Has it really been eight years since NVIDIA debuted the Fermi architecture? Turns out the answer is yes and, in the company’s eyes, that’s more than long enough to prop up the rather creaky technology. As of April 2018 — which is now — NVIDIA is ending driver support for all Fermi-based hardware. Oh and 32-bit platforms, including all Linux flavours, are getting the boot too.
NVIDIA’s plans for Fermi’s demise can be found on its website, via a rather succinct support article:
Effective April 2018, Game Ready Driver upgrades, including performance enhancements, new features, and bug fixes, will be available only on Kepler, Maxwell, and Pascal series GPUs.
A full list of affected GPUs is available and includes hardware all the way up to the mobile GT 820M. If you’re wondering how an 800-series chip could possibly be outdated, NVIDIA was once in the habit of making tweaks to existing designs for laptops and rebranding them to make them seem new and shiny. This was particularly true for low and mid-end parts.
On the desktop front, the venerable GTX 560 Ti has finally kicked the bucket. Sure, it’s ancient by today’s standards, but the 560 Ti was once a bang-for-you-buck beast. Heck, I was still rocking one until late-2015.
As for the end of 32-bit, there’s a separate, slightly longer article covering that:
Drivers: Game Ready Driver upgrades, including performance enhancements, new features, and bug fixes, will be available only on 64-bit operating systems.
The only support Fermi and 32-bit operating systems will receive is in the form of “critical security updates”, however, this will also cease come January 2019.
If you’re still using a Fermi GPU, there’s no need to freak out. Chances are, your card still has some life left in it yet, especially if you’re not playing the latest and greatest games. That said, it might be time to keep an eye out for discounts and bargains on newer-generation GPUs.