Close-up of an older AMD Radeon graphics card, with the cooling component taken off, fully exposing the underlying PCB.

AMD already ended support for Radeon 200, 300, and Fury GPUs

With AMD’s own FidelityFX Super Resolution launching today, many PC gamers headed over to the newly released Radeon Adrenalin 21.6.1 software. Some of which were met with a rather disappointing note: their AMD-branded cards don’t appear to be supported in this particular update. Is it an unlucky error? No, AMD’s own blog post confirmed that many GPUs running the Game Core Next architecture (GCN) will be disbanded from here on out.

While NVIDIA let consumers know they will be dropping support for older Windows systems months in advance, AMD basically told many gamers “our previous software update is actually your last one”. If you’re running an older Radeon R9 Fury, all the way back to the Radeon HD 7700 — Adrenalin 21.5.2 will be the final driver for your build. The same goes for many mobile variations of these GPUs, as well as AMD’s A-Series, FX-Series, and E-Series processing units with integrated Radeon-based graphics.

AMD A-Series APUs with Radeon R4, R5, R6, or R7 GraphicsAMD A-Series PRO processors with Radeon Graphics
AMD Pro A-Series APUs with Radeon R5 or R7 GraphicsAMD FX-Series APUs with Radeon R7 Graphics
AMD Athlon™ Series APUs with Radeon R3 GraphicsAMD E-Series APUs with Radeon R2 Graphics
AMD Sempron™ Series APUs with Radeon R3 GraphicsAMD Radeon R7 M400 Series Graphics
AMD Radeon R9 Fury Series, R9 Nano Series GraphicsAMD Radeon R9 M300 Series Graphics
AMD Radeon R9 300 Series GraphicsAMD Radeon R7 M300 Series Graphics
AMD Radeon R9 200 Series GraphicsAMD Radeon R5 M300 Series Graphics
AMD Radeon R7 300 Series GraphicsAMD Radeon R9 M200 Series Graphics
AMD Radeon R7 200 Series GraphicsAMD Radeon R7 M200 Series Graphics
AMD Radeon R5 300 Series GraphicsAMD Radeon R5 M200 Series Graphics
AMD Radeon R5 200 Series GraphicsAMD Radeon HD 8500M – HD 8900M Series Graphics
AMD Radeon HD 8500 – HD 8900 Series GraphicsAMD Radeon HD 7700M – HD 7900M Series Graphics
AMD Radeon HD 7700 – HD 7900 Series Graphics 

Why is AMD doing this? In their own words, to free up engineering resources. By leaving the older GCN architecture behind, the company thinks it can bring better features and enhancements to its RDNA and RDNA2 successions. Everything GCN is now part of AMD’s left-behind legacy. That’s just the circle of life, at least when it comes to technology.

It’s quite a harsh ending to something that was long beloved by many PC gamers. On the other hand, AMD is all about supporting their later technologies and product ranges. The newly released FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) not only works with AMD’s latest GPUs, it’s also available to many Ryzen processors with Radeon graphics, and should eventually make a way to smartphone SoCs and even gaming consoles.

For gamers on GCN architectures, this is without a doubt a bummer. But it could eventually lead to better results in FSR upscaling, as well as other exciting features for AMD products. If that steers you towards a big gaming PC upgrade, the timing feels right. As of late, we’ve seen GPU prices drop quite a bit. Low stocks and high demand still make MSRP-grade listing nearly impossible, but we’re definitely coming down from some increasingly worrying price surges. This might be the time to look around for your next GPU upgrade.

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