Yesterday, tucked in behind the news of the release of its new Radeon Software Crimson Edition driver software, AMD announced that it was ending driver support for non-GCN graphics cards and APUs. Such GPUs would now become 'legacy' devices, having "reached peak performance optimization as of November 24th, 2015".
Just in case you have an old non-GCN architecture AMD graphics chip in one of your systems, AMD spelled out exactly what products became legacy yesterday. The affected GPUs (discrete GPUs and those in AMD's APUs) are:
AMD Radeon HD 8000 Series (HD 8400 and below), Radeon HD 7000 Series (HD 7600 and below), Radeon HD 6000 Series, and Radeon HD 5000 Series Graphics products.
Cutting support for its non-GCN product roster will allow AMD to devote its software engineering team's time and expertise to enhance and bring new features to drivers for current GCN graphics cards. AMD suggests users of old graphics chips upgrade to a modern GPU now to get gain from "exciting new features, improved performance, lower power consumption and broader compatibility with the latest PC games".
AMD has offered an olive branch of sorts to users of older AMD GPUs by providing a final 'As Is' Beta release of the AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition. This parting gift brings many of the enhancements and efficiency of the new software to legacy graphics product users. If such users would prefer to use a WHQL certified driver AMD will keep Catalyst 15.7.1 available for download, which is compatible with Windows 7, 8 and 10. Those running older Microsoft OSes such as Vista can choose the AMD Catalyst 13.12 driver.