[Tutorial] Updating your graphics card

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Graphics Card GeForce

Usually, updating drivers is not a life-or-death situation as users are advised to scrutinize and check new releases to make sure they really need them. After all, most of you have probably heard horror stories from Windows 10 where forced driver updates can pretty much break an entire system. With that said, driver updates for graphics cards are another matter entirely.

Why would you update your drivers?

Driver updates are usually meant to fix bugs, add support for more systems, amend compatibility issues and generally make sure that a product works fine in any given computer. But driver updates for graphics cards are mostly concerned with improving the performance of said cards. If you have a new GPU, the latest driver updates can frequently give you performance boosts of up to 30+% which is nothing to scoff at. Even users with older video cards can benefit from the updates though it is true that very old products just stop being supported at some point. NVIDIA, AMD and even Intel all release drivers quite often, especially when popular new games come out.

In case you never play games or run intensive tasks on your computer, keeping your drivers constantly updated is not vital. Gamers are the only ones who will notice huge differences in the performance of their systems though you should still update your drivers from time to time anyway. The difference, of course, is that you do not have to be quick about it.

Learn about your graphics card

Device Manager Graphics Card

If you already know which graphics card you have on your computer, feel free to skip this section and head over to the next one. Everyone else should open their Start menus, type devmgmt.msc and press Enter. This will open the Device Manager utility where you need to find and expand the “Display adapters” menu. In most computers, this menu will only list one card but since many modern laptops have integrated and dedicated cards, you may see two entries. In these cases, disregard the Intel card and focus on the other one as that is what you are using for gaming purposes.

Find drivers manually

AMD Drivers

All three major graphics companies provide utilities that can help you install your drivers but you can also choose to download updates manually. Visit the link below that corresponds to your video card and find the drivers for you product. You also need to make sure that you are downloading the correct drivers for your operating systems as drivers for 32-bit Windows 7 will not work on 64-bit Windows 10, for instance. The following websites are constantly updated so you will always be able to get the latest drivers via this method.

Find drivers automatically

Intel Driver Update Utility

When you visit the links above, you may notice that all of them have an option of automatically finding the drivers for your graphics card. Selecting that option will allow the services to gather system information from your computer so that they can provide you with the correct drivers. This is actually a very easy way of finding the right drivers but it is meant for people who are unfamiliar with their PCs and just want to update as quickly as possible.

NVIDIA GeForce Drivers

NVIDIA provides an additional option through GeForce Experience, its gaming-focused hub of information and services. The application is useful for other things too but its main advantage is that it can automatically detect new drivers and inform you as soon as possible. The company has also announced plans to lock “Game Ready” drivers inside the GeForce Experience app so the optional nature of the utility will soon transcend to a mandatory one.