You might remember that in the months leading up to Mantle, DX12 and Vulkan, I mentioned that all of nVidia’s cards from Fermi and up would support DX12. This was also officially confirmed by nVidia on this page, and also here. However, you can see the small print there already:
Fermi will receive DX12 support later this year (expected around the first wave of DX12 content).
And indeed, nVidia’s initial release of DX12 drivers had support for all GPUs, except Fermi. However, these Fermi drivers never appeared later that year.
nVidia later made a statement that they would not support Vulkan on Fermi. People extrapolated from this that the elusive DX12 drivers for Fermi would never materialize either.
But nVidia silently made good on their promise. I still have an old Core2 Duo machine around, with my old GTX460 in there. I put Windows 10 on there to have another DX12 test box, and I ran into exactly this problem: no drivers.
However, I just upgraded it to the Windows 10 Fall Update, and while I was at it, I also installed the latest GeForce drivers, namely 388.00. And lo and behold:
There it is! Direct3D DDI version 12! And driver model WDDM 2.3! These are fully up-to-date drivers, exposing the DX12 driver interface to applications. I don’t know how long this has been in nVidia drivers, but it can’t be more than a few driver releases since I last checked (previous drivers reported only DDI 11).
If I were to hazard a guess, I would think that the 384.76 drivers were the first. Previous release notes say this for DirectX 12 support:
DirectX 12 (Windows 10, for Kepler, Maxwell, and Pascal GPUs)
But now there is no mention of specific GPUs anymore, implying that Fermi is also supported.
Of course I wanted to make absolutely sure, so I ran one of the DirectX 12 samples on it. And indeed, it works fine (and it’s not running the WARP software emulation. The samples would mention this in the title if they did, and it was compiled with WARP set to ‘false’):
I also tried the only DX12 demoscene production I know of so far, Farbrausch’s FR-087: Snake Charmer. This also works:
So there we have it, DX12 on Fermi is finally a thing! Kudos to nVidia for delivering on their promise at last.
Update: Apparently this was already discovered on Guru3D, which confirms the 384.76 driver release as the first: http://www.guru3d.com/news-story/nvidia-fermi-cards-get-d3d-12-support.html
I found that link while looking at the Wiki page for nVidia GPUs, which someone had updated to DirectX 12 already in July.