AMD has launched a new Adrenalin Edition version 22.6.1 driver for Windows 7 that fixes a problem where users couldn’t install driver software for powerful modern RDNA 2 GPU-based products “such as the Radeon RX 6900 XT.” Unlike contemporary AMD drivers, this legacy release also supports Radeon GPUs going back to the HD 6000 series (2010).
First of all, many readers might be wondering why AMD is releasing a Windows 7 driver in mid-2022. Windows 7 mainstream support ended back in January 2020, but there are still a significant number of users of this legacy OS, and some are still receiving Extended Security Updates (ESU) via a paid service from Microsoft. Some of these folk might be sticklers for the old OS, but want to make use of AMD’s latest and greatest GPUs. Windows 7 ESU updates won’t last forever though; Microsoft will cease this extended service in January 2023.
As we don’t run any Windows 7 systems anymore, we don’t know which modern graphics cards were facing the failure to install driver issues AMD mentions in its release notes. In the notes AMD says that a particular fix in the new driver addresses an issue where “AMD Radeon Software may fail to install on some AMD Graphics Products such as the Radeon RX 6900 XT.” This makes one wonder about issues with the likes of the RX 6950 XT, for example.
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Later in the release notes it is revealed that AMD has prepared a dedicated version of this new Windows 7 driver for exclusive use by owners of the Radeon RX 6400 and Radeon RX 6500 XT (both feature Navi 24 GPUs).
Users of Windows 7 might be appreciative of AMD’s extended support efforts, but the red team acknowledges some irritating known issues open. For example, enhanced sync still causes some games to black-screen, and there may be intermittent Radeon performance metrics misreporting.
Current Windows 10 and Windows 11 Radeon drivers don’t have support extending back beyond the Polaris GPUs – so the Radeon RX 400 series (2016) are the oldest supported products. The latest Radeon Software: Adrenalin Edition release for Win 10/11 is version 22.5.2. However, if you have Windows 10 64-bit and want extended legacy hardware support (going back to the Radeon HD 7000 series, from 2012), there is an AMD Software: Adrenalin Edition version 22.6.1 version available for you too, if you search AMD’s driver site.