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AMD commits to better support for Ryzen Mobile graphics drivers in 2019, hands off responsibility to OEMs

Image via AMD
Image via AMD
AMD posted a response to a common complaint from Ryzen-based laptop users on Reddit earlier this week, stating that the company would better support graphics drivers for Ryzen laptops starting in 2019. However, AMD plans to work with laptop OEMs and depend on them to release device-specific graphics drivers twice a year. The response garnered further criticisms of what many see as a lazy blame-shifting solution.

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.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 11 > AMD commits to better support for Ryzen Mobile graphics drivers in 2019, hands off responsibility to OEMs
Sam Medley, 2018-11-25 (Update: 2018-11-25)
Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Review Editor - @samuel_medley
I've been a "tech-head" my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a Systems Analyst for my local school district. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news articles and notebook reviews. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not hunched over an electronic device or writing code for a new database, I'm either outside with my family, playing a decade-old video game, or sitting behind a drum set.