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Updating Drivers? Is it needed?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
a b U Graphics card
October 27, 2011 3:36:26 AM

I am in the computer repair business
and I have always updated my drivers (GPU,TV Tuner,Soundcard etc)
when new ones have come out.

I have just recently had a problem with my HD 5670
with bad flickering and BSODs

So I DLd 11.6 CCC package
I had 11.9 recently installed

So i removed the latest driver
and installed the older driver I remember working well

So I have come to a conclusion
If you have a older piece of hardware ie HD 5670
(over a year or two)
then if it is running well dont bother with updating drivers
Use the drivers that came out about 6-12 months after product launch
since they will probably be stabel
Really I dont think that ATI/AMD did any kind of update to the HD 5xxx
series lately anyway

So basically if you if are running HD 5xxx and everything is fine
Dont update
Unless you are running Crossfire and need new profiles

Do you agree or disagree Toms Community?

October 27, 2011 5:31:01 AM

yup, i agree with you but there is some difference,
If your card supports upcoming features then you must update your driver for getting better quality or performance otherwise do not update,
because unsupported features keep on creating problems for GPU and system performance also because these features still running in background on your system.

The conclusion is that you must check your Card or system configuration first before installing any update.
October 27, 2011 5:53:11 AM

You should read the driver release notes to see what improvements are made to determine if you will benefit, otherwise no you don't have to upgrade your drivers unless a new game requires it.
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a b U Graphics card
October 27, 2011 6:00:47 AM

I am glad to see that you agree

@ yasir

Very true. For example with the ATI Stream and UVD
it can be worth updating some older cards

@ billj214

I agree but a certain point in the lifespan of a card
after about a year - 2 years
IE HD 5xxx
I dont think that there will be any improvements made
I dont think that AMD will be doing any more work on the 5xxx cards

Since I went back to 11.6 everything has been fine so far
11.9 just was horrible with my HD 5670

even with other parts like sound cards and tv tuners
after about a year or two
if it is running fine then I dont think upgrading drivers is worth it
a c 189 U Graphics card
October 27, 2011 6:11:28 AM

My rule is: never updating if your PC is stable, because sometimes the latest version is not always the best... ;) 
a b U Graphics card
October 27, 2011 6:18:03 AM

Totally agree now wa1
I was always thinking you should stay updated
and of course with Java,Adobe reader and flash apps
then I still think that is true
but with drivers
"if it aint broke dont fix it"
is a good rule

BTW wa1 it would be great if you came over to the benching thread

Little Dinosaur would be great to bench against my Dell

Really similar in performance
I have a C2D at 3ghz also
it would be fun benching against you :) 

Best solution

October 27, 2011 6:27:29 AM

Yes good point about the age of the card but as for my older Nvidia cards like 8600gt or 9600gt, they still use the same drivers as current cards like the GTX580. If you download the latest driver 285.62 and look at supported cards it will list cards over 8 years old. This doesn't mean your card will benefit from the driver updates but if you read the release notes it gives you specifics about the update.

I also was in the repair business for many years, from 1992 to 2001 and as for my advice from a PC repair guy to another if the customers PC is working then don't touch it since the chances of causing another problems is very likely! The philosophy from Dell, HP etc is run the restore disk and that's it since software issues will almost always take too much time to troubleshoot and cost you money!

Also most driver updates fix things more than they cause problems but in very few cases they will cause another issue and you have to rollback!

a b U Graphics card
October 27, 2011 6:31:26 AM

I agree completely about customers PCs
I will update adobe,java and codecs
but not drivers unless absolutely needed

for my own system I think I got caught up with
thinking EVERYTHING needed to be up to date
It was kind of a point of pride
Weird I know :) 
a b U Graphics card
November 3, 2011 12:08:02 AM

Best answer selected by king smp.