After a year long wait, Kaby Lake-G finally gets a driver update... from AMD
Remember Intel Kaby Lake-G? The Intel-AMD partnership that popped quite a few eyeballs a few years ago? Intel had written Kaby Lake-G's obituary in August 2019 possibly to focus more on its own Xe graphics architecture. Drivers for Kaby Lake-G were serviced directly by Intel although the chip featured an AMD GPU.
Despite assuring that driver support will be continued for up to three more years, the platform hasn't received a single driver update since February 2019. However, owners of devices powered by Kaby Lake-G processors may heave a sigh of relief as AMD's Adrenalin drivers are now be used directly for these devices.
In February 2020, Intel updated the support page for the Hades Canyon NUC, which is powered by the Kaby Lake-G Core i7-8809G. Interestingly, the support page does not offer any driver packages but rather lists a PDF document that provides instructions to download AMD's Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020. Though late, this is a welcome move as it now enables Kaby Lake-G owners to have day 0 game support and other critical bug fixes on the same timeframe as regular AMD GPU owners.
For reasons best known to Intel and OEMs, Kaby Lake-G found place only in select laptops such as the Dell XPS 15 9575, Acer Aspire 7, HP Spectre x360, and a few Chinese devices from Chuwi and Emdoor. With the combined power of a Core i7-7820HK and a GTX 1060 Max-Q on a single package, Kaby Lake-G wasn't really a slouch in terms of processing power back then, but Intel didn't really invest in developing the platform further.
While it is normal for vendors to discontinue products based on market trends, not having enabled driver support directly from AMD all this while is surely sets a bad precedent for prospective early adopters.
After about a year of no Radeon driver updates, Intel did owners of the Hades Canyon NUC a big favor and allowed the use of mainline driver packages direct from AMD, just like any other Radeon. I still use mine a lot, so I'm super stoked to have the latest Adrenalin release now!— Jeff Kampman (@jkampman) March 28, 2020