AMD commits to better support for Ryzen Mobile graphics drivers in 2019, hands off responsibility to OEMs
Ryzen has been a major disruption in the CPU market, which was once handily dominated by Intel. Desktop Ryzen CPUs continue to offer an excellent price/performance ratio, often beating out Intel from a pure value standpoint. However, there’s still a thorn in AMD’s side: laptops and mobile processors.
Though there are a few Ryzen-based laptops on the market, they are few and far between. One of the main hurdles for Ryzen mobile’s adoption is AMD's notoriously slow driver updates, specifically graphics drivers. AMD responded to complaints in a Reddit thread earlier this week and is “committing to work with [their] OEMs to increase the release frequency of AMD Ryzen Mobile processor graphics drivers.”
The company blamed the slow driver rollouts on OEM design, saying that AMD graphics drivers are “typically tailored for specific OEM platforms.” As such, it takes a lot of time to push out a new graphics driver considering that each OEM is different. AMD said that releasing a generic APU driver wasn’t feasible because of this, as a general driver would “result in less-than-ideal user experiences.”
The solution? Better support from AMD and the OEMs themselves. AMD stated:
We are committing to work with our OEMs to increase the release frequency of AMD Ryzen Mobile processor graphics drivers. Starting in 2019, we will target enabling OEMs to deliver a twice-annual update of graphics drivers specifically for all AMD Ryzen Mobile processor-based systems. Because the release is ultimately up to the OEMs, this may vary from platform to platform, but we want to put out a clear goal for us and our OEM partners. Those updates should be available for download on the respective OEM websites.
The response to this statement on Reddit was largely negative. Many decried the statement as a placation rather than a solution and cried foul that AMD was trying to shift blame onto OEMs. Others called for AMD to release generic drivers anyway and let users install them at their own risk. Many pointed out that several users are already forcing manual driver updates outside of their laptop’s OEM with success; in many cases, users reported improved performance.
It’s not hard to see why so many people are upset at this news. Downloading a new driver for a CPU or GPU, regardless of the laptop manufacturer, straight from the component manufacturer is a common practice with AMD’s rivals, Intel and Nvidia. Considering the outcry, it wouldn’t be surprising to see AMD responding to this new round of criticism.
For their sake, we hope they do.