NVIDIA has announced that it will cease support for Fermi GPUs, effective immediately. This means that all Fermi graphics cards will be treated as legacy devices and will only receive the most critical updates. No game ready drivers and performance boosts for Fermi anymore. The critical updates too will stop after January next year.
NVIDIA has also announced that it will be limiting support for 32 bit operating systems. The OS include all the Windows, Linux and FreeBSD. Game Ready Driver updates, including performance enhancements, new features, and bug fixes, will be available only on 64-bit operating systems. Critical security updates will however be provided for 32-bit operating systems till January 2019.
GeForce experience too will stop receiving updates on 32 bit systems. Software updates introducing new features, security updates, and bug fixes will be available only on 64-bit operating systems. Existing features and services such as optimal game settings will continue to work normally on 32-bit operating systems.
The previous support withdrawal from NVIDIA came all the way back in March 2014, in the form of Tesla GPUs. This was after around 8 years of support. Fermi has received Game Ready support for about the same amount of time. This is the first DX11 architecture that NVIDIA has retired.
In comparison, AMD dropped support for Fermi’s direct competitors in 2015, and with that all their supported architectures were DX12 capable, and damn good at it too.
However, NVIDIA is dropping the legacy support too in less than a year. Lately, security has been a major concern with Spectre and Meltdown irking Intel ever since 2018 began. So the dropping of critical updates is a rather debatable issue.
Like AMD, all of the GPUs that NVIDIA will support with complete driver updates are going to be DX12 compatible. Whether Fermi supports DX12 and to what level is not clear. The drivers enabling DirectX 12 support were rolled out, but the product page on the GeForce website says, “support pending”. Now, that the driver support is not present anymore it doesn’t really matter I suppose, and besides it is doubtful if any DX12 game will run well on a Fermi GPU.
NVIDIA has also posted a list of Fermi series GeForce GPUs that won’t be receiving updates in the future. Keep in mind that the next Game-ready driver arriving later this month won’t be supporting Fermi GPUs or 32 bit operating systems.