These days, installing drivers for your hardware is easy. Windows 10 installs them in the background without you noticing most of the time. Drivers are essential for your computer to operate correctly as they help your operating system be able to identify not only what a piece of hardware is, but what it does, and how to handle the information it sends and receives, so having correct drivers is essential to the stability of your computer.
What does a driver do?
The operation of drivers in technical terms can go very deep, with code and hardware buses and so much more, but for the efforts of this article I will keep it short and sweet.
In the old days, back when your computer looked pretty much like a keyboard that you plugged into your television, drivers were not such a big deal. Granted some hardware required drivers but it was more of a rarity. Since operating systems such as Windows and Mac OS hit the seen, we discovered that most hardware changes were followed up by a software change in the form of drivers. Everything came with a Floppy Disk, or if it was really fancy it might have come with a CD. You’d pop this in and run the small installer and suddenly your new hardware would spring to life.
These days, Windows can download and install most, if not all, of the drivers your system requires, but certain specific hardware you may have will need to have the correct driver installed manually for the best operation. A big difference from the old days is that hardware will still run on a basic level but never at full capacity until a suitable driver is running.
Should Drivers Be Kept Up To Date?
If your system is running fine and smoothly then your drivers shouldn’t need to be updated unless you’re changing your hardware, in which case you may need to update drivers and install new ones.
If you’re a power user, that is running your PC for a lot of the time with high-grade hardware or using your computer for gaming or other specific uses, then it would be in your best interest to keep your drivers up to date with the latest versions.
Some hardware vendors offer Beta and sometimes even Alpha versions of drivers. These are drivers that aren’t fully out of development and are typically for public testing purposes. You must be careful when using these as they may cause instability on your computer and cause data loss or software corruption.
This Website Is Telling Me That My Drivers Are Out Of Date, Why Is This?
When a website is telling you that your drivers are out of date, it is typically a scam. There is no way that they can test your system in such a manner, and if you call the number supplied with the website they will ask for remote access to your computer, in which they will mess around and show you things that appear to be errors but are perfectly normal, and once completed they will ask for your bank account details. Never call any number from a website that says you need this software to fix issues on your PC. We wrote an article about this some months back that may be helpful, you can read that here.
Having the latest drivers is a personal choice, and all drivers should be acquired from the hardware manufacturers website. If you’re not technologically inclined then you should seek professional help if you wish to be up to date, but as stated earlier, it is not a requirement if your computer is running fine. If you are experiencing issues with a slow computer it is rare that the issue will be caused by a driver issue, but we here at PC-PartX are happy to look into any issues you may be having, so give us a call or visit our show room.