NVIDIA Fermi is now officially retro (or atleast unsupported)

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NVIDIA Fermi is now officially retro (or atleast unsupported)

Postby TheAbandonwareGuy » 2018-5-21 @ 14:58

NVIDIA has dropped GameReady driver support for cards using there Fermi architecture (400/500 series, and some lower end 600 series were rebrands) and will drop critical security updates this following January. This means prices on Fermi cards should hit rock bottom sometime next year by my estimates. My thoughts on Fermi are this:

First off, they support drivers as far back as 2010/2011 for 400/500 series cards respectively. I already know of some games that don't function correctly on current gen NVIDIA hardware with the latest available drivers so these could be useful in that regard. Fermi was also one of the last generations to be optimized for DirectX9 code (Kepler also was to a degree). You'll notice that with Maxwell generation and newer cards they have extremely low scores in most DirectX9 benchmarks and in games which didn't receive specific optimization (Skyrim for example was optimized). An 8800GTX scores higher in 3DMark06 than a GTX 750 Ti for example. This means that when later generation higher end DirectX9 and DirectX10 cards start to become harder to obtain (due to price increases and the whole Bumpgate thing) these might be the next best thing.

Secondly, they were the last generation of cards to emerge when Windows XP still had a decent marketshare meaning they have well developed WIndows XP drivers. This will be important for games that either don't run at all on newer versions of windows, or have greater support under Windows XP (games using EAX come to mind, as even on Creative hardware Alchemy isn't always perfect). They also are the last generation with full BIOs support before UEFI started to takeover on the high end which means they have the greatest compatibility with older generation motherboards. You want a GTX480-backed Pentium4? More the power to you.

What's YOUR thoughts?
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Re: NVIDIA Fermi is now officially retro (or atleast unsupported)

Postby Deksor » 2018-5-21 @ 15:35

Does that mean my main GPU is going to be "retro" ? :(
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Re: NVIDIA Fermi is now officially retro (or atleast unsupported)

Postby BeginnerGuy » 2018-5-21 @ 16:32

mememe wrote:What do I think. well first off the Fermi cards are still supported until January 2019, the thing to note here is they will no longer get "game ready" drivers.

Second, Fermi cards are all ready cheap. you can get a 560ti or like 30$

Thirdly , cards like the voodoo5500 are rather costly, they aren't supported. How will lack of support drop the prices?


And forth, Even the 9xx cards can be used in XP. Why would we need a 4xx or 5xx card for xp? The 4 and 5xx cards are not all to good for the older buggier games. If you need to use XP to play a game your not going to use a 4/5 card. yYur going to use something older, otherwise just play the game on a new system.


Voodoo cards were worth only a couple of dollars for years. By 2005 you could grab a v3 from ebay for $5. After over a decade of going to landfills and growing nostalgia for glide caused prices to fly over the past few years. Voodoo 5 5500s are far less common than a voodoo 3 3000 and pack way more computational power.. hence pricing.

Fermi cards may see a price spike in the future if they become equated to the "ultimate" xp machine. But they still aren't running a proprietary API like a voodoo.

As for why fermi over 900 series, OP claims they are dx9 optimized. I can't verify that, just wanted to respond to the 3dfx line of thought.
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Re: NVIDIA Fermi is now officially retro (or atleast unsupported)

Postby vvbee » 2018-5-21 @ 17:37

My thought is that I'll use linux with open source radeon drivers and wine for games from that era, since it's good enough. I'll probably be more hyped up when the real time path tracer cards become retro and you might only be able to run the pioneering titles with one of those.
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Re: NVIDIA Fermi is now officially retro (or atleast unsupported)

Postby BinaryDemon » 2018-5-21 @ 18:28

Retro seems too soon since the 400/500 series still officially support DX12, although I'd guess there's some software emulation helping certain functions.
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Re: NVIDIA Fermi is now officially retro (or atleast unsupported)

Postby Standard Def Steve » 2018-5-21 @ 20:16

My XP machine (actually, it's an XP partition on a machine that runs Win7 85% of the time) has a GTX 680, and I must say that I like it a whole lot more than the GTX 560 I used to have. Haven't noticed any incompatibility with any of the games I play on XP, and it's noticeably faster.

TheAbandonwareGuy wrote:You'll notice that with Maxwell generation and newer cards they have extremely low scores in most DirectX9 benchmarks and in games which didn't receive specific optimization (Skyrim for example was optimized). An 8800GTX scores higher in 3DMark06 than a GTX 750 Ti for example.


With any recent video card, 3DMark06 is pretty much a CPU test. Maxwell is actually scary fast at D3D9:
4.6-3D03-970OC-W7.png
3DMark03 (frame rate in the thousands; this will embarrass any GTX 580)

2400CL9-3D06-W7.png
3DMark06 (CPU speed is absolutely the limiting factor here)

Those were both done on an overclocked GTX 970, which kind of isn't a 750Ti, but the point is that there's oodles of D3D9 performance in newer, currently supported GPUs.
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Re: NVIDIA Fermi is now officially retro (or atleast unsupported)

Postby Palladium » 2018-5-22 @ 03:26

I got lower scores: 150K on 3dmark03 and 36K on 06, 8700K/GTX 1060/Win 10.

Time will maybe prove me wrong, but I don't think Fermi except the 590 will have any serious collectible value like the 3850/4670 AGP does. All my DX9 games run well on Win 10, maybe not as fast as on XP + native XP hardware but it already runs so fast it doesn't matter anyway.
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Re: NVIDIA Fermi is now officially retro (or atleast unsupported)

Postby spiroyster » 2018-5-22 @ 12:19

vvbee wrote:My thought is that I'll use linux with open source radeon drivers and wine for games from that era, since it's good enough. I'll probably be more hyped up when the real time path tracer cards become retro and you might only be able to run the pioneering titles with one of those.

This kinda happened... look for Caustic OpenRL R2100/R2500 (single/double RTU). They came out back in 2013, I've only ever seen one for sale on ebay back in early 2015. It was a ~1500 quid card in 2013, then 30 quid in 2015 o.0. 5 years ago now, so maybe 'retro'.

Who knows how many were shipped. Maybe a thousand? Quite probably less than that?

Given how niche the requirement (its just ray plane intersection tests that need accelerating), and the power of GPGPU (OpenCL etc) these days, I doubt there will be another tbh :(.
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Re: NVIDIA Fermi is now officially retro (or atleast unsupported)

Postby nforce4max » 2018-5-22 @ 13:38

Well the GTX 480 is already a collectable card that is in demand for the same reasons as the FX 5800 but thankfully very easy to find and cheap, the GTX 590 has always been a somewhat uncommon card. The rest of the lot are good choices for retro use due to their low cost and some are very durable build wise. Kepler and Maxwell are still overpriced because of cancerous miners but Pascal is horrendous price wise despite being more than two years old already. As for performance I agree with OP but for now when it comes to this get whatever floats your boat but more importantly get what you can afford.
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Re: NVIDIA Fermi is now officially retro (or atleast unsupported)

Postby Ozzuneoj » 2018-5-22 @ 14:07

nforce4max wrote:Well the GTX 480 is already a collectable card that is in demand for the same reasons as the FX 5800 but thankfully very easy to find and cheap, .


The FX 5800 is insanely collectible because they were a running joke and no one bought them, but they also have plenty of retro gaming value due to high compatibility and speed for older titles. They represented a historically significant point where Nvidia completely flopped and ATI dominated... Basically the only time this has happened.

The GTX 480 wasn't any of those things. It was loud, hot and inefficient compared to the HD5xxx series but it was still the fastest single GPU at the time and people bought them. I had a 470 myself and made sure to replace it with a 560 Ti when those were released (due to heat and noise)... But The performance was great on both.
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Re: NVIDIA Fermi is now officially retro (or atleast unsupported)

Postby cxm717 » 2018-5-22 @ 20:13

I think the GTX 480 was a nice card. I think it was similar to the Radeon 290x and some more recent AMD cards. It was late and it ran hot and was loud. I personally bought a 5870 at release and by the time the 480 was released, I wasn't interested in it. Although, I did get to try one out much later on. The GTX 580 was different though. It was out not much after the 480 and had much better performance.
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Re: NVIDIA Fermi is now officially retro (or atleast unsupported)

Postby TheAbandonwareGuy » 2018-5-23 @ 04:05

cxm717 wrote:I think the GTX 480 was a nice card. I think it was similar to the Radeon 290x and some more recent AMD cards. It was late and it ran hot and was loud. I personally bought a 5870 at release and by the time the 480 was released, I wasn't interested in it. Although, I did get to try one out much later on. The GTX 580 was different though. It was out not much after the 480 and had much better performance.


GTX480s are ice cubes compared to the R9 290. I had a Gigabyte WindForce R9 290 and I still think 2 480s would have put out less heat than that thing.
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Re: NVIDIA Fermi is now officially retro (or atleast unsupported)

Postby cxm717 » 2018-5-23 @ 04:32

My point was that they were similar. Hot, loud and late. The power draw (and total heat output) wasn't much different between the 2, I do think a 290x uses more than a 480 though. The stock cooler on the 290x was terrible, it either let the card get very hot (94C) or was super loud. I used to have a pair of 290x cards... I ended up replacing the coolers with an arctic cooling accelero xtreme 3 and a gelid vrm heatsink. I don't have a comparison between the 480 and 290x but I did find one that compared the 290x to GTX 580: https://tpucdn.com/reviews/AMD/R9_290X/images/power_average.gif and GTX480 vs 580 https://tpucdn.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_580/images/power_average.gif

Like I said before, I don't think the GTX480 was really a bad card. It at least had good performance. I also think it would have been viewed a bit differently if it was out around the same time as the Radeon 5870.
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Re: NVIDIA Fermi is now officially retro (or atleast unsupported)

Postby oeuvre » 2018-5-23 @ 12:43

Just sold my GTX560 for $40.... glad I got rid of it now
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Re: NVIDIA Fermi is now officially retro (or atleast unsupported)

Postby candle_86 » 2018-5-23 @ 17:03

The question is which is the hottestest. FX5800 Ultra, Radeon 2900XT, GTX 480 or R9 290X
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Re: NVIDIA Fermi is now officially retro (or atleast unsupported)

Postby Ozzuneoj » 2018-5-23 @ 18:00

If an FX5800 Ultra had a cooler like the ones used on a 290x or GTX480, it wouldn't have been hot.

A GTX 1050 Ti would probably have run hot with a chintzy little leaf blower like the ones used on cards back in the early 2000s.
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Re: NVIDIA Fermi is now officially retro (or atleast unsupported)

Postby cxm717 » 2018-5-23 @ 21:25

candle_86 wrote:The question is which is the hottestest. FX5800 Ultra, Radeon 2900XT, GTX 480 or R9 290X


How about the Vega64?

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Re: NVIDIA Fermi is now officially retro (or atleast unsupported)

Postby cxm717 » 2018-5-23 @ 21:29

Ozzuneoj wrote:If an FX5800 Ultra had a cooler like the ones used on a 290x or GTX480, it wouldn't have been hot.

A GTX 1050 Ti would probably have run hot with a chintzy little leaf blower like the ones used on cards back in the early 2000s.


Yeah. The techpowerup database has the TDP of the FX5800 at only 44watts. That's less than the 960GTX in my mITX system (120watts)
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Re: NVIDIA Fermi is now officially retro (or atleast unsupported)

Postby swaaye » 2018-5-24 @ 17:44

I picked up a GTX 580 last year. Surprisingly quiet card even if it's power hungry. NV makes some nice OEM cooling solutions.

2900 XT is pretty irritating. The cooler steps up and down through annoying blower speeds. Even at idle. At load it's a hair dryer. Cards from those years have awful idle power characteristics. About 70W minimum doing nothing at the desktop. It's difficult to think up a good reason to use any DX10 GPUs.

I had a 290X for a brief time. They certainly cheaped out on the cooler for that card and got lots of bad press for it.

5800 Ultra mostly suffered from bad cooler engineering. They hadn't stepped up their game in cooler design yet. I also believe they designed it with looks as a primary consideration. Seemed to take a cue from Abit Siluro.
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Re: NVIDIA Fermi is now officially retro (or atleast unsupported)

Postby Scali » 2018-5-24 @ 18:15

I have always liked Fermi, even though the 480 was a bit of a false start.
AMD may have been the first to market with DX11 hardware, but Fermi felt more like 'DX11 done right'.
They were the first GPU with a really elegant and efficient tessellation solution.
I got a 460 myself, still works fine. They even got full DX12 driver support not too long ago.
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