AMD is dropping support for 32-bit versions of Windows in upcoming updates to its graphics drivers. The GPU maker clarified its decision to Japanese website 4Gamer, which reports that the latest driver to include 32-bit support is version 18.9.3, released late last month. The company said:
AMD Radeon Software support for x32-bit Windows operating systems has been moved to a legacy support mode--we are not planning to support x32-bit Windows operating systems in future driver releases. This change enables AMD to dedicate valuable engineering resources to developing new features and enhancements for graphic s products based on the latest x64-bit Windows based operating systems. (...)
Users can continue to use existing x32-bit drivers if they so choose. However, for those who are passionate about gaming and want to continue receiving the best of Radeon Software features and performance, we recommend they consider upgrading to a x64-bit Windows operating system.
With this move, AMD joins its rival Nvidia, which announced the end of support for 32-bit versions of operating systems in April. The green team promises security updates for those affected through January of next year, but no new features are being added anymore.
This news shouldn't be terribly impactful for the majority of people, with 32-bit computers becoming increasingly rare. The latest Steam survey stats - released last month - indicate that these systems make up around 2% of its user base across Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10. Of course, not everyone uses Steam, but - as AMD notes - gamers are more likely to be the ones interested in the latest driver features, and the impact seems to be minimal on that front. At the same time, removing support for these systems should enable companies to dedicate more resources to 64-bit versions of Windows.