AMD HD5000 & 6000-series GPUs Relegated To Legacy Driver Support

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅26.11.2015 12:33:25

The AMD HD6950, reviewed way back in December 2010

AMD's Radeon Software Crimson Edition driver package was released earlier this week to much acclaim (and no little relief), but unfortunately that transition has meant the retirement of older graphics hardware from active support. The Radeon HD5000-series and 6000-series GPUs, long a mainstay of both performance and mainstream gaming offerings from AMD, will from now be entering legacy support status and as a result not be party to future driver updates.

Released between September 2009 and July 2011, the AMD HD 5000 and 6000-series of GPUs were built on the now defunct VLIW architecture and went toe-to-toe with cards based on NVIDIA's Fermi designs. Even though these GPUs were excellent performers for their day, and included some of the most popular GPU models of their era, VLIW-5 and -3 cards are unfortunately not fully DirectX 12 compatible. They're now effectively obsolete having long since been superseded by multiple generations of GCN-based GPUs, even though DirectX 12 is current a no-show in the Triple-A games arena.

Despite their obsolescence AMD have provided an 'as-is' Radeon Software Crimson Edition beta driver for use with the older cards, and as a result users can still take advantage of some of the benefits the updated software brings. This driver is compatible with Windows 7 through to Windows 10, and will stand you in good stead until a GPU upgrade becomes necessary. Older WHQL driver releases, including Catalyst 15.7.1, will also remain available for the foreseeable future. You can download the Legacy Driver here.

More information can be found on the posting explaining the transition.


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