When a game doesn’t run the way a gamer wants it to, the finger is typically pointed at drivers. The reason for this is that the graphics driver is essential system software that allows your operating system and other programs to use your PC’s graphics hardware—such as a video adapter or graphics chipset—so if something is broken, an update is likely required.
But does updating graphics drivers really boost gaming performance? 🤔
We say it does.
Does Updating Graphics Drivers Increase Performance?
If you’ve read our post on the top ways to boost gaming PC performance, you’ll know that we mentioned the importance of keeping your graphics drivers up to date. While you may think that regular updates aren’t necessary, NVIDIA and AMD updates increase overall performance, fix bugs, and add necessary features that provide an optimal gaming experience for specific games.
Not to mention that Intel is releasing frequent video driver updates, therefore it’s necessary to keep up to date with the latest graphics driver packages even if you got the best graphics card for gaming available.
Still not convinced? A good example of how updating drivers increase performance is the Linus Tech Tips’ graphics driver comparison from 2015. He tested an old NVIDIA GTX 480 GPU with a range of different games and found that game performance increased over the years. Therefore, updating drivers to allow your GPU to work more effectively will inevitably increase overall performance.
How Do I Check If My Graphics Card Is up to Date?
If you own an older model graphics card, like one of the best GPUs for gaming under $100, you don’t need to update the drivers regularly. Instead, updates should only be done if issues occur when running newer software on your computer. On the other hand, newer model graphics cards must be updated regularly.
Seeing that updates include bug fixes and added features—as mentioned above—it is best to first check if an update is available. Here’s how:
- Press the Windows Key + R to open the run command
- Type Control then press OK to open the Control Panel
- Click on Hardware and Sound
- Click on Device Manager under Devices and Printers
- Expand Display adapters, right-click on your GPU, and select Update driver
- Select “Search automatically for updated driver software” to automatically install the driver
- Once finished, click Close
Alternatively, you can check for updates via your GPU manufacturer’s website, as recommended in our NVIDIA driver update guide.
If you’re struggling to run the latest software or you simply want to boost gaming performance, we advise that you regularly check for graphics driver updates. It might just fix all of your problems. In case your GPU is struggling but you already have the latest driver package, maybe it’s time for an upgrade. Check out the best graphics cards for gaming under $300.
- How to Update a Graphics Card, WikiHow, March 29th
- Kevin Murnane, Update Your Drivers Nvidia GeForce, Quadro Or Tesla Graphics Card, Forbes May 11th
- Kirk Bennet, How to Find Drivers for a Graphics Card, Chron
- How to Update Your Video Card Drivers on Windows 7, WikiHow, October 11th