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Windows 7: GPU mobility driver updates - do I really need to worry about it?

31 Mar 2015   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
GPU mobility driver updates - do I really need to worry about it?

I wondered what people's take on this is. How essential is it to keep updating the GPU drivers? I have an Alienware M17rx3 laptop Sandybridge with switchable GPU (AMD and Intel). The main GPU is the AMD Radeon 6970M. When I got the machine almost four years ago I was religious about updating the AMD drivers. It came with Dell's own driver (based on catalyst 11.5 I believe). Updating the drivers due to the presence of switchable GPU & various laptop specific features was a PITA. Really like playing russian roulette. I used to get lucky using a link from notebook forums and installing over the top. But most people had nightmares losing the switchable ability or function to control screen brightness via the ALienware hot keys etc etc

Anyway, I got so fed up of the constant driver updates. Every single month, seemed like overkill. And also bricking it over the loss of functionality. So I stopped updating them when I reached Catalyst 12.1. Everything works ok. I know it's an older driver but do I really need to be worrying about being so out of date? Things have moved on and it seems if I attempted the install now to latest GPU it's going to be pretty horrific. As I use a cache SSD (dataplex) which absolutely hates crashes/unclean shutdowns I can ill afford a temperamental process. And I have a kind of 'if it ain't broke then don't fix it' attitude now.

I haven't played many games in a long time. Around early 2012 my drivers (12.1) coped well with all the latest releases. Do they stand a chance with some of the more recent games. I'm not bothered about games running at 99999 frames a second. An adequate frame rate is all I need. I would hope that a game running on direct x would work whatever driver package I am on as after all AMD 12.1 does support direct x versions upto 11. Do many of you play any of the more recent games on older driver versions (maybe even still using the OEM drivers that shipped with your laptop or desktop)?

Rather than updating over a driver that already works well are there driver files/dlls that can just be dropped into a games install location so that the game (and only this game) uses it. I think I saw once upon a time some of that going on with Rage (seems a much simpler thing that going through a whole driver update). Hope that makes sense.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2015   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64 bit

Did you try updating them? If you only heard the others' opinion,why not give it a try?

If you get to the situation the other people were,search for System Restore and go to the time you didn't install the drivers yet.

It's essential that you get the most updated drivers,because there will be some fixes over the older ones,have better capabilities and more. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 GPU mobility driver updates - do I really need to worry about it?

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