• Windows 10 drivers for old graphics cards

    Good evening ladies and gentlemen, I know it's been a while. But I will update the page more frequently in the coming weeks and months!

    Now back on topic: Windows 10 requires a WDDM-driver and a DX9-card, which from a hardware point of view includes basically every card made in the last 10 years. But not all of those are being fitted with a nice driver update in order to enjoy Windows 10 - they are deprecated and support has been limited if not cancelled altogether. Apart from basically not being able to play games, video acceleration features are amiss and even the UI becomes kind of choppy with Microsofts Basic Display Driver. For example Nvidias DirectX-9-cards and AMDs DX9- and -10-models are unfortunate as such. This includes Geforce models up to Geforce 7900 series and AMD cards up to the HD 4800 series. But there's a way around this. At least for some. I've tried to locate drivers via Windows update for a dated Geforce GTX 7900, but Microsofts OS would happily tell me, the basic display driver was up to date and the best I would get.

    Not in sync with Microsofts idea for Windows 10 users, I procured some initiative of my own and not 5 minutes later I obtained the latest Windows 7 (yes, VII, or winver 6.1) WHQL'ed drivers for the 7900 GTX via Nvidias website www.geforce.com, made sure it had the right bitness and clicked on setup. Another minute later I was ready to roll. The driver works like a charm from what I could see after 5 minutes of toying around, even though it was in no way meant for Windows 10. Desktop resolution, UI accelleration and simple 3D games - it's a DX9 card after all - worked.

    It's quite slow by todays measures and it is not what I would call feature packed. But for basic desktop tasks as well as for some simple games it still can be used - and the ability to drive most displays at their native resolutions is a very tangible improvement over Microsofts Basic Display Adapter even if the card is only there to bridge a temporal gap until the new, massively shadery 3d accelerator arrives.

    I didn't try explicitly, but I could very well imagine that a similar approach would work pretty nicely for AMD cards as well.

    So, there you have it: Don't despair, don't believe the driver archives and show some initiative!