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GPU driver updates...how often should you.


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I usually update drivers when I think about them but I notice that more and more the drivers seem to be for games I don't have or for cards well above mine.

I have a 1070. Am wondering if the drivers make any difference to older cards anymore. Does it matter if I don't do an update every new update and wait until maybe one even two have happened.

Any thoughts?

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1 hour ago, Maharin said:

I should add that sometimes they introduce bugs with new versions (duh) so it may break some things while helping others.  You know, like everything else related to computer software.

That's why I only ever update after a year or when things start going not quite right which almost never happens for me.

I have an rtx 3080, so it's not like I'm begging to get every bit of fps possible.


Now with AMD GPUs, I'd say update as much as needed since those cards pretty much always need at least one more update to fix their bugs with games. It just never ends with them. Nvidia very rarely ever gives me any issues, so I just don't care to update often anymore.


For an old card like a GTX 1070, I'd say the bugs are likely all worked out by now. But an update might give you 1 or 2 more fps with some titles (including titles not listed in the updates). So it's really just a matter of how desperate are you to try to squeeze out more fps? It's mainly only the last 2 generation of cards that might still have bugs, security flaws or stability issues being worked out.

Edited by Fox (see edit history)
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Thanks. Now that you mention the bugs I do recall a few updates ago I had to revert my driver as as soon as I updated my screen "got glitchy". Not recalling what it was exactly but I know I had to go back to the older driver I had.

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Everyone has their own preferences, but this is typically what I do with drivers:


  • New hardware  - check to see if there are stable, updated drivers
  • Every 6 months - Check for new drivers
  • Having issues - Check for new drivers


I don't fret about the drivers enough to make me check them on a more frequent basis (say every month), but when I start seeing issues, it is the first thing I check out.

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Don't know if this is true for all software houses, but my employer writes software for networking hardware. We have a major/minor/patch heirarchy, and there is a systematic way of how they approach stuff.


A major version introduces substantially new features. (1.x)


A minor version adds new functionality onto existing features (X.1)


A patch can be an optimisation patch, a feature patch, a bug patch or a security patch. 


However, it usually goes that the first 6 months after release, there's a lot of new functionality, optimisations, and bugs. After that, it's all bugs and security fixes. 


It would be different for Nvidia, but not substantially so. First year after the release of the 30X0 generation, there would have been a lot of new features and optimisation for new games etc, based on collected real world data. After that, it would be mainly bug fixes and security patches, because the bulk of the team would be reassigned to working on the 40X0 project.


Since vulnerabilities in video drivers would be impractical to exploit for criminals, after the first year, I don't really bother to update drivers unless there is something I read that will help. It won't improve performance, and it's unlikely to introduce a new featuee that is supported on my Hardware.

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You should only update your graphics drivers when you need it. And you need it when something quits working or you need the upgrade to install something. If everything's working okay just leave it alone.


When you install a new graphics driver something may quit working or you may have a problem somewhere else. If you install it because you have to well you'll just have to deal with it. But if you didn't need it, you are creating a pain in the rear for yourself. 

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