Handling graphics card drivers

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Handling graphics card drivers

Postposted on Sat Mar 16, 2013 2:12 pm

Hey all,

Doing my first gaming build tomorrow, so I will be dealing with my first discrete desktop GPU, an MSI Radeon HD 7850 Twin Frozr III OC. I will be running Windows 8 64 Bit. As a console gamer, I'm used to the system just working (at lower detail and frame rates) without having to worry about drivers.

I've been reading up on graphics card drivers and have a few questions for the TR community:

1) Any words of wisdom on whether to install the release drivers, currently 13.1, or whatever the latest beta drivers are? Is there normally any benefit to installing beta drivers if you don't play the games they list as being improved? Seems like the 13.3 betas have some Tomb Raider improvements, but that's the only thing that would interest me since I got Tomb Raider with the card purchase.

2) Any good guides on properly removing and upgrading drivers? I've found this guide. The process looks intense, but I've heard clearing out the drivers is rather difficult.

3) Any other care-and-feeding of graphics cards advice? I don't want to be fighting driver issues all day.

Thanks!
Gaming: i5-3570k/Z77 Extreme4/212 Evo/Corsair 500R/16GB Ballstix Tact 1600 CL8/Asus 7850 2GB/840 250gb, EVO 500gb, SG 3tb/Tachyon 550w/Win7

HTPC: i3 3225/H77/8gb g.skill 1.25v/1+2TB HDD/Asus BR/MSI 7850 2gb/Silverstone GD05B/Antec 380w/InfiniTV 4/Win7
southrncomfortjm
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Re: Handling graphics card drivers

Postposted on Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:14 pm

Errm, you're making a mountain out of a molehill. This is all very simple, whether you use Radeons or Geforces. ( ̄ェ ̄;)

1) Definitely use the newest drivers available, unless they have some serious problem with your specific card. I usually don't update unless I happen to think about it, but you generally want the newest drivers available.

2) Installing drivers is piss-easy, just run the installer. Removing them is just as easy; go to your add/remove programs (programs and features, rather) dialog and remove them. Upgrading is just as simple -- remove your old driver, restart, install the new driver, restart as prompted. Done. The days of driver upgrades being a huge pain in the butt is long gone; if you have troubles, you're doing it wrong. ( ̄~ ̄;)

3) You probably don't need to mess with your driver after installation unless you're trying to fix some kind of problem. Best to leave things at default settings. Stuff "just works" 99% of the time, even on Radeons. (well, maybe 98% of the time.) ( ̄ω ̄;)

Seriously, it's no big deal.
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Re: Handling graphics card drivers

Postposted on Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:33 pm

Got it. Wandering around the internet can get you to build mountains out of nothing sometimes. Thanks!
Gaming: i5-3570k/Z77 Extreme4/212 Evo/Corsair 500R/16GB Ballstix Tact 1600 CL8/Asus 7850 2GB/840 250gb, EVO 500gb, SG 3tb/Tachyon 550w/Win7

HTPC: i3 3225/H77/8gb g.skill 1.25v/1+2TB HDD/Asus BR/MSI 7850 2gb/Silverstone GD05B/Antec 380w/InfiniTV 4/Win7
southrncomfortjm
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Re: Handling graphics card drivers

Postposted on Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:01 pm

southrncomfortjm wrote: 2) Any good guides on properly removing and upgrading drivers? The process looks intense, but I've heard clearing out the drivers is rather difficult.
NVidia's drivers used to be notorious for installing in all sorts of hard-to-remove places for nefarious purposes and failing to uninstall properly. However, since you have an AMD card, and since we're in 2013, that won't be a problem. The only issue I've found that gives AMD's catalyst install manager trouble is if you haven't kept .NET updated (which will be fine right now since you're using a new OS and should be happening semi-automatically for you through Windows Update).

Since installing AMD's catalyst drivers is so easy (it typically doesn't require a restart), feel free to install the latest official drivers whenever they clear WHQL or install a beta set if they address a specific issue with a new game that you're playing.
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