Nvidia is preparing to end driver support for Kepler GPUs

mongeese

Posts: 513   +109
Staff member
TL;DR: Nvidia has confirmed in their data center documentation that the Kepler architecture will be supported by only one more generation of drivers, which means that in a few months, GeForce GTX 600-series, some GTX 700-series and GeForce 800M GPUs will be limited to the games of the past.

Soon Nvidia will roll out the R470 generation of drivers, and those will stick around for about a quarter before being replaced by a subsequent generation. But Kepler GPUs won’t be supported from that point forward, which means that they will have to rely on previous generation drivers for full support and any games or applications released after the upcoming driver update won't be optimized for Kepler GPUs.

Kepler GPUs won’t be hard rubbish, though. Nvidia will provide LTSB (long-term support branch) R470 drivers with support for kernel revisions, OS updates, and bug fixes for an additional three or so years. So you can keep playing Fallout 4 and Skyrim, as long as you’ve cleaned the dust off your card since those games released.

Although Kepler has turned nine, it feels a bit too soon to give up on it. You can still spend $200 on a GTX 780 Ti on eBay, or two or three times that much on the mighty GTX Titan Z. And according to the Steam survey, the GTX 760, the most popular Kepler card, is used in almost as many systems as the RTX 3090.

If the GPU shortage is over before the last R470 driver rolls around, then we’ll say a bittersweet farewell to a brilliant architecture that almost all of us brought into. But at the moment, a five-year-old GTX 1050 Ti costs more than twice its original MSRP, so a GTX 780 Ti owner would have to pay a couple hundred to get access to new drivers without any improvement to performance, which stings a little.

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Adi6293

Posts: 898   +1,266
Kepler was crap, and the truth of the matter is nVidia stopped really supporting it years ago, anybody who bought a 780 or 780Ti must be regretting not buying a decent R9 290X at the time
 

mountains

Posts: 36   +53
So, are the AMD cards from that era scheduled to get updates for even longer than the Nvidia cards? The main reason I have been grudgingly loyal to the green team is the perception that they have better driver support. I think there was a Techspot article some time ago supporting that belief.

This is an important issue. Maybe its time for a new article comparing both time and quality of driver/firmware/bios/etc updates of graphic cards, motherboards, phones. Maybe a user poll?

This is the stuff that is harder to quantify when we are making purchasing decisions. The perception of long term support is a major factor in my purchasing. Companies too often want you to just give them more cash and buy the new thing. I keep my stuff for a long time.

This is where a publication like Techspot has some opportunity to put pressure on the industry to keep supporting what they sell.
 

fps4ever

Posts: 705   +937
I got a 290 for ~$200 after the last cryptobubble crashed...no card before or since was a better value.

Wrong, pre COVID I picked up a GTX 980 TI SC for $175. Very few cards have held up so well and can still beat some current cards. I will give you the 290 has held up extremely well though!
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 3,596   +1,710
Performance improvements after 9 years? Everything I read says those stop soon after the first year. I'd imagine anyone still using 9 year old GPU's are playing games that run on said GPU's just fine as is.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,634   +4,094
One hell of a run. I remember getting my first 770 to upgrade from my 550ti. Loved that card, wish I'd bought the 4GB version though, would have lasted years longer then the 2GB one did.
Kepler was crap, and the truth of the matter is nVidia stopped really supporting it years ago, anybody who bought a 780 or 780Ti must be regretting not buying a decent R9 290X at the time
Salty much? The 700 series was overpriced until AMD released the 290x, but to call them crap is ridiculous. And I doubt 780ti buyers regret having high end performance 18 months before the 290x was finally available after the first crypto bubble, nor do they regret having to deal with pre polaris era AMD support. The 290x was square in the era of garbage AMD drivers.
Well, considering how hard it is to get a NEW GPU, I think they shouldn’t stop supporting the older ones till they can meet demand with new ones.
The branch will be maintained through 2024. That's 13 years of continuous support. Nobody is buying new 700 or 600 series cards, and those cards are not powerful enough for modern games, and often dont have the VRAM needed. There's no need for newer drivers.
 

Adi6293

Posts: 898   +1,266
One hell of a run. I remember getting my first 770 to upgrade from my 550ti. Loved that card, wish I'd bought the 4GB version though, would have lasted years longer then the 2GB one did.

Salty much? The 700 series was overpriced until AMD released the 290x, but to call them crap is ridiculous. And I doubt 780ti buyers regret having high end performance 18 months before the 290x was finally available after the first crypto bubble, nor do they regret having to deal with pre polaris era AMD support. The 290x was square in the era of garbage AMD drivers.

The branch will be maintained through 2024. That's 13 years of continuous support. Nobody is buying new 700 or 600 series cards, and those cards are not powerful enough for modern games, and often dont have the VRAM needed. There's no need for newer drivers.

Although I didn't own a 290X at the time ( I have one now as a spare card ) I did own a 280X and then a 390X and I can assure you I am not salty, the drivers were fine and anyone who keeps their cards for longer the GCN was just a better architecture especially for anything Vulcan/DX12 and AMD didn't skimp on the ram like nVidia did then and still doing now!! 😂😂

btw I have a RTX3080 atm so please keep your AMD fanboy comments to yourself 😁😜
 

Adi6293

Posts: 898   +1,266
So, are the AMD cards from that era scheduled to get updates for even longer than the Nvidia cards? The main reason I have been grudgingly loyal to the green team is the perception that they have better driver support. I think there was a Techspot article some time ago supporting that belief.

This is an important issue. Maybe its time for a new article comparing both time and quality of driver/firmware/bios/etc updates of graphic cards, motherboards, phones. Maybe a user poll?

This is the stuff that is harder to quantify when we are making purchasing decisions. The perception of long term support is a major factor in my purchasing. Companies too often want you to just give them more cash and buy the new thing. I keep my stuff for a long time.

This is where a publication like Techspot has some opportunity to put pressure on the industry to keep supporting what they sell.
It looks like AMD will support their cards from that era for longer but that is not always the case. I think AMD were first to drop support for their cards from the TeraScale family ( HD5000 ) before nVidia dropped Fermi ( GTX500 )
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,634   +4,094
Although I didn't own a 290X at the time ( I have one now as a spare card ) I did own a 280X and then a 390X and I can assure you I am not salty, the drivers were fine and anyone who keeps their cards for longer the GCN was just a better architecture especially for anything Vulcan/DX12 and AMD didn't skimp on the ram like nVidia did then and still doing now!! 😂😂
Yeah, the drivers were so fine that nvidia's FCAT release sent AMD scrambling to fix their long standing frame-pacing issues, 16 bit open GL was broken for 4 years, and stable game ready drivers often arrived several MONTHS after release. Dont forget rampant black screen issues that AMD hasnt fixed to this day.

btw I have a RTX3080 atm so please keep your AMD fanboy comments to yourself 😁😜
Anyone who defends AMD's drivers from the early 2010s is an AMD fanboi, nobody cares what you have now.
 

Adi6293

Posts: 898   +1,266
Yeah, the drivers were so fine that nvidia's FCAT release sent AMD scrambling to fix their long standing frame-pacing issues, 16 bit open GL was broken for 4 years, and stable game ready drivers often arrived several MONTHS after release. Dont forget rampant black screen issues that AMD hasnt fixed to this day.

Anyone who defends AMD's drivers from the early 2010s is an AMD fanboi, nobody cares what you have now.
Well I can only speak for myself and my experience with these cards was good, what wasn't good was Vega 64, Radeon VII and especially the 5700XT in my wife's PC, that last card eventually made me sell those Radeon's and switch to RTX3070 and RTX3080. I'm not saying the drivers were perfect but I had no issues, in my circle of friends we had people with 280's and 390's and they also had no problems, maybe it was just luck :p
 

brucek

Posts: 847   +1,212
I'm curious what the major game publishers think of this.

If their data leads them to believe that lack of driver support will mean that their reachable audience for new games is substantially diminished, they'd have reason to be very angry with Nvidia for delivering neither enough new GPUs nor enough support for the old ones.

Or I could see it being just as likely that their data leads them to believe that any difference from driver performance improvements is too marginal to be meaningful.

Probably the latter IMO.
 

texasrattler

Posts: 1,184   +559
So, are the AMD cards from that era scheduled to get updates for even longer than the Nvidia cards? The main reason I have been grudgingly loyal to the green team is the perception that they have better driver support. I think there was a Techspot article some time ago supporting that belief.

This is an important issue. Maybe its time for a new article comparing both time and quality of driver/firmware/bios/etc updates of graphic cards, motherboards, phones. Maybe a user poll?

This is the stuff that is harder to quantify when we are making purchasing decisions. The perception of long term support is a major factor in my purchasing. Companies too often want you to just give them more cash and buy the new thing. I keep my stuff for a long time.

This is where a publication like Techspot has some opportunity to put pressure on the industry to keep supporting what they sell.
There has been plenty of articles on this very subject over the years. You could easily Google stuff. There will never been a one all answer. No one could ever tell you which card will last longer or which company h a s the best this or that. Any card can fail and ALL drivers can have various issues but doesn't mean all users will get or even see the issue.

So another article just for the sake of another article seems pointless. Wouldn't actually change anything. User has to decide what's best for them and no article will give a direct answer. Again tho there is plenty of articles alrdy out there to make buying decisions. Keeping up with tech news n the company who makes your card can also help make that decision. I choose Evga a long time and have never regretted any of my purchases.
 

texasrattler

Posts: 1,184   +559
Support isn’t needed.... you can use “old” drivers just fine... it’s not like your GPU will suddenly become crappy just because you can’t update the drivers every month...
It will if the game requires a update and almost all triple A games have a update when launching a new title. So yes a gpu can become crappy if a update is required.

Old drivers can work just fine for older games they don't always work fine for newer games, nor should they. It will always depend on the games you play.
 

cliffordcooley

Posts: 12,919   +6,250
That is the way it is with dated possessions. We either deal with the glitches or buy new possessions. As long as my 660 continues to work on current titles, I have no complaints. Should my card not work with new titles, then it will be time to consider upgrading.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 924   +1,700
I think that a 750 ti it's still quite usable if you ask me: it still beats any APU out there. 5600g makes up some of the ground now but it's still at best comparable anyway so it's better-than-nothing still and for some reason I'd rather keep a 750 ti than to buy a brand new 1030 as it was a good deal when it was originally out whereas the 1030 has never been a good deal.
 

godrilla

Posts: 264   +135
I should grab this driver and give the old 690 a spin up again.
My old 690 classified was one of the best sli scaling cards in memory. I replaced it with a 980 extreme gamer. When scales perfectly the 690 beat anything from 700 lineup and I believe it traded blows with the 1st Titan.
 

defaultluser

Posts: 224   +175
Well I can only speak for myself and my experience with these cards was good, what wasn't good was Vega 64, Radeon VII and especially the 5700XT in my wife's PC, that last card eventually made me sell those Radeon's and switch to RTX3070 and RTX3080. I'm not saying the drivers were perfect but I had no issues, in my circle of friends we had people with 280's and 390's and they also had no problems, maybe it was just luck :p

So you ignored the universal problems experienced with AMD's last THREE HIGH-END VIDEO CARDS?And decided that your on experience in the past somehow makes them blameless?

You are the most confused AMD Fanboy I've ever seen
 
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