Nvidia drops support for Fermi GeForces and 32-bit operating systems

We bet that more than a few gerbils still have a Fermi-era Nvidia GeForce graphics card laying around, perhaps in a secondary machine still running 32-bit Windows. All good things must come to an end, and this past Saturday, Nvidia announced that it's officially dropping driver support for GeForce graphics cards with Fermi GPUs on board. The company is also ending support for GeForce cards on 32-bit operating systems. Nvidia Quadro drivers aren't affected by these announcements.

    

Nvidia has published a full list of graphics cards that will no longer get driver updates. Since the company's desktop graphics-card naming is mostly sequential, it's easier to roughly think of GeForce GTX 500-series cards and earlier. Those worried that their older machines with those chips inside might get hit by a driver-level exploit can rest easy for a little while, as Nvidia says it'll still provide critical security updates through January 2019. From now on, only GeForce chips in the Kepler, Maxwell, and Pascal series will get driver updates.

Fermi graphics cards are certainly long in the tooth, but 32-bit operating systems are even more out of fashion—so much that Nvidia has apparently decided it's not worth devoting driver development resources to them. From here on out, the company will only be publishing new drivers and updates for 64-bit operating systems. Much like the aforementioned announcement, GeForce users on 32-bit systems will see critical security fixes until January 2019. New versions of GeForce Experience will follow the same rules, although Nvidia notes that some existing features like optimal game settings will continue to work on 32-bit operating systems.

The most recent desktop Fermi GeForce was the GTX 590, released all the way back in 2011. It's safe to say that those chips had a good run. Having said that, the relatively small windows for the release security updates is a little concerning. It's a safe bet that there's still a good number of systems with Fermi GeForces in the wild, and perhaps even more PCs with running 32-bit versions of Windows. If performance advances in graphics cards over the intervening seven years or so wasn't enough motivation to upgrade, though, perhaps Nvidia's slash of the sickle will be.

Comments closed
    • albundy
    • 2 years ago

    at least they still provide functional drivers for windows 10, unlike older radeon cards. i am done with radeon, in any case. last month my sapphire R9 270x decided to no longer post. initially, i thought it might have been my old enermax galaxy psu, so i replaced it with a seasonic focus, and still no go. luckily, i had an old ATI 4870 2gb card, and got a post screen. unfortunately, windows 10 refuses to load a driver for it, and sticks with the generic driver, which gives you 640×480 rez. the card is completely unsupported, and runs with the generic driver at 100% load constantly. sure, it’s an 8 year old card, but so is my asus geforce 9600 gso 512mb, which had no issues loading a working driver in windows 10. right now, i’m holding out until gpu prices come down to less ridiculous levels for team green.

      • Pettytheft
      • 2 years ago

      Is the R9 270x still under warranty?
      I had the driver issue with the same card as well. Found a fix online for it.

      [url<]https://community.amd.com/thread/184724[/url<]

        • albundy
        • 2 years ago

        well, it was under warranty in 2014, until 2015, when it expired. learned my lesson on buying cheap sapphire cards with horrible warranty. i’ll stick with my old asus 9600 gso for now since i’m not gaming. not really wanting to go through any hassle on scouring hidden drivers for the old radeon since i wont be gaming on it either. thanks for the link though.

    • JustAnEngineer
    • 2 years ago

    This is just one more reason to convince me that it is nearly time to replace my laptop. My [url=https://www.asus.com/us/Laptops/ASUS-ZenBook-UX32VD/<]Zenbook UX32VD[/url<] was brand-new at the end of June 2012. With a sweet 13.3" 1080p IPS display, Ivy Bridge [url=https://ark.intel.com/products/65714/Intel-Core-i7-3517U-Processor-4M-Cache-up-to-3_00-GHz<]Core i7-3517U[/url<] CPU, Fermi GeForce GT620M (aka GT710M) GPU, 10 GiB of PC3-12800 and a 1 TB SSD, less than 3/4" thick and weighing under 3¼ pounds (less than 1½ kg), it has served me well for the past six years. I'm looking to move up to a 15" 1080p IPS display with a more gaming-oriented GPU without going over five pounds. Something like the [url=https://www.asus.com/us/Laptops/ROG-Zephyrus-M-GM501/<]RoG Zephyrus M GM501[/url<] checks all of the boxes. The price is [url=https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834234944<]a bit discouraging[/url<], but at least it's not up with the [url=https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834234949<]GX501[/url<]. P.S.: The marketing material was written by TR alumnus Dissonance: [url<]https://rog.asus.com/articles/g-series-gaming-laptops/introducing-the-rog-zephyrus-m-gm501-ultra-slim-gaming-laptop-without-compromise/#[/url<]

    • phileasfogg
    • 2 years ago

    Fermez la famille Fermi

      • K-L-Waster
      • 2 years ago

      Fermi fini.

    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    At last.

    If you need a dGPU these days then you absolutely cannot possibly manage with an OS that only understands 4GB of memory in total. Hell, over three years ago there was a large percentage of my Steam library that wouldn’t even [i<]launch[/i<] on a 4GB machine!

    • Krogoth
    • 2 years ago

    Nvidia already depreciated Fermi support when second generation Keplers (7xx series) came out. It was pretty much making sure that software still work with Fermi parts. Nvidia is just about to stop bothering to do even that.

    If your Fermi cannot work with future software then you are SOL, but chances are that card in question doesn’t even have enough VRAM to support future game in question (Most Fermi SKUs had less than 1GiB of VRAM, while fastest Fermi a.k.a GTX 580 tops out at 3GiB).

      • stefem
      • 2 years ago

      I still had a GTX 580 running until last year and have seen some big performance improvemnt (not much on pure speed but in consistency) over drivers releses on modern games, of cource not at day one but considering the fastest Fermi card has been equaled by a low end GTX 750 in 2014 I can’t pretend any more.
      I don’t think there will be any D3D11/OGL software that refuse to run.

    • NoOne ButMe
    • 2 years ago

    One more reason DX12 should never have supported them.

    Just messed up the DX12 feature sets as I understand.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 2 years ago

    Not surprised by some of the 600, 700, and 800-series cards getting dumped (thanks to renaming lower-end Fermi parts) but these two surprised me:

    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670M
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M

    I guess I had figured those were Kepler-based GPUs. But no, that’s actually the M[b<]X[/b<] series like [url=https://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-670MX.82603.0.html<]GTX 670MX[/url<]. That's not at all confusing. O_o

      • YukaKun
      • 2 years ago

      I have a GTX675M, but I knew fully it was a re-branded GTX580M at least. I was really angry when nVidia released the GTX675MX though.

      Cheers!

        • derFunkenstein
        • 2 years ago

        Understandably so. I would have been upset, too. It doesn’t seem like the Fermi 600 series was out very long.

        edit: just barely 6 months by Notebookcheck.net’s count

        [url<]https://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-670M.72197.0.html[/url<] [url<]https://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-670MX.82603.0.html[/url<]

          • YukaKun
          • 2 years ago

          Aren’t the 700M & 800M models Kepler as well?

          I remember even some 900M models are Maxwell still, when they should be Pascal.

          Cheers!

            • derFunkenstein
            • 2 years ago

            The 900 series, both mobile and desktop, was all Maxwell. The only 800M that I know of was all Maxwell v1, same chip as the GTX 750. But beyond that it gets sketchy for me, because I can’t keep up. 😆

      • psuedonymous
      • 2 years ago

      [quote[
      I guess I had figured those were Kepler-based GPUs. But no, that’s actually the MX series like GTX 670MX. That’s not at all confusing. O_op/quote]
      Nvidia’s “fuck it, just use the desktop GPUs for mobile” initiative for Maxwell is a boon to reducing that sort of confusion in the mobile market.

    • The Egg
    • 2 years ago

    How much easier would it be if they just stuck with the codenames for marketing?
    GeForce Kepler 1, Kepler 2, Kepler 3
    Geforce Maxwell 1, Maxwell 2, Maxwell 3,
    Pascal 1, Pascal 2, etc, etc

    People would know exactly which family of product they’re buying, easier for support, drivers, etc. They could even add a “+” for revised cards like the 1070 Ti. Of course, I’m probably not “special” enough to work in marketing.

      • UberGerbil
      • 2 years ago

      You fundamentally misunderstand the entire basis of nVidia’s naming/numbering schemes, which is to obfuscate the technology you’re actually getting when you buy an nVidia product.

        • JustAnEngineer
        • 2 years ago

        NVidia’s evil marketing geniuses have been very successful.

        • the
        • 2 years ago

        True but Intel is still the market leader in obfuscation. Ask [url=https://ark.intel.com/<]ARK.[/url<]

        • Mikael33
        • 2 years ago

        Deceive Inveigle Obfuscate

        • Bauxite
        • 2 years ago

        Titan X
        1080Ti
        Titan Xp

        Good ’nuff!

        -nvidia marketing

        • stefem
        • 2 years ago

        Being honest does AMD, Intel or any other in the sector be any different?

      • MrDweezil
      • 2 years ago

      I, an idiot, can remember that the 1080 was the successor to the 980. I don’t recall the relationship between Kepler and Maxwell.

        • The Egg
        • 2 years ago

        Alright….well the Fermi-based GT 730 you bought doesn’t have driver support anymore. But those Kepler-based GT 630’s over there still do.

        • YukaKun
        • 2 years ago

        Well, the GTX675M is a GTX580M rebrand and the GTX675MX is the proper Kepler version.

        Should I go by numbering or just family product in my case?

        Cheers!

      • Kretschmer
      • 2 years ago

      How is a consumer looking at a shelf to know that Pascal 1 is rather better than Maxwell 1?

        • chuckula
        • 2 years ago

        You have a point.

        I mean, Maxwell was Scottish.

        And if it’s not Scottish… [b<]IT'S CRAP![/b<] So therefore, Nvidia would be forced to name all future products after even better Scottish things, or else those products would be guaranteed to be crap*. * OK, AMD fanboys, I setup the tee for you there. Go try to hit it now.

        • barich
        • 2 years ago

        P comes after M.

          • chuckula
          • 2 years ago

          V comes after P.

          VEGA BEATS PASCAL CONFIRMED!

            • The Egg
            • 2 years ago

            That’s how they do it with Android. *shrug*

        • The Egg
        • 2 years ago

        Ten seconds on google or nvidia.com. Certainly alot easier than figuring out which of the many variants you’re looking at under the same model number. Just between the GF 730 and 750, you’ve got three different architectures.

        I also think the memory bandwidth should be listed on the box, but that might be a stretch.

    • tipoo
    • 2 years ago

    “Fermi graphics cards are certainly long in the tooth, but 32-bit operating systems are older still”

    Technically, Windows 10 has a 32 bit version still and is certainly newer 😉

    But, Microsoft should go ahead and kill it so you don’t have to load in 32 bit libraries when called.

      • UberGerbil
      • 2 years ago

      Well, [i<]technically[/i<], the driver model for Win 10 dates back to Vista. So I expect a chunk of nVidia's current 32bit driver codebase goes back to 2006-ish when Vista was The Next Big Thing, so a lot of it is probably older than those 2011 Fermis.

        • tipoo
        • 2 years ago

        Not sure about that, I’m pretty sure 10 at some point cut driver compatibility from 8 and previous, 8.1 and 10 sharing a driver base.

        Most hardware made the cut with minimal changes, but I’ve seen laptops lose wifi and such because 10 cut off the previous versions.

          • barich
          • 2 years ago

          You can definitely still use Vista-era WDDM 1.0 drivers on 10

            • tipoo
            • 2 years ago

            Hm. After a certain Windows 10 update (not from the start of 10), a Centrino wireless N 1000 driver wouldn’t work anymore, and from what I read online it was because that update older driver frameworks.

            • barich
            • 2 years ago

            I’m talking specifically GPU drivers. Though I haven’t had any personal experience with other hardware not working. I’ve run the most recent build of 10 on a ThinkPad T61 with an Intel 4965AGN without issue, for example, and that’s a much older card than the 1000.

      • Klimax
      • 2 years ago

      Won’t get you rid of 32-bit libraries. Sometimes check how much 32-bit code is still running. Backwards compatibility is not going anywhere…

      (Process Explorer or Task Manager can show it)

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