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Windows AMD Graphics Operating Systems Upgrades

AMD/ATI Drops Windows XP Support 251

Posted by timothy
from the sky-is-falling-just-very-slowly dept.
Billly Gates writes "The latest beta drivers for the Catalyst drivers control suite only list Vista as the lowest version they will support. We still have almost a year before Windows XP support finally ends. Will NVidia follow? So if you own a AMD system you will not receive audio, chipset, video, or any other drivers for your XP system and must upgrade or use an outdated legacy version. Looks like another death knell for this very long lasting platform."
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AMD/ATI Drops Windows XP Support

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  • Meh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pushing-robot (1037830) on Saturday June 29, 2013 @06:46PM (#44144543)

    If you're buying the latest and greatest gaming cards, you're probably going to want DirectX 10 or 11, good multicore support, and an OS that can handle more than 3-ish GB of RAM.

    • Re:Meh. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by causality (777677) on Saturday June 29, 2013 @07:20PM (#44144707)

      If you're buying the latest and greatest gaming cards, you're probably going to want DirectX 10 or 11, good multicore support, and an OS that can handle more than 3-ish GB of RAM.

      This is a complete slow-news-day non-story. It's just a more specific way of saying "nothing lasts forever".

      The headline should have been "Nothing Lasts Forever and XP Won't Be the First Exception" or maybe "For-Profit Corporation Doesn't Want to Support Dying Platform". Not exactly surprising, informative, or newsworthy.

      • Also, there's an important point here which isn't being addressed in the summary.
        Vista and later (all NT 6.x versions) use a new "WDDM" driver model for video drivers. Although there are various characteristics of WDDM, the really defining one is that only a tiny shim that basically wraps the direct hardware access lives in kernel mode. Everything else - the actual program logic of the video driver - lives in user mode. This is fantastic for a number of reasons:
        1) All the crash-prone code is now user-mode. When a XP video driver crashes, it causes a bluescreen. When a Win7 video driver crashes, it causes a blank screen for about a second while the user-mode driver restarts.
        2) Updating and rolling back video drivers no longer requires a reboot; in fact, it only takes a couple seconds. It's actually practical, if you really want to, to switch video drivers between games (for example, if the latest and "greatest" doesn't work with one of your older games, but you want to use it for everything else).
        3) Developing and debugging user-mode code is a lot easier than doing the same for kernel-mode code. This change lets developers spend a greater portion of their time improving the driver logic, rather than making the driver work with the various configurations of the NT kernel.

        My guess is that AMD decided the benefits of item #3 were worth more than continuing to release drivers for 12-year-old OS. By no longer maintaining the pre-WDDM version, they can focus their resources on supporting modern platforms that are also easier to develop for.

  • not entirely.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gl4ss (559668) on Saturday June 29, 2013 @06:49PM (#44144551) Homepage Journal

    ..just because the system is an amd system doesn't get any new/bugfixed drivers, the summary makes it sound like you can't get new network controller drivers for your intel nic if you are running it an amd system..("or any other drivers").

    I'm more surprised that they were still producing new drivers for xp, actually, than them dropping the support. it's not like they, or nvidia, are known to bringing on package mentioned features to older cards by driver updates even.

    as always, you're only certain to get what you get when you buy the thing.. trusting them to bring newer features to older cards newer worked out.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Oh no, my old laptop will no longer be able to play the latest games! Oh wait, it never could handle anything past Sim City 3000 anyway...

  • Non-story (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Phroggy (441) <slashdot3 AT phroggy DOT com> on Saturday June 29, 2013 @06:51PM (#44144559) Homepage

    So if you own a AMD system you will not receive audio, chipset, video, or any other drivers for your XP system and must upgrade or use an outdated legacy version.

    Ummm, yeah. Microsoft is going to stop releasing security patches for the OS. If you're still running XP, using older video drivers should be the least of your concerns.

    • Ummm, yeah. Microsoft is going to stop releasing security patches for the OS. If you're still running XP, using older video drivers should be the least of your concerns.

      http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/endofsupport.aspx [microsoft.com] except that is not happening for another year. The initial date (although I suspect it will be pushed back) April 8 2014.

      Its also the date of the end of support for Office 2003. Most of the i915 and above machines (with 1GB of Memory) should simply be moved to Ubuntu and Libreoffice.

      But the reality is as the summery states AMD are jumping the gun on this.

      • by rabbit994 (686936)

        It's not going to be pushed back. It's already been pushed back once as it should have ended in 2011 (10 years after release date) and it's less then 12 months till April 2014 so yes, less then year.

        XP is finished and Microsoft is determined to take it out back and shoot it. At this point, I can't really blame them. Which happened first, 9/11 or XP GA date? XP GA. Mainstream Linux Kernel was 2.2 branch. If you tried to get support for an application on Linux 2.2 these days, everyone would laugh you out of s

        • by JDG1980 (2438906)

          It's not going to be pushed back. It's already been pushed back once as it should have ended in 2011 (10 years after release date) and it's less then 12 months till April 2014 so yes, less then year.

          I think it will be pushed back again. Microsoft doesn't want to, but a *lot* of large corporations (and, perhaps more importantly, governments) are still on XP and are going to shit a brick if support is ever dropped. Many of these organizations are still mired in IE6, due to applications that were written for

    • by dutchwhizzman (817898) on Saturday June 29, 2013 @07:18PM (#44144695)

      It won't really be a problem if you're not running into security problems. However, if someone finds a way to use the video driver to get SYSTEM or Administrator access to your computer, you'd really want the vendor of said video driver to come with an update. Since MicroSoft is still supporting the OS in terms of security updates, you'd expect the video driver vendor to do the same.

      Mind you, just because there's no XP support in the latest beta driver doesn't mean AMD won't fix security flaws if those would arise. It's pure speculation to suggest that something like that might or might not happen. I have a gut feeling that the people at AMD would be smart enough to at least just fix the bug and do a minor version bump if something like that would happen in the period that MicroSoft still supports XP.

      • by Rockoon (1252108) on Saturday June 29, 2013 @07:50PM (#44144823)
        This is XP that we are talking about, where people nearly universally run it as administrator.

        Using a display driver exploit on XP is like using C4 explosive to open a screen door.
        • That may be true for home users but in many office and education situations it's common to see locked down accounts on XP

        • by gman003 (1693318)

          Shouldn't that be a screen window?

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        I seriously doubt that many people are running WebGL on xp. seriously. other than that, if you're running code that gets to talk to the gpu in feasibly exploitable way, there's no need for the process to exploit bugs in the gpu drivers anyways.

  • by RR (64484) on Saturday June 29, 2013 @06:56PM (#44144581)

    Total non-issue. If you're still using Windows XP, then you're also stuck on DirectX 9 and all the other outdated technologies. New code means new risks, which you're avoiding by sticking to Windows XP, anyway. Also, the submission is wrong; this affects only the Catalyst drivers, which handle video and HDMI audio.

    Then I noticed that this is a timothy story. Sometimes I think he posts the most inane story submissions just to get the Slashdot readers all riled up and posting comments, thus generating hits and ad revenues.

  • by Bearhouse (1034238) on Saturday June 29, 2013 @07:00PM (#44144613)

    If you have an XP system, you either:
    1. Have an old hack that you are never going to update, since it just works, or
    2. Are a corp user with (hopefully) a decent tech team which will ensure you don't buy & support hardware where this will be an issue...

    Or (obscure security-related issues aside) am I missing something?

    • http://gs.statcounter.com/#os-ww-monthly-201205-201305 [statcounter.com] you will be one in five users who have not updated from XP

      People aren't updating because computers are expensive, Intel and Microsoft take all the profits and walk away with a gross profit margin of over 70%...and new versions of the Microsoft Windows software, are poor tablet interfaces.

      • by Mashiki (184564)

        Computers are expensive? Really? When I'll bet those same people are willing to drop $500-600+tax for a console. They don't want to spend the $400-600 to build themselves a new computer. Yep, genius level thinking there.

    • by xiando (770382)
      You're missing this: If you have an old Windows XP system and a old graphics card and your harddrive breaks but you want to keep using it and your friend gives you a new harddrive then you'll need graphics drivers.. but they are gone from AMDs website and now you're screwed. You have to use the not-exactly-perfect free drivers for old cards in Linux since support is removed from AMDs proprietary driver and it's hard/impossible to get old versions of it.
      • Find old versions right here: http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/windows/previous/Pages/radeonaiw_xp.aspx [amd.com]

        I went to AMD's driver site, which I found with the google search, "amd catalyst download". I clicked on "Windows XP (32 bit)". Then I clicked on "Previous Drivers and Software."

        • by Hsien-Ko (1090623)
          Even today you could still get drivers for their Rage line of cards.

          And if it's about older hardware i.e. a retro XP system for playing troublesome games like Republic Commando, then this news holds no relevance.

          Also Windows 7 can run a LOT of the stuff XP can just fine. DOS games play nicely in DOSBox (and XP's ntvdm sucks for DOS even with that VDMSound hack anyway). What DOESN'T play nicely is anything needing a fullscreen 8bpp video mode, which can be partially resolved by wrappers for DirectX, but t
        • by cbhacking (979169)

          Already commented here, but please, mod parent up. The drivers aren't gone, they just aren't going to be updated anymore.

          Vista and later will download video drivers (not latest-and-greatest, but well-tested versions) from Windows Update; I've forgotten whether XP does that as well or not. I don't use MacOS 9, and I don't use XP.

    • by Coppit (2441)

      3) ... or you're Chinese.

  • by chromaexcursion (2047080) on Saturday June 29, 2013 @07:06PM (#44144645)
    XP systems are older systems. You haven't been able to buy XP for years.
    How many people have XP systems and are buying new graphics cards?
    If it still works, who cares.

    If you've hit something where the graphics drivers are obsolete, there's probably a lot more wrong.

    keeping up with advances and supporting older systems is EXPENSIVE. AMD made a cost decision, it's not worth it.
  • I've recently bought an AMD card, and it had rendering errors in XP, although it was with a 2004 game.
    Upgrading to 7 fixed the issue.

    So support for newer cards on XP was already rather poor.

    • by Dputiger (561114)

      This is a known issue with both NV and AMD cards. Old games aren't tested to ensure compatibility with new drivers. It's not surprising that a nine year old game had trouble on a modern card in an ancient operating system. If you name the title, I might be able to dig up some advice on it.

      • by Milharis (2523940)

        It was Rome Total War.
        Upgrading to 7 was both needed and an improvement, so nothing of value was lost.

  • Had that problem when everything went 64 bit OS. I had an Epson scanner, and they made no 64 bit drivers for any older device. Suddenly every old device became useless. It's not like a new scanner is that much better than an old one. Just make a basic driver so you can at least get hardware to function.
    • by gl4ss (559668)

      that's a backwards problem from this.
      you're asking for them to provide drivers for old ati cards for windows 8...

      oh and there is a basic mode, you just wont get accelaration of any kind.

    • by rubycodez (864176)

      the SANE-epson driver supports many epson scanners under Linux

  • Keyword: Beta Driver (Score:5, Informative)

    by rsmith-mac (639075) on Saturday June 29, 2013 @07:45PM (#44144807)

    The submitter is reading too much into this. The drivers linked are beta drivers - this is not the first time AMD hasn't published an XP version of a beta driver, due to the relatively low number of XP users on 5000/6000/7000 series video cards (all of which are post-Win7). XP is supported by the current WHQL certified driver (13.4) and I expect the next certified driver will support XP, too. If and when AMD does drop XP support they'll announce it a couple of versions ahead of time, just as they did for Win9x and Win2K.

  • There are a few reasons more likely than the simply no longer supporting XP at all:

    * Perhaps this release changes nothing that is relevant to XP. Perhaps all the changes are in codepaths only touched under DX10 or later which is irrelevant to XP.

    * Perhaps the early testing was done on limited systems. OK so it is odd for a platform to be ignored in beta tests, but I perhaps if the expected impact on XP is low or zero (see above) they didn't publically release the alpha for XP and someone forgot to upd
    • Another important thing to remember is that the display driver model was overhauled between XP and Vista. So afaict while they are packaged up in the same installer the XP driver and the Vista+ driver are really two different drivers. While i'm sure there will be some shared code I suspect that a heck of a lot of the code is specific to either the "XPDM" driver or the "WDDM" driver.

  • Stop this shit Windows XP news. It's 2013. Why is this relevant news for nerds? I mean come on editors! Is this submission better than so many other worthy submissions? How many of us care about this crap? Stop assuming that most of us are some XP support drones looking for jobs on Dice.com. Many of us are scientists, engineers etc in various fields.
    • by epyT-R (613989) on Saturday June 29, 2013 @09:11PM (#44145065)

      ..and at least one of us is a myopic projectionist who is unable to see past his own shit.

    • by rubycodez (864176)

      I use windows XP for doing taxes and running vmware vcenter client for admin of machines remotely.

      plenty of tooling, scientific and engineering machines use XP for controller.

    • I live in Argentina, and the AFIP (our version of the IRS) has lots of web systems that only run on IE6. YES, IE6 is they only browser they officially support.
      Hence, anyone that's self-empoyed and need to constaltly be doing taxes has an XP VM somewhere around.
      This includes any freelance developer, quite a nerd, IMO.

      And I'm pretty sure plenty of other non-firstworld countries have similar issues.

  • Seems arbitrary to me. It shouldn't be difficult to maintain the extra package as the code is largely the same anyway. The only thing that changes from 2k/xp to vista/7/8 is the kernel module itself, a tiny part of the whole driver.

    Lots of people still use XP, supported or not, and it's stupid to not support the platform even past the OEM's due date. AMD's customer isn't microsoft, it's the people using hardware with their gpus.

  • I've had so many issues with newer Radeon drivers screwing up my system, I stopped updating once I hit Catalyst 12.02. Hardware acceleration under XP-32 is totally broken, IMO.

    Last year I bought my first nVidia card in 6 years, and I'm astounded at how many of my old games now work properly. If AMD isn't going to bother making XP drivers that work, they may as well stop updating them.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Last year I bought my first nVidia card in 6 years, and I'm astounded at how many of my old games now work properly.

      It's quotes like this that make me wonder why anyone is dumb enough to buy ATI. Is it worth it to save twenty bucks?

  • On Linux I just update to the new and shiny new Fedora, Ubuntu or Debian. Zero costs and I get new software versions with added features or fixed bugs. So I don't really understand why it is to update from Windows XP to Windows 7 is such an issue.

  • Honestly, users who are still using windows XP [quite clearly] don't care about getting software updates, why would they care?

    Even thought this sounds like flaimbait/troll, I'm being pretty much sincere. Someone who's using an unsupported, 12 year-old OS doesn't seem to be the type of person constantly updating their driver anyway.

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