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I just reinstalled Windows, and although there was no any display adapter driver (like the NVIDIA Geforce driver) installed, the display looked fine.

What is the display adapter driver for? Does it improves the displaying?

I am using Windows XP and I have a NVIDIA Geforce 9500 GT graphics card.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The Windows default display driver only supports some functionality of your graphics card (only some resolutions, 3d graphics hardware etc.) Installing the correct driver for your graphics card usually makes rendering faster, enables power-saving, things like that. It's essential if you play 3d games or have a high-resolution display, but basic computer use is certainly possible without drivers.

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(it would be easier to answer your question specifically with your system information; for example most Linux distros will run perfectly fine without custom drivers) –  Marcus Chan Jan 29 '13 at 17:20
    
OK , see my edit . –  URL87 Jan 29 '13 at 17:22

When Windows does not auto detect what kind of display adapter is used in a system, it uses a basic SVGA display driver. Every graphics card made for a long, long time will support VGA or SVGA output. With this basic adapter, you may lose color depth and/or certain resolutions, 2D and 3D acceleration will not be supported, as well as most advanced functions the card may have. Its as bare-bones as you can get while retaining minimal functionality.

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