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AMD's GPU/APU drivers are not as unified as we thought

Are APU users second class citizens?

AMD's GPU/APU drivers are not as unified as we thought

AMD's GPU/APU drivers are not as unified as we thought

With the release of AMD's Radeon Software Q2 2018 and later their 18.5.1 WHQL driver, the company merged their APU drivers with their dedicated graphics drivers, effectively unifying both driver stacks.

At the time this seemed like great news, bringing AMD's Radeon APUs to a stage where they are on-par with AMD's dedicated graphics card offerings, up-to-date with new bug fixes, day-0 game optimizations, and new features, though sadly this was not the case for long.  

When looking through the release notes of AMD's Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.6.1 driver, we found that AMD did not list these drivers with support for Ryzen 3 2200G and Ryzen 5 2400G APUs, leaving them without the bug fixes contained within the driver or the "up to 10%" boost in Warhammer: Vermintide II performance. After an attempted install on our AMD Ryzen APU test system, we confirmed that AMD's latest drivers do not support Ryzen+Vega APUs, a disappointing discovery. 

On the Overclockers UK Forums, an AMD Representative called AMDMatt stated that "APU drivers are updated every three months as WHQL releases only", a message that we feel was not conveyed clearly with the release of AMD's Radeon Software Adrenalin Q2 2018 and 18.5.1 WHQL drivers. Now it seems that AMD APU users may receive driver updates as little as four times a year. 

AMD's GPU/APU drivers are not as unified as we thought

(Image from @AMDRyzen)  


Are AMD APU users second-class citizens when it comes to driver releases? Perhaps, it is undeniable that the addition of APUs to AMD's Radeon Software driver stack has added a lot of extra validation work to proceedings, especially given its relationship with its attached Ryzen processor. It is possible that this "for WHQL releases only" release schedule is a matter of resource management, especially given the Ryzen-G series' position in the market. 

While AMD Ryzen 3 2200G and Ryzen 5 2400G can offer a lot of gaming performance when compared to their competition, it remains a product that is mostly for mid-range notebook and desktop users, not hardware gamers. Given Radeon's limited resourced we can see why AMD doesn't want to spend so much extra time and money on validation, especially if it would result in delayed driver releases. Nonetheless, we are disappointed with AMD's lack of regular APU driver releases, as at this rate we will need to wait until August for new drivers. 

You can join the discussion on AMD's CPU/APU drivers being a lot less unified than we thought on the OC3D Forums

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