No Trip Without The Driver: An Excursion Into The Software Behind Today's Hardware

Introduction

Today, while our site is well-known for its comprehensive technology and product reviews, the "performance" aspects have taken the back seat. This article pushes this theme back into the forefront - after all, even a perfect hardware setup isn't worth anything without the right software to support it.

Many of us tend to think about an hardware upgrade as soon as we get the impression that the system could be too slow. Usually, the computer is fast enough for almost every task, but it might need some extra support. What I am talking about is no overclocking or performance fine tuning, but merely a quick driver check and eventually an update.

Buying a pre-assembled computer in some computer shop is usually a safe affair, as all neccessary drivers should be already installed. The scenario I am mainly referring to here is either a home-made computer that needs to have the operating system installed, or a computer which OS needs to be re-installed (some people believe that regular re-installing could be a hidden feature of Windows 98...) What both situations have in common is that the system won't perform optimally until all necessary drivers are installed. Let's find out why by first looking at the basics.