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Windows 7: Windows Update / GPU ?

23 Nov 2010   #1
Ciara

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit SP1
 
 
Windows Update / GPU ?

Hi , I clicked to see what my new update was this morning and its for my graphics card so does windows update inc drivers for all installed hardware, like sound cards, printers ? ......






My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Nov 2010   #2
Bill2

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

I'm not sure how ATI drivers on Windows Updates compare to those from AMD's website, but couple of things.

1) Drivers from AMD's website would be the the latest you can get. They are released about every month to continually fix issues that come up. If you look at the Release Notes, you can see that the fixes include specific things for specific games, etc. You can compare version numbers between the two offerings.

2) Drivers from Windows Updates pass MS's WHQL tests. They ensure compatibility but may be based on an older driver version rather than the latest, which means they may actually be one or two releases behind the latest ones. As a result they would likely be missing functionality like OpenGL support and stuff like Avivo.

I normally update only to fix a problem or for a performance enhancement- so, like once in 2 months through AMD's website. I would never update device drivers via windows updates.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2010   #3
Ciara

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit SP1
 
 

Thank you Bill2 , I appreciate your advice and wont install the update, I have noticed (when playing Sawoid) the game jumps so I will go to AMD and try the latest driver for my GPU.

Ciara
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Nov 2010   #4
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bill2 View Post
I'm not sure how ATI drivers on Windows Updates compare to those from AMD's website, but couple of things.

1) Drivers from AMD's website would be the the latest you can get. They are released about every month to continually fix issues that come up. If you look at the Release Notes, you can see that the fixes include specific things for specific games, etc. You can compare version numbers between the two offerings.

2) Drivers from Windows Updates pass MS's WHQL tests. They ensure compatibility but may be based on an older driver version rather than the latest, which means they may actually be one or two releases behind the latest ones. As a result they would likely be missing functionality like OpenGL support and stuff like Avivo.
Hi Bill,

This is a great answer to something that I have wondered about for some time +1

A quick question if I may. Is the above true for all device drivers? For example, a while back I got an optional Windows update for my monitor (Samsung Syncmaster), as well as a host of other hardware (e.g. soundcard).

Thanks,
Golden
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2010   #5
Bill2

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

Mostly yes. Thing is, MS isnt so much bothered about supplying you the latest drivers, its only concern is that the drivers are stable and wont cause problem that MS gets blamed for.

MS will generally only update the drivers supplied with Windows if a fault or a security flaw is found and not just because there are better ones available. When you click "Update Driver" in Device Manager, you will only receive an update if an updated version is held by MS. Windows will not download drivers from a manufacturer's website for you.

Nor will MS update routinely drivers for devices produced after that version of Windows was released (drivers that you installed from the manufacturer-supplied CD). New drivers for new hardware are normally only added to Windows during the major Service Pack releases.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2010   #6
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Excellent - thanks Bill
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 Windows Update / GPU ?




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