Performance - Windows Update drivers vs Hardware Manufacturer drivers vs OEM drivers

Discussion in 'Windows 10' started by xiwanm, Nov 16, 2018.

  1. xiwanm

    xiwanm MDL Novice

    Jul 22, 2017

    I was first tempted to post this thread in the "Gaming" section, but decided that my performance inquiry could apply to both gaming and office/business usage of Windows 10.
    Also, this thread will not shine by its originality, as google can reference many discussions on this topic, each with different levels of usefulness and expertise.

    I was wondering if anyone took the time to measure the performance of their Desktop/Laptop using Windows generic drivers and took other measure using the manufacturer ones.

    Nowadays, during a fresh new Win10 install, your motherboard chipset, sound card, hard disk controller and even video card drivers are automatically installed.
    My simplistic understanding is that Windows Update offers generic drivers which should apply to a vast variety of hardware, and thus, drivers are fully compatible but not optimized. On the other hand, the OEM offers a more tailor made driver, but don t update it often. Finally, the hardware manufacturer always offered the most recent/updated driver, but may cause incompatibility/instability to the OS, mainly due to Microsoft periodical updates paired with non existent QA. Also, manufacturer drivers and OEM drivers are sometimes bundled with mandatory additional software, such as control panel and monitoring widgets, which could have an overall negative impact on performance.

    While I will always use drivers directly downloaded from NVIDIA/AMD when it comes to graphic card performance, it is more difficult to choose when it comes to a chipset driver or sound card driver.
    For instance, my fresh win10 1809 install indicates that my WHQL chipset driver is from 2015, Intel website indicates lastest version available is from 2018, meanwhile OEM (Lenovo) website indicates 2014 as its latest version.

    Therefore, can you provide some clarity on this :

    1) What is your personal preference regarding driver's origin ?

    1.1) Considering specifically chipsets, do you use drivers install by windows, or do you use manually download and install them ?

    2) For a gaming performance purpose, have you witnessed a significant improvement using manufacturer driver ? Any specific advice ?

    3) Have you seen an article which compares performance depending on driver's origin ?

    Thank you,

  2. Flipp3r

    Flipp3r MDL Expert

    Feb 11, 2009
    If you've got an older chipset then the "latest" chipset software still contains your older inf files.
  3. dezn

    dezn MDL Novice

    Aug 24, 2018
    Your basic chipset drivers provided by microsoft works just as fine.
  4. TairikuOkami

    TairikuOkami MDL Addicted

    Mar 15, 2014
    Windows default SATA/AHCI driver - Windows boots in 2 mins (sometimes there was a black screen for like 2-3 mins before desktop), AMD driver - Windows boots in 50 secs.
    Windows default Asmedia USB 3.0 driver - some people reported problems, after using dev's driver, it was all fixed.
    Windows default installed Realtek LAN driver is from 2015, the latest one is from 2018, also fixes some bugs, etc.

    Not really, it contains a compatible driver, just to avoid a yellow triangle in the device manager, but not the real driver.
    Installing the latest driver made my Windows sometimes un-bootable, because of missing proper GPU/SATA drivers.
  5. redxii

    redxii MDL Junior Member

    Aug 7, 2016
    #5 redxii, Nov 16, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
    Directly from the chipset manufacturer (i.e. Intel, Nvidia, Realtek), if they provide drivers. Not all of them do.

    For instance, with motherboards or systems that are mostly Intel components, the majority of drivers, such as Blutetooth, Ethernet, WiFi, integrated GPU, are covered straight from Realtek has their NIC, HD Audio, and media card reader drivers available.

    Secondarily, particularly for my notebook, I have to get them from HP for sound (Conexant) & touchpad, since those chipset mfgrs don't make those drivers directly available, and a few drivers are specific to the notebook itself like 'wifi button' and a g-sensor driver.

    I've gotten flak, or simply ignored when someone starts a thread like this, after contributing my opinion, when asking getting a driver from the motherboard/system builder vs the chipset mfgr for well-known companies like the aforementioned. It's taboo apparently to suggest going to anywhere other than the motherboard/system builder's website when it doesn't take long for motherboard/system builders to neglect updating driver listings for a board/system. All they do is re-package anyway.

    Microsoft does the same thing, but pushes them through Windows Update.
    There is no actual 'driver' in Intel's chipset 'driver'. All the Intel chipset 'driver' does is rename or identify generic/unknown chipset entries listed in "Device Manager" to more specific ones and nothing more. Newer chipset (INF Update) 'drivers' from Intel simply include newer chipsets, but for older chipsets, they don't update the 'driver' for them because there is no need to.

    Windows has basic display driver support, installing an updated display driver from either WU or the mfgr should yield significant improvement. For all other drivers, unlikely you'd notice any improvement from updating a wifi or audio driver in games.
  6. Enthousiast

    Enthousiast MDL Tester

    Oct 30, 2009
    Generic windows sata driver, boots in 15sec (full boot), no other driver available;)
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