Microsoft killed support for Windows 7 well over a year ago, and now it’s Nvidia’s turn. In a pair of support pages published over the weekend, Nvidia announced that on August 31, 2021, the final Game Ready drivers with support for Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 as well as older “Kepler” GPU-based GeForce graphics cards will be posted. After that, your existing setup will continue to work, but you won’t receive bug fixes or optimizations for new PC games, though “critical” security updates will continue to be provided through September 2024.
It’s always a bummer when support ends for hardware and software, but Nvidia (and rival AMD) maintains older configurations for longer than many companies. Windows 7 released all the way back in 2009, while Windows 8 launched in 2012. Windows 8 wasn’t great, however, and Microsoft quickly hit the reset button with Windows 10 and offered free upgrades to users of both of those older versions of Windows. Neither 7 nor 8 is maintained by Microsoft any longer.
“Microsoft has officially ended support for Windows 7 and Windows 8, with Windows 8.1 nearing the end of its lifecycle as well,” Nvidia’s support plan states. “The vast majority of our GeForce customers have migrated to Windows 10 OS. In order to ensure GeForce owners experience the best possible security, support, and functionality, Nvidia will now focus on Windows 10 operating system.”
Nvidia’s Kepler architecture, meanwhile, powered the GeForce GTX 600- and 700-series graphics cards, as well as the first couple generations of the company’s flagship Titan GPUs. The GTX 600-series debuted nearly a decade ago, in 2012, and the GTX 700-series hit the streets a year later.
The following graphics cards will receive their final Game Ready drivers on August 31:
If you’re still using one of those older GPUs but want to continue receiving game optimizations and bug fixes, you’ll need to upgrade your hardware. Our guide to the best graphics cards can help you pick the right one for you (if—big “if”—you can find one for a sane price during the crippling GPU shortage we’re suffering through currently).