“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,” said AMD in a statement. “However, only support and drivers for Windows 10 will be provided in AMD Ryzen desktop processor production parts.”
In other words, Ryzen processors should have no trouble booting into legacy operating systems like Windows 8.1, Windows 8 and Window 7; but don’t expect to reap all of the performance and efficiency benefits of the brand-new architecture. AMD’s clarification on the issue puts it in line with Intel’s position on Kaby Lake support and Microsoft’s own comments on Windows 10 support for next generation CPU architecture.
“Future silicon platforms including Intel’s upcoming 7th Gen Intel Core (Kaby Lake) processor family and AMD’s 7th generation processors (e.g. Bristol Ridge) will only be supported on Windows 10, and all future silicon releases will require the latest release of Windows 10,” stated Microsoft in August 2016.
Although this news is likely disheartening for those that have stuck by Windows 7 since its first release in 2009, perhaps now is the time let go. Microsoft ended mainstream support for Windows 7 in 2015, and extended support will go away in 2010. In addition, running Windows 7 with a Ryzen processor may leave you open to bugs that in all likelihood won’t be patched, and that’s not even getting into the inevitable performance liabilities with unsupported hardware.
Bottom line: If you’re thinking about upgrading to Ryzen or Kaby Lake and want the best combination of support, performance, security and game compatibility, it looks as though you’re stuck with Windows 10.