AMD Abruptly Ends Support for GCN 1-3 GPUs as Radeon 21.6.1 Driver Released

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅23.06.2021 00:16:09

The Radeon HD7970 has been put out to pasture, but it and some of its family will still render a few frames yet.

AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolution (FXR) is now available to all alongside the Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 21.6.1 driver, offering an advanced upscaling algorithm that claws back gaming performance by rendering at lower than native resolution. This news, alongside the seven titles incorporating the technology at launch, is rightly receiving the lion's share of the headlines today; however an overlooked aspect of this driver update is the sun-setting of support for older GCN 1-3 graphics cards and APUs with immediate effect.

GCN 1.0 debuted as the architecture at the heart of AMD's Radeon HD 7000-series in 2012, taking the single-GPU performance crown through the HD 7970. GCN 2 saw wide-spread release with the R9 200-series, and is perhaps most notable for being the GPU generation with initial widespread support for AMD FreeSync. GCN 3.0 meanwhile initially appeared as part of the R9 285/285X family, but more famously formed the backbone of the somewhat ill-fated R9 Fury and R9 Nano series.

These GCN generations were also widely used in AMD APUs and Mobile Graphics Processors over the past 10 years, many of which aren't immediately identifiable. Thankfully AMD have supplied a handy cheat-sheet of the hardware that is becoming obsolete:

Just as with NVIDIA's similar announcements in recent weeks, sun-setting support when GPU prices are outrageously inflated will sting for users gently nursing ageing silicon until cards become more affordable. And just like NVIDIA, AMD are also moving Windows 7 64-bit to a legacy support scheme. Unlike NVIDIA however, AMD appear to have provided no advanced warning.

Those with legacy hardware will forever have RSAE 21.5.2 as their last supporting driver. They will not gain official support for new AMD features including FidelityFX Super Resolution, nor the games scheduled for the second half of 2021.

As for the new drivers themselves, Radeon Software Adrenalin 21.6.1 also brings with it support for the Radeon 6800M mobile GPU and Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance while also cleaning up a handful of issues. The list of known issues is still relatively long and wide-ranging, encompassing problems identified to game-, hardware- or Radeon software-specific.

Download the new drivers for systems running Windows 10 at, or by selecting your hardware and OS at Learn more about FidelityFX Super Resolution here.

Release Notes

Radeon Software Adrenalin 21.6.1 Highlights

Support For

- AMD Radeon™ RX 6800M Graphics
- Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance™
- AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) support for select titles.

Fixed Issues

- Radeon FreeSync™ may intermittently become locked while on desktop after performing task switching between extended and primary displays upon closing a game, causing poor performance or stuttering.
- Anno 1800™ may crash upon launching this game when running DirectX®12.
- AMD cleanup utility may clean up chipset/RAID installer related folders/registries from the system.
- Some Radeon Graphics products may experience lower than expected performance in Destiny 2™ when compared to previous Radeon Software versions.
- Upon joining the AMD User Experience Program, the AMD User Experience Program Master service may have higher than expected CPU utilization.
- Enabling Ray Tracing while running Ring of Elysium™ on DirectX®12 may cause this game to crash.

Known Issues

- Resident Evil Village™ may experience an intermittent application hang or TDR on AMD Radeon VII graphics products in the first mission of the game.
- Enhanced Sync may cause a black screen to occur when enabled on some games and system configurations. Any users who may be experiencing issues with Enhanced Sync enabled should disable it as a temporary workaround.
- Connecting two displays with large differences in resolution/refresh rates may cause flickering on Radeon RX Vega series graphics products.
- An Oculus service error may be received on Radeon RX 5000 & 6000 series graphics products which prevents the Oculus Link setup software from running.
- Radeon performance metrics and logging features may intermittently report extremely high and incorrect memory clock values.
- If Ryzen Master is not detected in Adrenalin software after installation, a system restart may be required.
- If Blue or Black screen is observed in mobile systems, temporarily disable Enhanced sign-in
- A driver mismatch error may appear when two versions of Radeon software (Windows Store & AMD Support versions) are installed on your system. As a temporary workaround, launch the Windows Store version of Radeon software.
- AMD is investigating an issue that may cause a small impact to battery life on AMD Ryzen 5000 notebooks.
- A Blue or Black screen may be observed after updating to the latest Radeon Software. A workaround is to disable core isolation.
- AMD is investigating a D3 error code that may be seen in some motherboard after updating to the latest Radeon Software.
- Lower than expected performance may be observed on select AMD Athlon™ mobile systems.

AMD Link for Windows Known Issues

- Intermittent grey frame corruption might be observed when streaming with HEVC on certain configurations via an Internet connection. A workaround is to use the AVC encoding setting instead.

Package Contents

The Radeon Software Adrenalin 21.6.1 installation package contains the following:

- Radeon Software Adrenalin 21.6.1 Driver Version for Windows 10 (Windows Driver Store Version 27.20.22001.14011).

Important Notes

- Support for Windows® 7 based operating systems and some older generations of AMD Radeon™ Graphics products have been moved to a legacy support model. Learn more from AMD here.
- Improvements have been made to the Radeon Software installation experience to address scenarios where a legacy AMD Radeon™ Graphics product is paired with a non-legacy AMD Radeon™ Graphics product in a single system configuration.

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