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For some time now I have been looking at ATI Radeon Drivers for my HD 4770 under Windows 7 Update. So far they have been showing under Optional Updates and I haven't downloaded it since I do all my ATI Radeon driver updates through AMD own website (http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/Pages/index.aspx).

Today apparently, ATI provided a new update to Microsoft. This time it shows under the Important Updates header. This is terribly confusing. What drivers are these?

To clarify, I currently have installed the latest Catalyst drivers, version 9.9.

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I'm not exactly how ATI drivers on Windows Update compare to the latest from AMD's website, but here is how I understand things:

  • Drivers provided by AMD's website are the latest released drivers 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.
  • Drivers from Microsoft Windows Update pass Microsoft's WHQL tests. They ensure a level of compatibility but are typically based on an older driver version than the latest.

A good rule to follow with respect to drivers is to update only when you see a fix that fixes a problem that you are having or a performance enhancement. With that said, I update the driver maybe once every 6 months through AMD's website just to keep current.

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Thanks hanleyp. That is my understanding too. What drew the line this time was seeing them moved to the important updates list. The fact the More Information link is still not working makes it harder to detect the reason. I'm going to put this item on the ignore list, lest I accidentally download and install it along with other updates on the future. With the type of games on my machine I have no interest on these drivers supplied by Microsoft. –  A Dwarf Sep 30 '09 at 23:56
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You could also install it and get the version of the driver in Device Manager. Then you could see how it compares to the latest drivers. I have a 4850 on one of my work computers and the driver version is 8.573.0.0 from 1/13/2009. Catalyst 9.9 is driver version 8.65 according to the Release Notes. –  hanleyp Oct 1 '09 at 0:05
    
That is a possibility yes. I could then get Catalyst Control Center separately. I do have some issues with OpenGL under the newer ATI drivers for Windows 7 affecting my copy of Starry Night, Celestia and producing some unwanted behavior in DosBox. This could possibly fix some issues and still remain highly effective with my current games... hmm, you are right! I need to give it a go. –  A Dwarf Oct 1 '09 at 0:21

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