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Nvidia is dropping support for 32-bit operating systems

By Greg S ยท 12 replies
Dec 22, 2017
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  1. Beginning with the release of driver version 390, Nvidia will not be releasing any more drivers with support for 32-bit operating systems. Both Windows and Linux users will be required to upgrade to a 64-bit system should they wish to use the most up-to-date drivers available. Mac OS X users running Lion 10.7 (released in 2011) or newer are unaffected since all versions thereafter are 64-bit only.

    Future optimizations and features will not be implemented in older software packages. At this point, it is unlikely for any enthusiast to be running a 32-bit OS but there probably are some users with old machines sitting around that get used from time to time.

    Fortunately for those with older hardware that may be incapable of running a 64-bit operating system, Nvidia will provide one additional year of security patches. Critical flaws will be fixed for 32-bit drivers all the way through January 2019, giving owners of old machines plenty of time to upgrade.

    Nvidia will be releasing version 390 before the end of the year. For those curious as to how many people are still actually running 32-bit systems, 1.98 percent of Steam users still are. Unfortunately, Valve does not break down users running Nvidia graphics cards and a 32-bit OS.

    It is reasonable to assume that some gamers with older systems have dedicated AMD or Intel integrated graphics which would make the actual number of PC gamers affected by this change extremely small.

    Permalink to story.

  2. bexwhitt

    bexwhitt TS Guru Posts: 394   +99

    There has been well supported 64-bit Windows since Vista, it's about time.
  3. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,194   +4,856

    Good! Now I can stop updating my driver library with 32bit drivers from nVidia.
  4. turismozilla

    turismozilla TS Addict Posts: 174   +55

    Could you make a .torrent and share that, please?
  5. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,194   +4,856

    I don't have anything fancy. When I download a new driver, I download both 32 & 64 bit. I then delete all older drivers. Now I can add the latest (and last) 32 bit driver to my legacy folder.
  6. Dustyn

    Dustyn TS Booster Posts: 89   +33

    AMD, NVIDIA, Microsoft, Intel all had full 64-bit support for Windows XP 64-bit Edition too.
  7. texasrattler

    texasrattler TS Evangelist Posts: 513   +187

    XP 64 bit drivers were horrible. 64 bit was too young and driver support was horrid at that time. It wasn't until Vista 64 bit did it truly take off. 64 bit blossomed after that.

    XP 64 bit was basically all forgotten just like Windows Millennium was lol, both were not very good
  8. bexwhitt

    bexwhitt TS Guru Posts: 394   +99

    That is why I said since Vista and was very careful with my wording. XP 64 bit was a fairly pointless beast.
  9. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,194   +4,856

    If it were not for XP 64 bit, Vista would have been the test platform. You can never call a test platform pointless.
    SirChocula and Dustyn like this.
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,347   +3,583

    Dude, were you present during the same initial Vista launch period I was? Because there was nothing but pissing and moaning about that OS, primarily pissing about lack of correctly functioning drivers, and moaning about program compatibility.

    What everybody seemed to overlook about Vista, is that it was the first M$ operating system with native ACHI support for the HDDs. Before that, XP 64 bit included, you had to load the SATA pre-drivers from the stinking Intel floppy disc, halfway through your Windows install.

    Vista compatibility & driver issues were finally solved by the time Windows 7 was released. In fact, when somebody couldn't find a driver for Win 7, the usual course of action was to stuff the now perfected Vista drivers in until stuff for Win 7 was written.

    Now with this Windows 10 nonsense, you've let M$ take back all of the extra niceties which were free and included with all versions of 7. For example, Windows Media Center. But now you've got Cortana to carry all the tales of your activities back to M$ so I guess that's a fair trade. (Well I suppose it's a "fair trade", if you've been unfortunate enough to have been expelled from kindergarten).
    Knot Schure likes this.
  11. Easier said than done. Certain lab and business functions primarily still operate in the 32-bit environment. I think the easier move for them will be to just find another video product than rewrite their software. Guess what Nvidia, the world doesn't revolve around you.
  12. Knot Schure

    Knot Schure TS Booster Posts: 132   +46

    I still have one server, a dual socket Xeon, that performs kind-of-well, and I did not realize it was 32 bit, until I tried to upgrade it. What a surprise. How could I have missed that.

    So I don't know if this is a good, or bad move by Nvidia, but I guess I wouldn't want to support two different driver sets, if I didn't have to.
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,347   +3,583

    I'm simply speculating, but I would imagine there is a big split in commercial usage regarding 32 & 64 bit systems.

    Simple business systems are either running IGP solutions, of l;ow end separate cards. When the equipment either wears out, or requires a now unavailable graphics component, the business is likely to simply upgrade their system. The replacement would presumably 64 bit. So no loss of income jeopardy would attach for Nvidia.

    If we're talking about the machines used to render digital FX for Marvel extravaganzas, they've, (of necessity), been 64 bit for many years, and most like running high end workstation cards, and again, no loss of consumers would attach for Nvidia.

    I'm posting from an IGP G-41 / Pentium dual core 32 bit machine. As it's tasked solely with internet usage, has 4 GB of memory, I've really no need to upgrade the video. And here again, Nvidia can't gain or lose from this machine. Considering the system is 8+ years old, and I had the option of installing a 64 bit OS when I built it, I guess my worst complaint would be against myself. Sic, "when you snooze, you lose".

    So will abandoning 32 bit hurt Nvidia's bottom line? Probably, but it likely won't have anywhere near the impact you're predicting.

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