Nvidia driver news Nov 2021

This announcement appeared in the Nvidia Developer Blog about the CUDA 11.5 toolkit:

Deprecation of the NVIDIA Kepler driver

The NVIDIA Kepler microarchitecture was first introduced in 2012 and has since been phased out. For all NVIDIA Kepler-based SKUs, R470 is the last driver branch supported; and, we have removed driver support starting with the R495 release.

For those with the Kepler cards it appears that it will not be possible to cure Rhino issues by updating your video driver anymore. Presumably you will need to upgrade your video card or even your computer.

For a long time, I have bought nVidia video cards/chips. It seems that as time goes on, it doesn’t feel quite as good as it once did.

As you might have noticed, video cards a very expensive, now. I don’t know what they were thinking about the timing of it. Many of their cards take the same unified-style drivers, anyway.

Ironically, since the breakdown of Moore’s Law, it’s upsetting to see workable computer hardware put out to pasture. I should think that an old GTX 800 series chip could still run Rhino–faster than intel’s newer integrated solutions. : )

Oddly, I gave my old graphics card to a friend, who is still using it, a EVGA AR-series GTX 570. Oddly, that AR-series video card, are you ready? That video card has a lifetime warranty!

Hi @AlW and @Brenda
I agree that it’s a shame that there’s a deadline on hardware, but I must admit that I’d rather be “forced” to update my hardware every ~10 years and enjoy the benefits of the massive leaps forward taken in terms of visual quality over the last decade. If you look at the Kepler cards, the very, very top model was the TITAN Z (3000 USD!!!) released in 2014, which boasted 2 GPU’s on a single card and was a freaking marvel at the time. Currently - though it can be hard to come by - the RTX 3060 is some 70% faster for around 1/10 of the price. Kepler was made on a 28NM node, The 3000 series is 8 NM.

I guess, what I’m saying is, that I think it’s fair for Nvidia (and AMD) to retire hardware, as I’m sure that quite a lot of work goes into keeping all those generations of GPU’s compatible with both OS updates, hardware and software. Much like McNeel are no longer putting out SR’s for Rhino 4 (which was the current version whan the Kepler architecture came out).
My 2 cents :slight_smile:

1 Like

Of course ceasing support does not mean the hardware will stop working. As long as the currently functioning system doesn’t change then the operation shouldn’t either unless there is an electronic failure. Many manufacturers try to make it sound like the system will just stop working unless you immediately upgrade.

The implication for a continuously updated software like Rhino would not be that you must stop using the current working version. It just means that as newer Rhino versions start using features that don’t exist in the old hardware and Nvidia doesn’t include software work-arounds in their new drivers users with older cards won’t be able to run the newer versions.

I just thought I would pass on the notice for those (probably few) users still using Kepler cards so they wouldn’t be completely blind-sided when they start seeing the effects of Nvidia’s decision.

Just to clarify folks the drivers will still be getting security updates until 2024–remember kids, every unpatched device connected to the Internet isa hazard–what’s ending is adding new features and fixes for new games, which I would be shocked to discover they were actually still putting much effort in to anyway.