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AMD’s new Ryzen chips won’t support Windows 7

AMD has confirmed that its next-generation Ryzen processors won’t officially support Windows 7. The company never promised full compatibility with Microsoft’s aging OS, but recent reports claimed that it would be shipping Windows 7 drivers.

Windows 7 might be well over 7 years old now, but it’s still an incredibly popular operating system. According to the latest figures from Net Applications, it accounts for 47.2 percent of the market as of January 2017, making it the biggest Microsoft platform.

In comparison, Windows 10 accounts for just 25.3 percent, while Windows XP is still clinging on to 9.17 percent.

None of that matters to AMD, which is focusing its efforts on the very latest Windows release for Ryzen. Although the company has tested and validated the chips with Windows 7 — so they should at least work on Windows 7 desktops — it won’t be providing official drivers.

“To achieve the highest confidence in the performance of our AMD Ryzen desktop processors, AMD validated them across two different OS generations, Windows 7 and 10,” AMD explained to PC World. “However, only support and drivers for Windows 10 will be provided in AMD Ryzen desktop processor production parts.”

It might be disappointing, but it makes a lot of sense. To get the most out of Ryzen, users will need the very latest technologies available — and they’re not found in Windows 7. It’s the same reason why Intel’s new Kaby Lake chips are also designed specifically with Windows 10 in mind.

So, gamers still using Windows 7 have two simple choices: They can either upgrade to Windows 10 and enjoy the latest chips from AMD and Intel — as well as Microsoft’s upcoming Game Mode. Or they can stick with Windows 7 and continue to use older processors.

The alternative is to upgrade their CPU anyway and hope that everything works, but if performance is poor and unstable, there will be no fixes.

Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...