Updating Drivers… Do You Need To?

“In computing, a device driver or software driver is a computer program allowing higher-level computer programs to interact with a hardware device.” – Wikipedia

It’s a question that almost every computer owner has asked themselves at least once.  What’s the right answer?  Well the simplest answer is if you’re not experiencing any issues with your current driver, let it be.  Unless the updated driver contains a major feature upgrade or performance boost, it's usually ok to stick with what you have.

The main exception to this rule are video cards.  Unless there is an acknowledged issue with the current driver, updates are almost always performance increases!  Always check your video cards manufacturer for current drivers.

The logical follow-up question; where do I get updated drivers?  That can be confusing as you have a few options.  The trick is knowing which option to use.  Below we’ll break it down for you:

  • Hardware Manufacturer – this is where your first stop should always be when looking for updated drivers.  They will have the latest drivers usually before anyone else.  For video cards you want to check the chipset manufacturer first.

  • Windows – it has generic drivers built in for lots of peripherals, especially printers, scanners and such where the generic drivers are the best solution.  No unnecessary bloatware tacked on.

  • The drivers that came with your device – to quote Life Hacker ” You’ll almost never want to do this. These drivers are probably outdated by the time you get the computer up and running…”

As with all Software, if the software/driver is installed incorrectly or a wrong version is used you can cause fundamental problems with the computer, so please do at your own risk!

If this all seems like more than you want to deal with, you can always pop in and see us at Chips Computers.  We are here to simplify technology for you!

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