NVIDIA 470 Series To Be The Last Supporting GTX 600/700 Series Kepler

Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA on 21 May 2021 at 09:00 AM EDT. 32 Comments
NVIDIA Linux users have been looking forward to the upcoming 470 driver series for better Wayland support but for those running GeForce GTX 600/700 series graphics cards, it will mean the end of the line for new feature driver releases with their proprietary driver stack.

Updated CUDA documentation has revealed that the R470 driver series will be the last supporting NVIDIA Kepler GPUs, which for consumer cards is the once impressive GeForce GTX 600 and GTX 700 series.

The NVIDIA 470 series driver will be the last supporting Kepler GPUs while driver releases post-470 will only have Maxwell GPU support and newer.

This does mean that the NVIDIA 470 series will be a long-term driver support branch where it will be maintained with new kernel support, operating system compatibility, and bug fixes for a period of about three years. So those with Kepler era GPUs still have at least a few more years of driver maintenance releases to go before losing out on the proprietary Linux driver support.

The open-source Nouveau driver stack does support GTX 600/700 Kepler series and is in fact the best currently supported by Nouveau... At least there is manual re-clocking with the ability to hit the target clock frequencies of the graphics cards and good performance while not requiring any signed microcode/firmware. It's Maxwell and newer where the Nouveau support is in bad shape due to being bound to boot clock speeds and the signed firmware challenges. But that Kepler Nouveau support is still manual re-clocking, the OpenGL driver support is not as mature as the proprietary driver, etc. Hopefully by the time the NVIDIA 470 series is end-of-life, Nouveau will finally have better open-source support for these GPUs.

The NVIDIA 470 driver series should be introduced in the coming weeks.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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