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Nvidia has just declared that it will no longer release support or drivers for 32-bit operating systems after Release 390. The company announced the news publicly on its official website.
"Later driver release versions will not operate, nor install, on 32-bit operating systems. 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," the company said.
Well, this change will significantly affect Operating Systems with 32-bit builds of Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1, Windows 10, Linux, and FreeBSD. However, Nvidia has said it will continue to release critical driver security fixes, as needed, until January 2019.
However, Nvidia moving to a 64-bit OS is not that surprising. We had a hunch that this was coming from how things were progressing in the last few weeks. But again, this move seems quite legit as a 64-bit system already exists and there is no such reason to install a 32-bit OS these days.
A 64-bit Windows comes with better security in comparison to 32-bit OS, and even if it varies with the workload, 64-bit applications generally run faster than 32-bit ones. Using 32-bit operating system users can face some legacy constraints. Besides, with the proliferation of technology 16- and 32-bit software and ancient hardware will soon become a lot harder to use in the coming years.
Apart from this announcement, Nvidia has also announced that it is pulling out support for its NVS 310 and NVS 315 graphics cards based on its dated Fermi architecture. As mentioned earlier 390 drivers will be the final release among these cards.
Meanwhile, Microsoft will most likely continue to support the 32-bit versions of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 until 2020 and 2023, respectively, and the company will continue to support the 32-bit version of Windows 10 indefinitely.
But again a top GPU manufacturer ending compatibility might lead consumers as well as PC brands to complete the transition towards 64-bit hardware.
Users can always check which version of Windows their PC is running by right-clicking This Computer (or My Computer) and selecting Properties.