily concern themselves with DX11 and DX12, with DX9 and DX10 only occupying a portion of their driver update curve.

D3DX9 is still the preminent gaming API and probably will continue to be so until the next gen console has been established long enough for game dev's to start supporting it en masse. There will still be a substantial market for DX9 long after that happens.

There are reasons for AMD dropping support for these cards. Concentrating on DX11 isn't one of them.

ATi/AMD have a history of over promising and under delivering on software that goes back some way (remember AIW?, or more recently the long promised VCE ?) -if they have to rely on axing a minimal amount of man-hours (the HD2000-4000 should require only minimal support for Catalyst) in ensuring the surviving group of cards have full workability on a monthly basis -then AMD's driver team is in deep sh__

Considering how badly AMD gets flogged by techies for their lackluster driver situation, I'd hope this is an omen pointing to some better effort on that front.

Using that logic, AMD should drop driver support for anything that isn't GCN, since that's the arch going forward. Why bother still having to account for Evergreen GPU's -since as Rick pointed out, they are more-or-less an optical shrink of the HD 4000's. Now they have to account for VLIW5, VLIW4 and GCN - which is exactly the same scenario that exists with the earlier cards included

If they still fall short after narrowing their concentration down like this, then there's really not much hope moving forward.

Look on the bright side- AMD have Terry "Recurring giant cursor" Makedon heading up Trinity's graphics driver initiative.

its really not that big of a deal, as all newer drivers dont really do anything to help those cards anyways.

It's less about game performance than possible driver conflicts (esp with a new OS coming out). With a monthly update, you have the chance that any problem arising is fixed relatively quickly. On legacy support you could be looking at 1-2 driver revisions (3-6 months) depending where the conflict occurs in the driver schedule.

Siavash Siavash said:

ati, wtf?!!! no win8 for hd 4000?!!

Win8 for HD4000? Yes

Catalyst support for HD4000 in Win8? No.

Which means you aren't available to fine tune graphics settings (VSync, Antialiasing, Anisotropic filtering, Catalyst AI, Video Playback and more) globally and overclock your card.

Also, there won't be proper support for OpenGL and OpenCL enabled games, CAD and similar applications. This probably makes me and other 4000 owners to stay with good old Windows 7 and Catalyst drivers or do a favor for ourselves and save money for GTX 600 series ^^

Guest said:

Ha ha, this is so silly !

Guest said:

but so many people have laptops with that crappy 4250...what about them?

or does that not count?

Why people using laptop with 4250 install Win8?

99% of laptops are pre-installed OS.Don't need Win8,If want it then must by new laptop.

Guest said:

Since the HD 5000 series was basically a die shrink of the 4000 with added DX11 support, I simply don't see a technical reason for this.

One might argue that HD 4000 cards support DX10 while HD 5000 support DX11. However, DX11 is supposed to be backwards compatible with DX10, right? And what could Windows 8 possibly demand that any Radeon HD 4000 series couldn't handle?

Smells like planned obsolescence to me.

I alternated card 4870 to 7950 today.Both driver have significantly difference.

You can't change pre 5000s cards with new one without completely driver uninstall/install.Probably 7000 series is another driver from 5000-6000s,too.

Guest said:

I love that TechSpot can pick and choose the quote from hardwarecanucks and all of the sudden, everyone thinks that there will be no support for the 4000 series. They clearly say that there will be support for the 4000 series. And don't you think that after 3 years of updates, that the drivers are pretty much fine? If not, they'll release an update in their next update of the driver. Bunch of fear-mongering and propaganda based on something that isn't even AMD's official statement.

AMD = We will continue to support the mentioned products in our Catalyst releases, but we're moving their updates to a quarterly basis, whereas our AMD Radeon HD 5000 and later products will continue to see monthly updates... The reason for the shift in support policy is largely due to the fact that the AMD Radeon HD 2000, AMD Radeon HD 3000, and AMD Radeon HD 4000 Series have been optimized to their maximum potential from a performance and feature perspective. The 8.97 based driver, released in May 2012 will be the first driver for the AMD Radeon HD 2000, AMD Radeon HD 3000, and AMD Radeon HD 4000 Series under the new support model; it is an extremely stable and robust driver branch for these products and will be the baseline for our quarterly updates. - [link] [The site that TechSpot quoted]

So where does it say "We will not support Windows 8? Great, accurate reporting, TechSpot...

Guest said:

AMD will be moving the AMD Radeon? HD 2000, AMD Radeon HD 3000, and AMD Radeon HD 4000 Series of products to a new driver support model. We will continue to support the mentioned products in our Catalyst releases, but we're moving their updates to a quarterly basis, whereas our AMD Radeon HD 5000 and later products will continue to see monthly updates. The Quarterly Catalyst releases will focus on resolving application specific issues and critical updates. The reason for the shift in support policy is largely due to the fact that the AMD Radeon HD 2000, AMD Radeon HD 3000, and AMD Radeon HD 4000 Series have been optimized to their maximum potential from a performance and feature perspective. The 8.97 based driver, released in May 2012 will be the first driver for the AMD Radeon HD 2000, AMD Radeon HD 3000, and AMD Radeon HD 4000 Series under the new support model; it is an extremely stable and robust driver branch for these products and will be the baseline for our quarterly updates. - The reference that was cut out

CrisisDog said:

If there's no Catalyst for Windows 8, does this also mean no Crossfire for these so called "legacy" cards?

Guest said:

Great way to alienate your established customer base AMD! Forcing people to buy your product by not supporting a video card I paid good money for and have no reason to upgrade is only going to hurt you in the long run. When I finally decide that I MUST replace my HD 4870 I will remember your little scum-bag ploy and I'll buy Nvidia to spite you! Boycott corporations that abuse their customers!!!!!!

Guest said:

Lol I have a 4850, which after getting paired with a 2600K can play pretty much any game at 1920x1080 at a high or acceptable framerate (above 28-30). I have no reason why to upgrade this graphics card, so this move by AMD just simply makes me wish for a Nvidia card for my next upgrade.

For those of you that posted that Win8 will support the cards by default, that is correct, but what happens when a badly optimized game comes out? I've seen 15-30% gains in such titles in less than a month after their release, done with a simple driver update.

sapo joe said:

I just got happy I moved to Nvidia... My older PC has an ATi 9600XT, and it still works flawlessly, but AMD decided to stop supporting it. My old Geforce 6200 still has full updated drivers, and it's slower than that Ati card!

Guest said:

So I installed windows 8 and then came across this problem which can only be solved by the Catalyst Control Center. A problem where my HDMI out to display sets the overscan by default to a setting which doesn't use a 100% of my monitor.

And then after some trial and error I came across this article. I was kind of mad to find out ATI would do something silly like this. I have a mobility 4000 series and I know its more than capable of handling the basic needs of any operating system.

Luckily, I remembered installing the standard ATI Catalyst for the developer Version when I tried Windows 8. Its only now that the install tool wouldn't recognize my operating system (Windows 8)

Solution: In explorer jump to your windows 7 Drive. Find the AMD/ATI folder in C: Run the setup from there. It should install the latest drivers from windows 7 and the catalyst center as well no problems. And it works just fine. I haven't tried gaming and intensive 3D applications. But everything else just works.

CORRECT ME IF I'M WRONG - ATI/AMD plan to release regular drivers for windows 8 which would support those cards correct ? I mean they just won't release optimized or improved drivers for those cards mentioned right ?

Guest said:

We will continue to support the mentioned products in our Catalyst releases, but we're moving their updates to a quarterly basis, whereas our AMD Radeon HD 5000 and later products will continue to see monthly updates.

Liar?

[link]

Guest said:

You forgot the most important part of the source article:

However, there is an additional wrench thrown into the works. It seems users of these older products won't get continued driver support and updates when they are using their cards in a Windows 8 environment. To put it simply: Windows 8 ships with an included AMD driver and from our understanding, that won't be updated. If you have a HD 2000, HD 3000, or HD 4000 series card, be prepared to make do with the default AMD driver package that Microsoft ships with their new OS.

Guest said:

I hope AMD is reading this. For me this is a bad decession and smells faulty.. Sorry AMD, but this ain't gonna happen again. Should have supported crossfire & 4780 x2 radeon family for the standard software and Windows 8 support. I spend a lot of money!

I attent to all AMD GPU users: Shall we boycut? Nvidia gives full driver support to all their legacy cards in Windows 8. I can not even use Cross-fire, so I basically run 1 4870 card, which is constantly crashing with standard Windows Drivers. This is outrageous and should be boycot!

Guest said:

This doesn't look like much of a problem:- a) There is support, just not frequent & ongoing

b) It only matters at all if you're misguided enough to use Windows 8!

Guest said:

I'm a GNU/Linux user and AMD are doing something similar there - I.e. dropping support for HD 5xxx and older. Historically I was always an AMD supporter but no longer recommend AMD and I will not buy their products again. To get AMD to change their ways, the people that historically supported them - gamers and "power users" - need to vote with their wallets.

Guest said:

AMD dev does not seem to get the problem. The problem is NOT the driver support!

It's CCC and Overdrive. I need to downclock my GPU because the 4870x2 OC version artifacts on 790 engine clock. I need to downclock to 765, so it works properly.

Again, we need CCC support.

Guest said:

Already found an issue with my son's pc, the default Windows 8 driver and a HD4890... not mentioning overscan or any of the advanced features missing from Catalyst. With Mass Effect 3 it does not reconcile the video card or the driver correctly and the game even with compatibility mode setup will not start. Works fine in Vista and Windows 7, it's just strange that they would drop support on a good card so soon.

I am fine with my 5870 but starting to worry on how much life it has left, luckily not planing to upgrade my system or the wife's (both Win 7 pro). I was looking at Win 8 for three of my kids systems, as it is now they may stay with Vista a bit longer. I am not a big fan of the Metro interface but mostly the reason to stay away right now is for the issues I have encountered with the AMD "default" driver. One system has a HD4850, the system mentioned above with the HD4890, and the lucky child that has a HD5770.

Guest said:

I have a Radeon 4200 graphics card in my HP p6654y tower. I have tried at least 2 dozen different ways to download driver updates to load the 12.6 Catalyst driver. The only way to get the AMD Catalyst graphics card to function is to regress to the 12.1 driver. I PROMISE I will never buy another AMD/NVIDIA product ever again...PERIOD ! A company that does not support its customers does not deserve repeat business, it's just that simple.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I PROMISE I will never buy another AMD/NVIDIA product ever again.
Good luck with all your other choices. You just eliminated the top two graphics card providers available.

nVidia has nothing to do with AMD dropping support for HD 4000 and older cards. nVidia is still supporting GeForce 6 Series cards which launched April 2004. I'm confused as to your inclusion of nVidia on this topic.

Tweenk Tweenk said:

The 4000 series Radeons are substantially different from the 5000 series. Specifically, the 4000 is missing some compute features which are impossible to work around or emulate. For instance, unlike 5000, it cannot support OpenCL image buffers, has very low limits on workgroup size and does not have local memory. The driver would have to be significantly more complex to take this into account. AMD is working really hard on breaking into the lucrative compute market, so it's logical to focus only on the compute-capable cards.

Guest said:

If they will support 4xxx series then why the f.k they removed it from 12.6 and 12.7 releases? Do they alternate general driver package with the series support so one month I can install my system and newest drivers from their site and other can't? It's madness... Support is completely dropped.

Anyway HD4870+ still able to handle most modern games on high settings. And it's like they forcing people to buy new cards just for the fun/profit of it. Driver is near ideal already? As a software developer I can say that it's marketing BS. I can see how it's cool to advance OpenCL, but this aggressiveness I don't approve.

Guest said:

You *****. For HD4000 and under, there is no Catalyst Control Centre, so you cant adjust antialising, anisotropic filtering, vsync, clock speed, display settings .. etc and no opengl, so some applications just wont work. Yes, out of the box, WIndows 8 will work with these "legacy" cards, but the above mentioned functions will not. If Nvidia can support old hardware like the 6600GT properly on Windows 8 then wtf is up with AMD. Also, no way you can consider HD2000, 3000, 4000 as "legacy" hardware and if you do, because AMD says so, then you are an arsehole. They are too new. Something like the ATI8850 or ATI9800pro would be the proper hardware to categorise as legacy. So, what is the answer, if AMD drops proper support for "legacy" cards, then you should drop support for AMD cards. To avoid similar problems in the future and get a fully functional OS , graphically, BUY NVIDIA. AMD cards only look good on paper.... Once the sales start to "drop", the stupid fucks will get the message, that they cannot dictate to customers. I am angry because I have HD4xxx hardware that if I accepted the AMD philosophy, I should discard and buy a new AMD card. Well **** YOU AMD, my next card will DEFINITELY be an NVIDIA card.

Guest said:

Last guest, if you calm down from your ranting, you might notice that nearly everything in your post is factually flawed - I'm not trying to be comical here, but I genuinely suspect you didn't read it before you hit the Reply button!

(spotted it yet? :-) )

Guest said:

Last Guest, nothing in my post is flawed, except the bit where it reads "ATI8850", that should read "ATI8500". Everything else is accurate. I have tried various drivers from AMD (11.1,11.2,12.1,12.6) on Windows 8 all with the same result ie: No Catalyst Control Centre, and no OpenGL functionality. There was some third party registry patch to enable OpenGL, but the OpenGL performance is super flawed with black sync bands running from top to bottom of the screen and the fan can be heard going to max when running OpenGL apps. All you get is the "AMD Vision Control Centre" and thats it. So, no, almost all of my post was and still is accurate....

Guest said:

(n)AMD ... you are not going into the right direction

Qdezi Qdezi said:

AMD you suck, I own an 4650 mobility. And when hearing this news I was so disappointed. Practically, the shipped driver in Win8 RTM has lowered my graphic score in WEI down from 5.8 to 5.5. And playing games this time is more laggy than before. Wtf AMD? Look to NVIDIA and see what they're doing with your old customers, so u could see how suck are u?

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

^ temper your rage. Nvidia and XP didn't work well together for many years. Google nv4_disp.dll bsod and put some time limits on that search, I don't think it ever got fixed, I think people just gave up and got new nvidia cards, early XP and nvidia were a horrible mix.

Guest said:

I have a Radeon HD 4870 and I need overdrive for Window 8 (so that I don't have the amazing 65C idle temperature that can only be solved with a lot of fan noise). Where is it? Release it. One time is enough... It's a shame that AMD abandon their customers like that. Be sure that I won't forget this the next time I buy a video card...

Guest said:

I have a hd 4890 card and I am happy with it, maybe I would use win8 but I cant get fullscreen on my TV without ati catalyst ( scaling options ). AMD, thats not a good move.....

Kotamy Kotamy said:

Quarterly updates for older cards isn't too bad but I'm surprised the 4000 series didn't at least make the windows 8 cut.

Since the HD 5000 series was basically a die shrink of the 4000 with added DX11 support, I simply don't see a technical reason for this.

One might argue that HD 4000 cards support DX10 while HD 5000 support DX11. However, DX11 is supposed to be backwards compatible with DX10, right? And what could Windows 8 possibly demand that any Radeon HD 4000 series couldn't handle?

Smells like planned obsolescence to me.

Check out ..

[link]

Pedro Carloto said:

Great news!

I will install win 8 this afternoon and try this driver!

Thank you for hearing us ATI!

Guest said:

I solved the problem with overscan on my LCD monitor with a Radeon HD 3300 card running Windows 8. And without catalyst drivers.

A bit is based on this post: [link]

However change registry key "TVEnableOverscan" from 1 to 0.

Restart your computer and de overscan on LCD monitor is set to zero. So no more black bars...

Regards Koen

mod edit - removed blogspam

George_L.A. George_L.A. said:

I have HD4870, Win8, 5GB RAM and i7 processor. At he moment I don't have money to buy 6xx or 7xx series card. My video card works flawlessly with all the new games, I don't care about directx11. Where is the support from ATI regarding drivers for Win8? Is this an extortion for the costumers of ATI to buy another card?

I'll wait couple to see if ATI will update the drivers for Win8. If not, when I save money I'll go straight to NVIDIA. I hate the blackmails!!

Guest said:

I can understand things get old and dis-continued but I would have hoped that HD4000 (I have HD4830) would be supported in Windows 8. The driver provided here didn't let me do things that I was able to do on Windows 7, so I had to use the Windows provided driver and there is a huge difference. I guess a new card is in the thought, don't know if I will stick with AMD or move elsewhere...

Guest said:

I know how you feel.im shocked too.I had nvidia geforce 9600gt.it ran beautifly with win8.newest driver support too.then I bought vtx hd 4830.it says its installed,but is it???

Guest said:

Oh look, the S&P500 has dropped support for AMD. What goes around comes around, I suppose. While not a big deal that my HD 4870 isn't fully Windows 8 supported, I think my next card will be from NVDA, just to rub it in a little. Abandon Ship!

Guest said:

AMD fails to mention they will ad a nice little feature with the new catalyst drivers causing the 5000 series cards to artifact in order to trick 5000 users into buying new cards

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