AMD has said that it will not provide Ryzen drivers for Windows 7. The move makes sense as Microsoft pulled official support for Windows 7 last year, with the Redmond organization clearly stating that Kaby Lake and the upcoming Ryzen will work only on Windows 10. With Kaby Lake, 4K streaming for services like Netflix is limited to Windows 10 on Microsoft Edge, as that is the only browser that offers Microsoft’s PlayReady DRM.
For its part, AMD said that it has tested Ryzen parts on Windows 7, but it is likely the older OS won’t take full advantage of the newer instruction set available with AMD’s upcoming platform. That could in turn affect the performance on Windows 7. AMD confirmed the same in a statement to PCWorld:
To achieve the highest confidence in the performance of our AMD Ryzen desktop processors (formerly code-named ‘Summit Ridge’), AMD validated them across two different OS generations, Windows 7 and 10. However, only support and drivers for Windows 10 will be provided in AMD Ryzen desktop processor production parts.
Here’s Microsoft’s official reasoning for the stance:
As new silicon generations are introduced, they will require the latest Windows platform at that time for support. This enables us to focus on deep integration between Windows and the silicon, while maintaining maximum reliability and compatibility with previous generations of platform and silicon.
Although AMD has denied that it will offer Windows 7 drivers for Ryzen, it will likely provide them for other AM4 hardware, particularly APUs.