Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) has had its work cut out for it in the GPU market as it finds itself in a perpetual underdog position against competitor Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA). While the chipmaker finds itself in a far better position in the CPU market where it regularly trades blows even as it contends with releasing the fastest desktop chips at the end of this month, it is considered to be a lost cause by many when it comes to driver support versus the vastly superior (and funded) Nvidia ecosystem.
AMD’s loyal and budget-oriented consumer base that had previously purchased the RX 6000 series GPU lineup that saw GPUs ranging from the budget RX 6400 to its now-replaced flagship the RX 6950XT being sidelined in order for the company and its limited driver development team to work on supporting the latest and greatest RX 7000 series GPUs. This has resulted in some people calling out AMD for perceivably ‘abandoning’ support for GPUs that are, in some cases, as much as just a year old since launch.
The update comes via AMD’s Chief Architect of Gaming Solutions & Marketing, Frank Azor’s Twitter profile:
This was followed by him assuring consumers and journalists alike that AMD “remains committed to its unified driver strategy” and they are striving to get back there in terms of having a singular driver for all currently supported GPU architectures by the California-based chipmaker. This however saw multiple people asking for updates that fixed the a video decoding bug that appears to plague Google Chrome users in particular as well as asking for specific optimizations for titles including, but not limited to flight simulator. Others requested formal updates via the AMD site versus Tweets so that they could be apprised in time regarding any updates to AMD’s timeline.
For others who have already decided to go their own route, as evidenced by replies to the original Tweet, there do appear to be other, viable options while AMD continues to prioritize its current-generation flagship GPU support. Modders have already seemingly taken apart AMD’s recent releases and rolled out their own custom ‘tweaked’ drivers that carry multiple optimizations to older GPU offerings by AMD. Users with older GPUs are already touting the latest Nimez releases as a better alternative to AMD’s own turtle-esque release schedule even as a title-heavy calendar has seen titles like Forspoken and the Dead Space remake show up without any particular optimizations shipped by AMD for last generation hardware that makes up the bulk of its consumer base to date.
AMD’s Adrenaline GPU drivers are a far call from Nvidia’s Geforce Experience and Game Ready Drivers (GRD) commitments that see the GPU juggernaut build up a seemingly unsurmountable lead in terms of compatibility and optimization even as it continues to gain ground due to its significantly stronger AI solutions play with the advent of ChatGPT as a global phenomenon. That being said, AMD drivers are noticeably better than the relative dumpster fire they used to be a few years ago and while it does not have the resources that Nvidia has dedicated to fine-tuning titles in recent years, Team Red has seemingly made its offerings significantly better over the years. Along with its arguments for the ‘fine wine’ aging phenomenon (essentially a somewhat-disputed argument that says AMD GPUs stand the test of time better than their Nvidia competitors) and significant 3rd party modder driver inroads, one can still argue that AMD GPUs are at multiple price points, simply better buys vs their Nvidia counterparts. One can however not say the same about AMD’s relative lack of confusion that would draw significant ire from consumers that purchased last year’s flagship GPUs only to feel shafted by what seems to be a calculated oversight as the company struggles to maintain drivers for older GPU during the launch of the 7000 series.