Friday, March 14th 2014

NVIDIA Outlines Support Plans for its DirectX 10 Generation GPUs

With its next-generation "Maxwell" GPUs on the horizon, NVIDIA is preparing plans to gradually retire the GeForce 8 series, 9 series, and 200 series from its mainline driver support model. The GPUs make up NVIDIA's DirectX 10 generation, and include some iconic models, such as the 8800 GTX, the 8800 GT, the 9600 GT, and the GTX 260. The upcoming GeForce Release 340 driver will be the last to support these GPU series alongside its newer DirectX 11 generations, such as "Fermi," "Kepler," and "Maxwell." The driver that succeeds it, R343, will drop support for the older DirectX 10 generation.

With the R340 release, the DirectX 10 generation will be market "legacy." The lot will see continued support under R340 till April 2016. Whenever there's a glaring bug or security hole to address for the older GPUs, NVIDIA may ship out an R340 version (340.xx), but the GPUs will not get planned driver updates, unlike the "current" DirectX 11 generation. Support cycles are hence different from production cycle. A GeForce GTX 480, for example, may be "EOL" (end of life) in terms of its production cycle, but is still "current" in terms of its support cycle.

Source: NVIDIA
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45 Comments on NVIDIA Outlines Support Plans for its DirectX 10 Generation GPUs

#1
HumanSmoke
by: Shinshin
Thanks for that. True, I didn't know the whole story...
It is fairly natural to romanticize the glory days of the industry, and while 3dfx bought some great stuff to the table (T-Buffer tech, SLI etc) it still suffered from bad business decisions, and being lazy on the innovation front (i.e. small texture reliance). They did get a raw deal from Sega, but on the other hand, burned goodwill by keeping Glide closed for too long. I think the mythos of 3dfx is heightened due to its initial market dominance and the pro orientated Quantum3D boards ( Mercury Heavy Metal, the SB100 and SB200 inc. Obsidian), but in the end it comes down to not pushing the tech as much as ATI and Nvidia. But then, 3dfx weren't alone in that regard, as Trident, Cirrus Logic, Tseng, 3DLabs, Rendition, Intergraph, and about forty other graphics vendors were in the same boat.
Posted on Reply
#2
arbiter
Lets put this in perspective, AMD oldest gpu they support in their drivers is 5000 series which was released at end of 2009. With Nvidia dropping normal updates for cards of 8 series, 9 series, and 200 series are cards that were from 2007 and last of 200 series was early 2009. So can't really give flak to Nvidia for this when AMD has dropped support as of least 13.12 like much earlier.

edit: after a look anything pre 5000 series on AMD side had support dropped for it back in march 2012. 12.3 was last driver for 4000 series and older to the 2000 series
Posted on Reply
#4
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
This isn't really that big of a change from what is already happening with these cards. The new drivers haven't been anything but bug fixes for these cards for a long while.
Posted on Reply
#5
kn00tcn
gee... pitchforks when amd went legacy, along with people forcing their opinions on how crappy the old cards were

now it's praise for nvidia? couple years sure makes a strange difference...

(sure i'm generalizing, the legacy amd driver is a joke, old bugs arent fixed for years, they just had to drop support mere months before CCC revamped the profiles feature, yadayada

what bugged me was how almost nobody bothered to notice that dx9 cards went on scheduled legacy, dx8 cards went legacy, it wasnt as big of a shock as most made it out to seem)
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#6
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: kn00tcn
gee... pitchforks when amd went legacy, along with people forcing their opinions on how crappy the old cards were

now it's praise for nvidia? couple years sure makes a strange difference...

(sure i'm generalizing, the legacy amd driver is a joke, old bugs arent fixed for years, they just had to drop support mere months before CCC revamped the profiles feature, yadayada

what bugged me was how almost nobody bothered to notice that dx9 cards went on scheduled legacy, dx8 cards went legacy, it wasnt as big of a shock as most made it out to seem)
The difference is that when AMD dropped support, the cards they were dropping were selling as the flagship ~2 years prior. Their cards went from being the flagship card to basically not being supported anymore in slightly over 2 years! It has been 4 years for nVidia. So, yes, supporting their cards for about twice as long as AMD is quite a bit more praise worthy.
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#7
awesomesauce
lower size download? directx12 arround the corner so good time stop support old dx.:toast:
Posted on Reply
#8
FX-GMC
by: Patriot
I remember vista.... Bidaily bsods are hard to forget.
I remember vista. Worked just fine on my laptop until I upgraded to Windows 7.
Posted on Reply
#9
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: FX-GMC
I remember vista. Worked just fine on my laptop until I upgraded to Windows 7.
Yep, I still have a Vista computer running in my house.

The main problems that were blamed on Vista weren't actually a fault of Vista/Microsoft.

The three main complaints were:
  • "Vista's so slow!"[list]
  • This was really due to OEMs putting Vista on computers that just met the minimum requirements. The minimum requirement for RAM for Vista is 1GB, and the first year Vista was on the market there were far too many computers sold with Vista and 1GB of RAM. For Vista to really run smoothly 2GB is the minimum. Though this can't entirely be blamed on the OEMs. Microsoft is partially to blame on this one. There was a lot of confusion between "Vista Ready" and "Vista Capable" specs that Microsoft released. Even Microsoft's representatives would get them confused. One meant the computer met the bare minimum requirements to run Vista, and the other meant the computer met the recommended specs to run Vista.
  • "Vista is unstable!"
    • This came almost entirely down to hardware manufacturers releasing very poor drivers in the early days of Vista. Most BSODs were caused by poorly written drivers. However, with modern hardware, which has properly written drivers, Vista is very stable.
  • "Vista is a resource hog!"
    • This largely came down to people not understanding how Vista uses memory. They'd see a computer with 2GB of RAM running with 0% Free and freak out. However, pre-fetch was using a large portion of the RAM, and people just didn't know how to figure out how much RAM was actually used, and they also didn't realize that memory used for Pre-Fetch was still available to the system if needed. If the system needed the space used by Pre-Fetch the Pre-Fetch data was simply dumped(not swapped out like normal used spaced), so the Pre-Fetch space could be instantly used if needed.
    [/list]
  • Posted on Reply
    #10
    Shinshin
    by: newtekie1
    Yep, I still have a Vista computer running in my house.

    The main problems that were blamed on Vista weren't actually a fault of Vista/Microsoft.

    The three main complaints were:
    • "Vista's so slow!"[list]
    • This was really due to OEMs putting Vista on computers that just met the minimum requirements. The minimum requirement for RAM for Vista is 1GB, and the first year Vista was on the market there were far too many computers sold with Vista and 1GB of RAM. For Vista to really run smoothly 2GB is the minimum. Though this can't entirely be blamed on the OEMs. Microsoft is partially to blame on this one. There was a lot of confusion between "Vista Ready" and "Vista Capable" specs that Microsoft released. Even Microsoft's representatives would get them confused. One meant the computer met the bare minimum requirements to run Vista, and the other meant the computer met the recommended specs to run Vista.
  • "Vista is unstable!"
    • This came almost entirely down to hardware manufacturers releasing very poor drivers in the early days of Vista. Most BSODs were caused by poorly written drivers. However, with modern hardware, which has properly written drivers, Vista is very stable.
  • "Vista is a resource hog!"
    • This largely came down to people not understanding how Vista uses memory. They'd see a computer with 2GB of RAM running with 0% Free and freak out. However, pre-fetch was using a large portion of the RAM, and people just didn't know how to figure out how much RAM was actually used, and they also didn't realize that memory used for Pre-Fetch was still available to the system if needed. If the system needed the space used by Pre-Fetch the Pre-Fetch data was simply dumped(not swapped out like normal used spaced), so the Pre-Fetch space could be instantly used if needed.
    [/list]
  • ^^ Exactly that!
    Posted on Reply
    #11
    Aquinus
    Resident Wat-man
    Didn't Vista have some I/O issue with copying or something? I remember there being an issue with copying to a USB or network drive and it being terribly slow. SP1 had fixed it, but I never had much issue with BSODs when I used it. I remember XP giving me more to be frank.
    Posted on Reply
    #12
    swaaye
    by: TRWOV
    The last concurrent driver for HD2000-4000 cards was 12.6. The latest legacy driver for HD2000-4000 cards is 13.9: http://support.amd.com/en-us/download/desktop/legacy?product=legacy2&os=Windows 7 - 64
    If you look at the actual driver version, you'll see that it has barely incremented since it first hit legacy status. It has some known issues that are rather ridiculous. On Windows 8, it doesn't work with Netflix (there is something wrong with the DRM), so you need to use the MS driver. Legacy packages after 13.1 have also shipped with a CCC that won't show you most of the video options. And there is no official Windows 8.1 driver. The Windows Update driver is about the same 2012 vintage though, but you don't get CCC unless you do some tricky manual nonsense.

    AMD simply doesn't do long term support. They never have. You get about 4 years of semi competence and then it's over.
    Posted on Reply
    #13
    WaroDaBeast
    by: Aquinus
    Didn't Vista have some I/O issue with copying or something? I remember there being an issue with copying to a USB or network drive and it being terribly slow. SP1 had fixed it, but I never had much issue with BSODs when I used it. I remember XP giving me more to be frank.
    Funny thing is, I've rarely used Vista so far. Once, though, I needed to copy files over an SD card, and the university library's computers didn't have card readers. So I asked another student if I could borrow their computer for a couple of minutes and, lo and behold, the copy failed on the first try.

    I didn't know it was a widespread issue though.
    Posted on Reply
    #14
    kn00tcn
    by: newtekie1
    The difference is that when AMD dropped support, the cards they were dropping were selling as the flagship ~2 years prior. Their cards went from being the flagship card to basically not being supported anymore in slightly over 2 years! It has been 4 years for nVidia. So, yes, supporting their cards for about twice as long as AMD is quite a bit more praise worthy.
    i am that flagship 4870x2 owner, 2008-2012 is 4 years, 3 if you want to shorten it to the 5870 release

    but it's not about performance, let's say CF or SLI had real nice scaling so you could have 4 or 6 cards, let's say they're over half a decade old dx9 only, let's say this combination was faster than a 7970 at the witcher 2, but the gpu architecture is too far behind, holding back the driver architecture or simply bloating it & adding extra time to test it

    although in reality, the gpus werent that different, 6900 & GCN are the ones that had big changes, so i expect the next legacy to drop everything before GCN (but wait, we didnt get a GCN APU until recently, so that might take a while)

    then there's the question of what 'support' even means, a number increasing every month doesnt make it useful at all, so i would say that if they made a WHQL windows 8 driver & fixed the big bugs that appeared after 2011 (2nd gpu clock issue, frostbite2 performance issue, added the new CCC profiles feature), then that would be a good way to go legacy which would have happened merely a few months later in fall 2012

    but even with the few months early cliffhanger, we still have some regular people helping out, packaging up frankenstein drivers or posting workarounds for the bugs, so it's not like the cards turned off http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/threads/best-drivers-for-a-4870x2.196863/#post-3050692

    on the game side, i couldnt enjoy anything dx11 anyway, more drivers wouldnt have solved that

    right now i'm on a 570m, it's a little faster than a single 4870 so in a way i havent had to downgrade when my 4870x2 died :laugh:
    Posted on Reply
    #15
    Dent1
    Some if you guys are hypocrites.

    When AMD/ATI stop or reduce support you guys bitch and moan and complain for 10 pages. But when NVidia do it, its OK?
    Posted on Reply
    #16
    HumanSmoke
    by: Dent1
    Some if you guys are hypocrites.
    When AMD/ATI stop or reduce support you guys bitch and moan and complain for 10 pages. But when NVidia do it, its OK?
    I think the comparison is between the lifespans of the support. AMD put HD 4000 series cards on legacy support less than three years from the last HD 4000 series card's launch (HD 4860), or just over four years since the initial HD 4870/4850 launch. Nvidia has had a current driver branch for the 8800GTX since November 2006....so by the time that mainstream support runs out in April 2016, it will have been 9.5 years since the 8800GTX's launch, and six and a half years since the launch of the newest (non OEM) card on the list, the GT215 powered GT 240.

    Basically, the Nvidia boards are covered a little over twice as long as those from AMD...that is the comparison people are making, and of course, a 3-4 year old card likely has more current gaming relevance than a 7-9.5 year old one
    Posted on Reply
    #17
    MustSeeMelons
    A few month ago I had to use my MSI GT9600, because I didn't have the money to put everything together at once. I was surprised It was still supported. On the other hand - it was only desktop capable, a little better then the 4600. AoE3 lagged like hell at 1200p..
    Posted on Reply
    #18
    natr0n
    I still have an msi 9600gt that works.

    Pretty amazing it was supported so long.
    Posted on Reply
    #19
    Scrizz
    by: WaroDaBeast
    Funny thing is, I've rarely used Vista so far. Once, though, I needed to copy files over an SD card, and the university library's computers didn't have card readers. So I asked another student if I could borrow their computer for a couple of minutes and, lo and behold, the copy failed on the first try.

    I didn't know it was a widespread issue though.
    it's not... just like all the other vista BS you've heard. lol
    Posted on Reply
    #20
    Dent1
    by: Patriot
    I remember vista.... Bidaily bsods are hard to forget.
    Nonsense. I used Vista for years before I moved to Windows 7, never had a single problem, it was stable as a rock.

    Any issue you may have had was because software manufacturers didn't want to rewrite their software and hardware manufacturers couldn't be bothered to rewrite their drivers. But once the third party companies were on-board (didn't take long) all the niggles was ironed out.
    Posted on Reply
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