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Generic drivers?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
July 15, 2010 10:37:41 AM

Why do both AMD and nVidia drivers seem to be for just one class?

With nVidia, they just have options to download for example GeForce 5-series, 6-series, 7-series drivers, 8-series and 9-series drivers. How does one driver accommodate several different graphic cards? Surely say a GeForce 9800 GTX+ would have different fan profiles and clock speed configurations than a 9500 GT for example. (With the GTX 200/400 series IIRC they each have their own drivers)

With ATi it's the same, each series seems to just have one driver. I.e., the X series, HD 2000, HD 3000, HD 4000 and HD 5000 seem to have just one driver.

Do these drivers come with all the drivers needed for each individual card in the series, and the drivers can identify the card that is installed?

If so, wouldn't it be much easier for the customer to download their own individual driver instead of having to download the whole lot?

Or am I completely wrong and missing something really obvious/suffering from an evident brain lapse?

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July 15, 2010 4:34:36 PM

Lmeow said:
Why do both AMD and nVidia drivers seem to be for just one class?

Do these drivers come with all the drivers needed for each individual card in the series, and the drivers can identify the card that is installed?

If so, wouldn't it be much easier for the customer to download their own individual driver instead of having to download the whole lot?

Or am I completely wrong and missing something really obvious/suffering from an evident brain lapse?


You've hit on the idea, but not the logic. It is a lot faster to incorporate drivers for a range of cards into one driver package than to write a separate driver package for each card. And yes, the driver package identifies the card and installs any needed codes as required.

While it might seem easier to you to have individual drivers for each card, it also makes it that much easier for the end user to download the wrong one. Then he/she wonders why things suddenly go bad and then he/she either blames the ATI/Nvidia or thinks something went wrong with the video card. Those people who honestly know what they're doing when downloading drivers might find they spend a few minutes less time during the download, but think of the unwary person who would look and see virtually dozens of different driver packages and not know for sure which one to download. Sometimes Henry Ford was right when he said, "You can any color you like, as long as its black". Modifying that saying, you can download any driver package you like and it will work, as long as its ATI driver for ATI card or Nividia driver for Nvidia card.

Having one package that fits all is also convenient. If I upgrade from a 3xxx card to a 4xxx card, for example, I don't have to clean out my old driver package and install a new one. I just install the new card and it runs.
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a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
July 16, 2010 4:08:57 AM

Best answer selected by Lmeow.
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a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
July 16, 2010 4:09:32 AM

Alright, thanks.
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