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Windows 7: How do you differentiate between drivers?

20 Apr 2012   #1
DustSailor

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
 
 
How do you differentiate between drivers?

For example, the Acer website here: Acer Support: Downloads & Support Documents - Notebook / Aspire / Aspire 6930G lists at least 3 different drivers for VGA. What confuses me is if someone has an Nvidia graphics card in their notebook, why does it list Intel and ATI drivers as well? Does anyone know why this is? Do you download them all? And is it bad to go to the Nvidia website and download the most recent driver from there? On the Nvidia website, I quote,
Quote:
...this is a reference driver that can be installed on supported NVIDIA notebook GPUs. However, please note that your notebook original equipment manufacturer (OEM) provides certified drivers for your specific notebook on their website.
So should I stick to the driver(s) from the Acer website? Do I use all 3? The driver(s) from Acer is not the most recent, but does that mean it is the most compatible or something?


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20 Apr 2012   #2
DustSailor

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
 
 

Also, 2 of the Nvidia drivers are listed as exactly the same, but of different sizes o.0
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2012   #3
alphanumeric

Windows 10 Education 64 bit
 
 

My Acer Aspire 5920 has the provision of adding a better graphics card than the built in "Mobile Intel GM965 Express Chipset with integrated 3D graphics". The connectors are there to upgrade it with a custom Nvidia or ATI card, mine just doesn't have one. If it did I would download the matching driver. For instance a Nvidia GeForce 8600M was an option for selected models. I would need the Nvidia driver for that. Some laptops have dual graphics too and can switch back and forth depending on what you are doing and whether you're on battery or not. You just have to know what hardware is inside.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Apr 2012   #4
DustSailor

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
 
 

So if a comp manufacturer lists 2 or 3 different drivers for, say VGA, you download them all, and you choose those drivers over newer ones put out by the part manufacturer?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2012   #5
alphanumeric

Windows 10 Education 64 bit
 
 

I looked at the download page you linked too, some of those drivers are 32 bit and some are 64 bit. Thats why you see two Nvidia drivers listed with the same version number. Also, you have "All Operating Systems" selected at the top. Switch it to your exact OS and it will filter out the ones you don't want. As far as what VGA driver to download, that depends on what card is installed in your laptop. Device manager should help you sort that out. I got what I could for my 5920 from Acer. I ended up going to Intel for the chip-set/VGA drivers. For some reason Windows 7 didn't install them and Acer didn't offer them in its downloads.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2012   #6
Sardonicus

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DustSailor View Post
For example, the Acer website here: Acer Support: Downloads & Support Documents - Notebook / Aspire / Aspire 6930G lists at least 3 different drivers for VGA. What confuses me is if someone has an Nvidia graphics card in their notebook, why does it list Intel and ATI drivers as well? Does anyone know why this is? Do you download them all? And is it bad to go to the Nvidia website and download the most recent driver from there? On the Nvidia website, I quote,
Quote:
...this is a reference driver that can be installed on supported NVIDIA notebook GPUs. However, please note that your notebook original equipment manufacturer (OEM) provides certified drivers for your specific notebook on their website.
So should I stick to the driver(s) from the Acer website? Do I use all 3? The driver(s) from Acer is not the most recent, but does that mean it is the most compatible or something?
Intel, ATI and Nvidia all produce mobile graphics chips. That model may use any one of the those chips. That's the reason why there are three vendors listed. You can determine the driver vendor from the Window's device manager. You only need to download the driver for that vendor.

Not using the certified drivers has been known to produce problems. Some users after going to the vendor's site for updates, had to revert to the original certified driver from the laptop manufacturer's site.

Unfortunately, there may be little to no driver support from the laptop manufacturers, after the initial drivers. There may be a new driver released, but usually if a huge problem needs to be addressed. For the life of the product, the certified driver may be the best usable driver.
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 How do you differentiate between drivers?




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