How to Update Your Graphics Drivers for Maximum Gaming Performance. What is a gpu driver

Nvidia and AMD have graphics driver software that can automatically detect your card and notify you of the latest updates. As for these types of applications, they are not conspicuous, so we recommend that you install them so that you can easily update your GPU drivers in the future.

How to Update Your Graphics Drivers for Maximum Gaming Performance

Chris Hoffman
Editor in Chief

Chris Hoffman is the editor-in-chief of How-To Geek. He has been writing about technology for over a decade, and for two years he was a columnist for PCWorld. Chris has written for The New York Times, has been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations such as NBC 6 in Miami, and his work has been covered by news sites such as the BBC. As of 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read nearly a billion times – and it is right here at How-To Geek. Read more.

A graphics driver is software that enables your operating system and programs to use your computer’s graphics hardware. If you play computer games, you should update your computer’s graphics drivers for the best hardware performance.

Earlier, we advised you not to forcibly update your drivers, and we stick to that. Most hardware drivers that come with your computer or through Windows Update are fine. However, we make an exception for graphics drivers for your graphics hardware NVIDIA, AMD, and even Intel. We recommend that you stay tuned, especially if you are a gamer.

Why You Should Update Your Graphics Drivers

Updates to the motherboard, sound card, and network drivers of a computer usually do not improve the speed of operation. They often fix rare bugs, but honestly, introduce new bugs just as often. So, if everything works fine, it’s usually not worth the worry of.

However, this does not apply to updated graphics card drivers, also known as GPU or graphics card. Both NVIDIA and AMD frequently release new graphics drivers that usually provide significant performance improvements, especially for newer games. As Intel is taking integrated graphics performance more seriously, it has also started releasing more frequent video driver updates.

Here are a small fraction of the changes to the latest NVIDIA graphics driver package (release 387), released on December 20, 2017:

And that only applies to specific games for which optimization has been improved. There are also numerous bug fixes and new features.

This kind of performance increase in updated graphics drivers is not uncommon. While newer games get the most attention, even some older games see significant performance gains thanks to updated drivers.

Of course, if you never play PC games on your PC and you don’t care about 3D graphics performance, you don’t really need to update your graphics drivers at all.

It’s not just NVIDIA’s. Both AMD and Intel are also at the top of the “game”, so to speak. According to internal testing on the Surface Book with an Intel 6th generation GPU, Intel beta drivers from May 2020 increase performance by approximately 15.

Before getting started: Identify your GPU

System information window in Windows 11.

Before you can install or update GPU drivers, you need to know your GPU model. If you’ve built your own computer or otherwise know what graphics card you have, you can skip to the steps below. If you don’t know what card you have, don’t worry; you can easily figure it out on Windows 10.

Press the Windows key + S and enter System Information. Select the best result to display a window with everything you need to know about your computer. In the left menu, expand the Components option and select Display. The main window will refresh with some information about your display and graphics card. You can find your graphics card model under Name.

You can also find your GPU driver version in this window if you want to manually check if you have the correct version. But you do not have to. AMD and Nvidia both offer software that can automatically detect if a driver is out of date.

Step 1: Install graphics card driver software

Nvidia and AMD have graphics driver software that can automatically detect your card and notify you of the latest updates. As for these types of applications, they are not conspicuous, so we recommend that you install them so that you can easily update your GPU drivers in the future.

Nvidia GeForce Experience

Nvidia GeForce Experience home page.

Nvidia’s graphics drivers come from GeForce Experience, which also includes ShadowPlay game capture and automatic game optimizations for supported titles. Download GeForce Experience from the Nvidia website and follow the installer instructions. Once done, GeForce Experience will automatically open and try to detect the games installed on your computer.

If you don’t want GeForce Experience, you can manually update your graphics driver. You can use Nvidia’s product search page to find your graphics card. The search function speaks for itself, but make sure the download type is set to Game Ready (GRD) driver and the operating system is set to Windows 10. Otherwise, it is enough to know the product series and the card you have (see above).

Run the installer for the latest driver and you’re done. During the installation, Nvidia will ask if you want to install GeForce Experience, but you can install the driver itself if you want.

AMD Radeon Software

Home screen in AMD Radeon software.

The AMD drivers are from Radeon Software, which includes a number of useful features for AMD graphics cards. In addition to updating the driver, the software allows you to monitor your PC’s temperature and performance, set up the live streaming scene, and take advantage of features such as Radeon Chill and Radeon Anti-Lag. Download the latest version of Radeon Software from AMD and follow the installer instructions.

Alternatively, you can find your card manually, but you still need to install the driver using the Radeon software. You can search for your card using the AMD Product Finder, which is easier to use than Nvidia. Just make sure you’ve selected Graphics as the category, then select the product series and the tab you have.

On the next screen, expand the Windows 10 – 64-bit Edition menu to view the available drivers. Under the version number, look for a driver with the tag Recommended. You will also see an optional driver option that includes upcoming features but may contain bugs or other issues. Click Download, follow the installer instructions, and you’re done.

There you have it – simple methods to find out the NVIDIA driver version on your Windows PC. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and let us know.

What are NVIDIA Drivers?

A driver is software that allows the operating system to communicate with a hardware or device. So, in the case of the NVIDIA graphics driver, it enables the system to communicate with the graphics card, ensuring it is working properly.

However, the most important reason to update NVIDIA drivers is for extra support and performance improvements when playing games.

You may have the latest graphics card on the market, but without the proper drivers your game will suffer in terms of performance, such as:

  • Low frame rate
  • Stutter
  • Malfunction
  • Other graphic glitches

At worst, you may not even be able to run the game without updating your drivers.

What Do NVIDIA Drivers Do?

Installing the latest NVIDIA drivers has several features. In the simplest case, this will install the display drivers along with other extras like GeForce Experience and PhysX drivers.

As mentioned, the graphics drivers will greatly improve the performance of your games.

NVIDIA frequently releases driver updates that improve the performance of the latest games. As a result, you can play around with fluid frames, better graphics fidelity, and overall stable performance.

A graphics driver is software that enables your operating system and programs to use your computer’s graphics hardware. If you play computer games, you should update your computer’s graphics drivers for the best hardware performance.

When Should You Uninstall Older Drivers Beforehand?

For those who haven’t connected their GPU yet, you may be wondering if you should uninstall any older drivers before installing. The main factor in determining whether or not this will be necessary is the brand of the older GPU compared to the newer GPU.

Same Brand GPU Swap

The same brand of graphics drivers will hardly interfere with each other as the driver package is similar; while only an update may be needed.

Put simply, if the graphics cards you will be swapping out are AMD to AMD or Nvidia to Nvidia, you won’t have to uninstall the previous drivers before plugging in your new graphics card.

Different Brand GPU Swap

Older drivers can become problematic when they are from a different vendor than the newer ones.

This means that if your old GPU is AMD and your new GPU is Nvidia (or vice versa), you’ll want to completely uninstall all older drivers before installing your new graphics card. If this is not successful, conflicts may arise that can compromise the performance of your GPU.

How to Uninstall Older Drivers

Now that we have an idea when it is best to uninstall all the currently installed drivers on your computer, let’s take a look at how to get the job done successfully.

Remember that it is always best to follow the steps below while in Windows Safe Mode to avoid any unwanted blue screens, crashes, or stuttering that might interrupt the process.

Uninstalling Through Windows

As a general rule, it is not recommended to uninstall GPU drivers solely via the operating system as the process may leave behind some residual files and folders that can still cause conflicts.

That being said, many prefer to uninstall the drive through Windows and then remove any extra items with third-party software.

Through Device Manager

To uninstall GPU drivers from Windows, you’ll want to go to “Device Manager” using the search function on the toolbar. Then go to “Display Adapter”, click the down arrow and double-click your GPU.

Then go to the “Driver” tab and click the last option called “Uninstall”. You can also right-click your GPU under Display Adapter and select Uninstall from the drop-down menu.

Through Apps & Features

You can also find the specific driver you want to uninstall by going to the “Applications and Features” window in the Control Panel.

From here, scroll down until you find the driver you want, click on it (so it is highlighted), then select “Uninstall”. In Windows 7, this option will be under “Programs and Features”.

Third-Party Applications

Now, if you want to provide your PC with a complete, clean uninstall, you’ll want to use a third-party application; to ensure that the process has been sufficiently carried out.

Display Driver Uninstaller

Perhaps the most famous application for this task is DDU (Display Driver Uninstaller), which can be downloaded from the Guru3D website.

On the same page, you’ll find extensive AMD and Nvidia support threads, as well as instructions on how to use the app properly.

AMD Cleanup Utility Tool

AMD also has an equivalent program to remove unwanted drivers, called Cleanup Utility.

Removes all graphics drivers, audio drivers, accompanying software and registries. Please note that this application only works to remove AMD drivers as it will not interfere with Nvidia’s software.

Only use Cleanup Utility when upgrading from an older AMD graphics card to a newer AMD or Nvidia graphics card.

Only then can the GPU (both pro and consumer) work to its full potential and deliver the desired performance.

What does updating graphics drivers do?

Your GPU is responsible for drawing every pixel you see on your screen: Windows UI, web pages, 5h Rick and Morty Netflix viewing or GTAV night sessions. But your GPU can’t do the same – this is where your graphics driver comes in.

This article includes:

This article includes:

A driver is a necessary piece of software that allows your operating system – most likely Windows – to communicate with your computer’s hardware, such as a graphics card. And keeping your graphics driver up-to-date is crucial to getting good computer performance, games, and any other graphics-intensive tasks. The drivers are also free, which is another great reason to update them. Think of them as free performance tweaks.

Updating your graphics driver – as well as updating other Windows drivers – can increase your speed, fix problems, and sometimes even provide completely new features – all for free. If the player in you is wondering if updating your drivers increases FPS (Frames Per Second), the answer is that it will do that and much more. Let’s see how updating drivers can improve performance.

What do game drivers do: boost gaming speed by over 100%

Low FPS, lagging gameplay, or poor graphics are not always caused by an inferior or old graphics card. Sometimes, updating your graphics driver can fix performance bottlenecks and introduce improvements that make your games run much faster – up to 104% on certain games in our testing.

Here are some examples:

Red Dead Redemption 2 and Resident Evil 3 Remake FPS Boost for PC after Graphics Driver Update

Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the most demanding PC games. Even high-end systems struggle to hit a whopping 60fps in 4K at maximum quality settings. However, patches and updated drivers allow the game to use more than one graphics card, while increasing the performance of the Vulkan graphics system.

putting all the improvements together, we achieved a huge performance leap from 25 FPS when the game was released in late 2019, to 51 FPS on my own slot machine – an amazing 104% performance boost! So, if you’re trying to figure out how to increase GPU performance, you can take a look at your graphics driver.

Red Dead Redemption on PC with 4K resolution and Ultra settings

Resident Evil 3 Remake also got its own “Game Ready” driver which boosted its performance from a (slightly) uneven 49fps to a smooth 60fps.

What does updating NVIDIA drivers do? Well, NVIDIA recently added a new type of technology called DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) that uses artificial intelligence to make a lower resolution image look like a higher resolution image without sacrificing performance. And the results already look promising. It’s another easy way to boost performance for free – Just Update A Driver!

How to improve GPU performance? Update your drivers automatically

Learning to update drivers can be a challenge. You’ll need to manually identify the drivers you need, find them, and then download and install them. If that sounds too much, consider a driver update utility.

At Avast, we know that many people – even hardcore gamers, tech enthusiasts, or industry professionals – are afraid of the process of finding new drivers and dealing with hiccups. And this often results in people not updating their drivers at all.

Avast Driver Updater automatically detects old drivers and then updates all drivers – not just your graphics driver, but all of them. At the same time, it will increase the security of your computer by ensuring that you only get correct updates from official vendors. Forget about searching for drivers yourself – Avast Driver Updater hassle-free sourcing drivers from over 100 major brands.

In the end, it just means that the driver has been finely tuned for handling and highly optimized for the upcoming game. The driver will give you the best game experience at launch.

Method 2: Check NVIDIA driver version in NVIDIA Control Panel

Overall, if you are using NVIDIA graphics cards, the NVIDIA Control Panel will be installed on your computer, which is an application that manages NVIDIA driver features.

In addition, you can go to the Nvidia website to detect your graphics card and driver here.

Here’s how to do it:

Note: The driver version number is taken from the driver installation package on NVIDIA’s website and typically includes the last five digits of the full driver version number.

Method 3: Bonus Tip – Check Driver Version and Update Driver Automatically

A missing or outdated device driver can cause various problems with your PC, so updating device drivers should always be the option of your choice to prevent further problems with your PC.

You can update the drivers either manually or automatically. The manual process is time consuming, technical, and risky so we won’t cover it here. We don’t recommend doing this unless you have excellent computer knowledge.

On the other hand, updating drivers automatically is very easy. Just install and run Driver Easy, and it will automatically find all devices on your computer that require new drivers and install them for you. Here’s how to use it.

    and install Driver Easy. Run Driver Easy and click Scan Now. Driver Easy will now scan your computer and detect driver problems.

But if you have the Pro version, you can click Update All to automatically download and install any missing or outdated drivers.
(If you click the Update All button on the Free version, you will be asked if you want to upgrade to the Pro version.)

INFORMATION: You can also check the current driver for your driver by clicking the device name.

Note: If you have any problems using Driver Easy, please contact our support team at [email protected]. Be sure to include the URL of the article if needed for more convenient and effective guidance.

There you have it – simple methods to find out the NVIDIA driver version on your Windows PC. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and let us know.

It’s not just NVIDIA’s. Both AMD and Intel are also at the top of the “game”, so to speak. According to internal testing on the Surface Book with an Intel 6th generation GPU, Intel beta drivers from May 2020 increase performance by approximately 15.

What are Graphics Drivers?

In the field of computers, graphics refers to a computer display system. A video card, also known as a video card, video card, or graphics controller, is a card that is attached to a computer to create the signals displayed on a monitor. Graphics drivers are software that runs graphics cards by linking them to the operating system. They are different for each graphics card and are most often provided by the graphics card manufacturer. It is important to update these drivers to get the best performance from your computer.

Graphics Card.

Graphics Card.

The usual way to update your graphics drivers is to go to the manufacturer’s download site. Information such as product type, product series, product name, operating system and language can be characteristically entered here, and most of this information can be found in the system profile on your computer, if not known immediately. This information will be processed and will provide you with a list of driver updates for download. You can also find archived drivers from older tabs as well as beta versions of drivers for testing. When someone locates the drivers that are appropriate for your system, it will download them, uninstall the old drivers, and install the new ones.

The graphics card can be used to improve game performance.

The graphics card can be used to improve game performance.

NVIDIA®, one of the world’s most popular graphics card vendors, provides an alternative method of obtaining graphics drivers – the Intelligent Scan service. The web service scans your hardware and software to determine the appropriate graphics drivers for your specific computer configuration. Drivers are suggested based on information about the processor and its speed, operating system, amount of RAM (random access memory), video and sound cards, etc. The system works with both Windows® and Mac® computers and a variety of browsers.

The one exception to the general rule that manufacturers provide graphics drivers for every graphics card they manufacture is Intel®. Because Intel® includes Intel® Embedded Graphics Drivers (IEGD) on embedded Intel® Architecture chipsets, it provides driver updates. They can be found on the Intel® website or the Embedded Design Center website.

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing and research, and has a tendency to correct misinformation on the Internet. In addition to publishing articles for EasyTechJunkie on art, literature and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer and author. He has a BA in writing from the University of Chicago and an MA from the University of Vermont. She is the author of books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as musical compositions for Sibelius Software.

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@Markerrag – Why yes. Yes, there is a way around this abuse. It’s a bit technical, but it might be worth it. The trick is to install the drivers themselves without all the bloatware. This requires removing the control pack and then manually installing the hardware drivers.

There’s a good chance you’ve done this before, but do a search on the internet to find out how. Markerrag January 15, 2015

One of the annoying trends that develop around graphics drivers is installing these things with loads of bloatware. I’m talking about resource-consuming “control packs” that you can use to control a lot of things about your graphics card that you don’t care about.

The most annoying thing about all this abuse is that it is another thing that slows down your system and slows down graphics performance. If you have a high-performance graphics card, the last thing you need is bloatware to slow things down.

Is there any way to get around the bloatware? I’d really like to know.

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