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Nvidia outlines plan to end 600/700 series GPU support, but may have backtracked

Nvidia GeForce GTX 780
(Image credit: Nvidia)

Nvidia might be getting ready to discontinue driver support for the bulk of its GeForce GTX 600 and 700 series graphics cards powered by its legacy Kepler GPU architecture. If so, the timing would not be ideal, given that it's next to impossible to buy a graphics card right now at anywhere near MSRP.

Ending support is not a foregone conclusion. However, TechPowerUp over the weekend spotted an interesting entry in a data center document outlining Nvidia's driver support roadmap. At the time, it showed Kelper being discontinued with Nvidia's looming R470 driver stack (it's on R460 currently).

While the document is related to Nvidia's data center products, if driver support ends on that side of the equation, the same would probably be true of its consumer offerings.

Here's the real puzzling part, though. The document shows it was last updated in April of last year, but there has been at least one recent change. Looking at the document now, it no longer shows support ending for Kepler with the R470 driver stack, and instead lists support as "ongoing." However, a visit to the Wayback Machine shows that R470 was listed as the end of the line as recently as this past Saturday.

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It's possible Nvidia changed its mind, given the current GPU landscape. Or since it's supposedly been more than a year since the document was updated (which is clearly not true), Nvidia may have changed course some time ago, and just forgot to go in and make the correction until now.

We'll find out soon enough. As of the most current driver release (466.47 WHQL), Kepler is still supported, which means owners of graphics cards like the GeForce GTX 780 Ti are getting new features (as supported) and performance tweaks, just like owners of more recent GPUs.

Don't be surprised if Nvidia does end support soon, though, whether it be with the R470 stack or sometime not too terribly long after. Kepler has been around for almost a decade at this point, and was replaced by Maxwell starting with some later revision GTX 700 models. It's also worth noting that Nvidia discontinued support for its Fermi GPUs (GeForce GTX 400 and 500 series) with its R390 drivers.

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).