NVIDIA Ends Driver Support For Fermi-Based GPUs And 32-Bit Platforms, Effective Immediately

A Kepler-based GTX 680, the successor to the Fermi architecture. Image: NVIDIA

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 If you're wondering how an 800-series chip could possibly be outdated, NVIDIA was once in the habit of making tweaks to existing designs for laptops and rebranding them to make them seem new and shiny.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.

Support Plan for Fermi series GeForce GPUs [NVIDIA, via Anandtech]


Comments

    In a perfect world, they'd now open up the technical details of these cards so that open source drivers can continue to be made and support them.

    But no, this is NVidia, where arbitrarily cutting off support for old cards to force upgrades is part of their business model.

    Yet another argument in favour of making it mandatory for companies to open-source software (and hardware, in this case) once they no longer support it.

      To be fair, 8 year old hardware is going to have a pretty high failure rate, assuming it's even still in use rather than being thrown away in favour of newer kit. So the amount of devices still requiring support has got to be tiny by now.

      I suspect that the hardware contains enough similarity to current ones that they don't want to release the specs. But yeah, it does seem like an oversight that they don't allow the OS people to do their thing.

      Why I agree that they could be more open with there code, I think saying that the only reason they're not supporting them is to force upgrades. We are talking about cards that are, by tech standards, well WELL out of date as it is. And they can keep supporting old stuff forever. Think about how the games market would be if the PS1 and N64 were still the current gen. PC games would be held back quite a bit. In the same way, they can not keep getting better if their drivers are still hanging on to outdated data. Hell, they don't even sell those cards anymore.

      But no, this is NVidia, where arbitrarily cutting off support for old cards to force upgrades is part of their business model.

      Riiiight... Because no other company in existence totally does not do this.

      "How dare ford no longer support my model T! They are forcing me to buy a new car!"

      Yet another argument in favour of making it mandatory for companies to open-source software (and hardware, in this case) once they no longer support it.

      Why? Nvidia has spent millions developing that hardware and software. They own the intellectual rights to it and it is not abandoned. Your idea is idiotic for old graphics cards.

        Riiiight... Because no other company in existence totally does not do this. "How dare ford no longer support my model T! They are forcing me to buy a new car!"
        Ford might not want to help you with your Model T any more, but they still make the service manual available to allow third parties to support the old car:

        https://www.bookdepository.com/Model-T-Ford-Factory-Service-Manual-Ford-Motor-Company/9781500125196

        That seems to be all stormo is asking. Nvidia might have rights to the design, but their customers have a right to use the hardware they bought. If there were open source drivers or hardware documentation, those customers would be able to make a decision over whether it is worth trying to support themselves after Nvidia ends their support.

          So as long as nvidia still leave the installation manual up we're ok?
          Ford don't give you the technical specs of the car. As nvidia would have to if they allowed open source drivers.
          Cars are a bad analogy as they are so easy to reverse engineer, that pretty much everyone does. I've got a 10 year old car, when it's no longer in supported life goes aren't going to release the code for the ECU and schematics to make it open source.

            Look, he's right. The analogy fits. Just accept when someone has a good point and concede. Its best for all of us.

      But how will we play crisis in HD without those cards! I mean think of the children!

      Also what everyone else said >

      Their argument would probably be that releasing full register level specs for their old hardware would reveal information about their current GPUs (since they don't throw everything away when building a new generation).

      It's not clear how much of an advantage the secrecy really gives them though, with Intel and AMD releasing hardware reference manuals and working on open source drivers.

    My GTX770 has served me well for the past 4/5? years...
    Any enthusiasts out there want to weigh in what I should get when I eventually upgrade.
    I was eyeing the 1060...

      I'm in the same boat, having a 760ti.

      I'm happy enough to wait until later this year for the hopefully released Volta / next gen cards.

      Depends on what you are looking to run.

      Are you aiming for 1080p or 4k?

        good question. not quite sure

          Well it is worth deciding on. Because a 1060 is more than enough for 1080p. But not for 4k.

          If you want 4k youll be spending upwards of $600-$700

      I got a 1070ti about 2 months ago, I found it to be the best performance per dollar at the time. The 1080 is faster but the additional cost for that performance was not so good.

      My GTX 970 is still holding up very well against modern games on 2560x1080. It's basically the same power as the 1060, but you might be able to find it with a nice price discount on it

    Phew! My GTX 650 Ti BOOST gets to survive another whole generation. Happy times. :)

    Well, looks like my 580s in SLI are officially obsolete now. Been meaning to replace them for ages.

    I was still running a 660 Ti until a few months ago. :(

    Last edited 09/04/18 2:46 pm

    I just stuffed an old, spare 560 into a spare i5 box just last weekend... Intention was to have a spare game box for if friends come over and we want to have a LAN game of Minecraft or CS:S or something.
    Not that I really need the latest drivers when it's an old box and running either Win7 or Linux. The final ones will do fine on Win7 and Linux has Nouveau.

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