NVIDIA has announced that it will soon end support for 32 bit operating systems. The company said that after the release of the Version 390 of its graphics card driver, it will no longer release drivers for 32-bit operating systems for any GPU architecture. This directly impacts users who are hanging on to 32-bit versions of Windows 7, Windows 8 and 8.1 and Windows 10. So in case you are running an NVIDIA GPU and a 32-bit operating system, post the release of Version 390 you will not be able to update.
NVIDIA ends support for 32-bit drivers
NVIDIA support team announced on the company’s blog,
Later driver release versions will not operate, nor install, on systems using the above products. Driver enhancements, driver optimizations, and operating system features in driver versions after Release 390 will not be incorporated back into Release 390 or earlier versions.
If you are among those who have bought Windows PC in the last 3-4 years, you will not be impacted as you would have likely picked up a 64-bit PC. However, Organizations using legacy systems or PC’s running on public domains like Government offices, Hospitals, Schools, etc., are likely to face issues related to security and may become vulnerable to malware attacks.
On a consolation note for 32-bit operating system users, NVIDIA says that it will be releasing occasional security updates for their GPU drivers even after Release 390, but they will come out as needed. This minimal support, though, will continue only until the end of 2018. Critical security updates though will be released until January 2019.
The above announcement affects you only if you use NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics cards. In case those who use Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) or Intel GPUs are still safe from the obsolescence of 32-bit.
NVIDIA also announced the end of support for NVS 310 and NVS 315 after the release of the GeForce Game Ready driver 390. These products though will continue to receive security until December 2019 (low to critical) and December 2012 (critical only).
From the security point of view, nowadays, the older 32-bit PC’s get fewer updates from most software vendors. As a result, they become an easy target for attackers to inject malware. Hence, upgrading to 64-bit architecture is better for security and performance reasons.