Nvidia has announced that they will be ending Game Ready Driver updates for Fermi architecture GPUs.
Nvidia’s Fermi architecture, introduced back in 2010, was mainly used within the GeForce 400 and 500 series graphics cards. This 40nm GPU found some use later in life within Nvidia’s workstation and computational cards, but has now truly reached the end of the line.
Driver updates, bug fixes and other updates will no longer be rolled out to 32-bit platforms either. That will affect 32-bit versions of Windows 7, 8/8.1, 10, Linux and FreeBSD.
Nvidia have promised to continue releasing critical security patches for users of 32-bit operating systems though, but only until 2019. Although considering that barely more than 1% of modern PCs use older GPUs that only support DirectX 9, and less than 2% use a 32-bit OS; this means that the likelihood of users being affected by this is much lower than some would expect.
The biggest issue with the timing of this announcement is that older GPUs are much more expensive than they normally would be due to the current shortages of RAM chips the glut of demand caused by cryptocurrency mining. Users of Fermi cards could probably pick up a 1050 Ti, but they’ll pay an arm and a leg for it.
But honestly, it was only a matter of time until this kind of thing happened. Older GPUs just can’t run modern applications with any degree of success, and 32-bit operating systems have been slowly being phased out for years now.