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Why should I keep updating my system drivers? How do they help to make it faster and less error-prone? When we purchase the system, it already ships with the latest drivers and utilities that my OS needs – so why do they become outdated after some time?

If I should update those, what is the best way to know that my drivers are being old and cause the system to become slower? How can I update them automatically (if something like this is even possible)?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Because when we purchase the system it is with the latest drivers and utilities that what my OS need.

Some drivers can already be old at the time of purchase. The system might have been waiting in the store for a few months. (Although admittely drivers rarely evolve that fast.)

So why they become old after some time.

The same way normal programs become old: if version N has some bugs, developers will release version N+1 with some bugs fixed and/or new features added.

What is the best way to know that my drivers are being old and cause the system slower?

In software, "old" does not automatically mean "slow". Very often, old drivers work just fine, they simply don't have new functionality.

And if a driver has bugs, they will be noticeable immediately when using the device – not when it becomes "old".

How can I keep update them time to time automatically if it is possible?

Some manufacturers publish drivers for their products on Windows Update. They would appear under "Hardware (Optional)" whenever a new version is available.

Others provide an update check on their own websites – for example, Intel has a "Driver Update Utility" that scans your computer.

There are programs that scan all installed drivers regardless of manufacturer. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend any; and you should be very careful with programs found in Google.

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+1 for not using generic driver updates. Also, just go ti the manufacturer's website if you want the latest drivers. Windows update is fine 95% of the time for drivers – Canadian Luke Aug 27 '11 at 16:20

I don't like automatic driver update software, it is better to know what hardware your PC has in the first place, then go to the hardware manufacturers website (not the PC manufacturers website) to look for the latest driver.

If it is a HP, Dell etc, then some drivers can only be found at their site.

Do a hardware inventory of:

  • Motherboard Chipset AMD or Intel

  • Graphics chip or card AMD, Intel, Nvidia

  • Network adapters, wired and wireless

  • Audio chip or card

If you have a Notebook and Nvidia graphics, this is the place to get the latest Nvidia drivers

These are the primary and most important, you may have others.

Use Speccy to identify all your major hardware.

Best advice is if you are not having driver issues, then it is best not to update them, you may go from a stable driver to an unstable driver. If this happens you can easily roll back the driver to the stable one in device manager, or use Windows System restore.

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Because the drivers shipped may have bugs or in future the manufacturer of your devices might optimize the drivers to perform better.

I don't really know about updating them, but when I used to use Windows, Windows Update did cover some driver updates, though they were hardly ever the most recent ones.

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AFAIK, Windows Update only includes WHQL-certified drivers, and the certification takes time. (And the manufacturers cheat, too.) On the plus side, it's a good way to only get the drivers, without any included junkware. – grawity Aug 27 '11 at 16:18

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