Initial Driver Installer - Listen up Motherboard Makers

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Initial Driver Installer - Listen up Motherboard Makers

Postposted on Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:56 pm

I hate to call this an "Idea" because its something I'm sure someone has done with other software. If you build, and rebuild as many systems as I do in a month, you'd see the value in something like this.

Motherboard manufacturers put out a driver CD with other fluff-ware included when they sell you a board. But the drivers are pretty much out of date the moment they burn that disc and it gets to the customer. I'm curious why the hell they don't have an auto installer, something similar to what everyone does nowadays like Adobe. You run the almost 1mb installer that looks to their website for the most up to date drivers for the board, it downloads ALL of the needed drivers or utilities and then automatically does the installation/restarts for you until your drivers are up to date. That way people don't fragment their systems with out of date drivers and then put newer ones on top of it which doesn't always end well in the long run. It would also promote users having the most up-to-date drivers, bringing the end user supposed stability, functionality and performance. Seems like a freaking no brainier. Worst case they would need to include a network driver for the initial call out on a mini cd that also included the driver installer manager.

Just a small rant in hopes that some manufacturer picks up on this and runs with it. Simple stuff like this would make all of the difference for a system builder or even an enthusiast who wants to save some time and get the newest drivers from the start without having to download them manually. Especially when you look at the list of drivers available for a board, some of them list multiples of the same driver (wtf is with that!) but two different versions, one being older of course.
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Re: Initial Driver Installer - Listen up Motherboard Makers

Postposted on Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:15 pm

I know MSI does. They call it live update 5 i believe. It does allow you to download all the files and it contacts the mother-ship, so to speak, for the newest versions available. I don't remember it installing it automaticially though. It was very easy to find it in the folder and just install it though.

I do find it hard to believe no other board makers have something similar for updating bios and drivers in 2013.
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Re: Initial Driver Installer - Listen up Motherboard Makers

Postposted on Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:20 pm

Until the chipset/NIC drivers have been installed you won't be downloading much from anywhere.
Other than that little detail it's not a bad idea.
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Re: Initial Driver Installer - Listen up Motherboard Makers

Postposted on Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:32 pm

Who validates the drivers? I haven't even seen a motherboard/laptop manufacturer that can keep their own stupid download page updated, except for BIOS updates.
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Re: Initial Driver Installer - Listen up Motherboard Makers

Postposted on Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:42 pm

Savyg wrote:Who validates the drivers? I haven't even seen a motherboard/laptop manufacturer that can keep their own stupid download page updated, except for BIOS updates.


I don't think they want to keep them up-to-date. They want to provide a known working driver and that's all. Performance probably doesn't change much anyway unless you're talking about a motherboard with an IGP, but these seem to be dying out.
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Re: Initial Driver Installer - Listen up Motherboard Makers

Postposted on Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:52 pm

puppetworx wrote:I don't think they want to keep them up-to-date. They want to provide a known working driver and that's all.

Yup. I'd rather go to the NIC/audio/whatever chip vendor's web site anyway. Even if the motherboard vendor updates things periodically the reference driver will usually still be more current. If you're gonna download the driver anyway, it may as well be the latest one.

puppetworx wrote:Performance probably doesn't change much anyway unless you're talking about a motherboard with an IGP, but these seem to be dying out.

Good point. Now that Intel and AMD are both moving their IGPs onto the CPU it really doesn't make sense for the motherboard vendor to provide the IGP driver. (At least not until we transition to CPUs that are soldered to the motherboard.)

***

And then there's the Linux model for device drivers, where it's an all or (almost) nothing sort of deal. If the driver is in your distro's repository, it's a piece of cake -- you don't need to manually download or install anything. If it isn't, good luck... you're probably gonna need it. This scheme typically works great as long as your hardware is older than the distro you're using, but goes downhill in a hurry if you've got a board with newer devices on it.

Ubuntu 10.04 (which I still run at work) "just worked" with all of the on-board devices on an older Asus M3A78-CM (Socket AM2+). But the audio and system monitoring chips on a newer Asus M5A97 (Socket AM3+) were problematic and required a fair bit of manual futzing around -- proper support for the audio codec required downloading driver source code from Realtek and compiling the audio driver locally. Sometimes the driver needs to be rebuilt again when Ubuntu pushes out a kernel update. (In keeping with the pattern, the M5A97 is natively supported by the newer Ubuntu 12.04 release.)
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Re: Initial Driver Installer - Listen up Motherboard Makers

Postposted on Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:25 am

Stickem wrote:Until the chipset/NIC drivers have been installed you won't be downloading much from anywhere.
Other than that little detail it's not a bad idea.


Windows 8 came with all the drivers it needed; the NIC was operational immediately.
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Re: Initial Driver Installer - Listen up Motherboard Makers

Postposted on Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:49 am

Sometimes newer drivers are actually worse, so I am glad they put out somewhat outdated drivers on their CDs.
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Re: Initial Driver Installer - Listen up Motherboard Makers

Postposted on Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:32 am

puppetworx wrote:I don't think they want to keep them up-to-date. They want to provide a known working driver and that's all.


And that's really it. They have little to gain from offering newer drivers. As a system builder, you don't really need to be concerned with having much more than a working driver, either.
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Re: Initial Driver Installer - Listen up Motherboard Makers

Postposted on Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:53 pm

Windows is good about providing all the drivers you need to get up and running. When I upgrade to Win 8 everything worked out of the box. The only thing I need to upgrade in terms of drivers was my ATI graphics card drivers to get extra features (like OpenGL support) which Win8 didn't provide out of the box. Though with Windows you run into the same issues that Linux and various Unix distributions have. To get the latest driver you will need to go elsewhere than in the initial install of the OS. But I can't blame them when the drivers are likely to be coming from multiple sources and companies can change where their drivers will be found at will. Much easier to provide a working baseline and let the customer decide if they need something newer.
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Re: Initial Driver Installer - Listen up Motherboard Makers

Postposted on Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:41 pm

I'd rather the mobo manufacturer knock $.40 off the price and keep their crappy CD because I'm either going to use Linux or have the drivers downloaded/ready on a USB stick :)
CD's are usually a waste and should be an option to order off the mobo vendor's site. Even if the mobo company keeps the price the same and passes on savings to their shareholders, it would make me feel better.
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Re: Initial Driver Installer - Listen up Motherboard Makers

Postposted on Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:48 pm

crabjokeman wrote:I'd rather the mobo manufacturer knock $.40 off the price and keep their crappy CD because I'm either going to use Linux or have the drivers downloaded/ready on a USB stick :)
CD's are usually a waste and should be an option to order off the mobo vendor's site. Even if the mobo company keeps the price the same and passes on savings to their shareholders, it would make me feel better.

I mostly agree with you. The one exception would be if the mobo has a newer NIC on it that isn't supported by current OSes; in that case I think they ought to provide a CD with the NIC drivers on it.
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Re: Initial Driver Installer - Listen up Motherboard Makers

Postposted on Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:05 pm

nanoflower wrote:Though with Windows you run into the same issues that Linux and various Unix distributions have. To get the latest driver you will need to go elsewhere than in the initial install of the OS.

Yes and no. Linux distros like Ubuntu do occasionally release device driver updates, especially if the version included in the initial release contains a critical bug or security vulnerability. But if the driver wasn't included in the release to begin with, don't expect it to be added until the next version comes out.

The main downside to installing Linux drivers through anything other than the distro's software repository is that for many drivers you'll probably need to run a few CLI commands to get the driver built and loaded. Not a big deal, really... but some people find it daunting. Fortunately, GPU drivers (which are the most likely driver to be missing from the base distro, especially if you have a newer GPU) do have GUI-based Linux installers these days.
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Re: Initial Driver Installer - Listen up Motherboard Makers

Postposted on Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:04 pm

BIF wrote:
Stickem wrote:Until the chipset/NIC drivers have been installed you won't be downloading much from anywhere.
Other than that little detail it's not a bad idea.


Windows 8 came with all the drivers it needed; the NIC was operational immediately.


That was the case with Windows 7 and most other major MS OS at their release. Mostly because they have their stuff together at first and they include common drivers built into the driver repository. But as the OS gets older, the base drivers don't cut it for newer hardware.

Asus has an "InstALL", which was what got me wondering why they don't do this. If nothing else, a single button to download all of the important drivers in one "InstALL" package, so you don't have to download and install each one separately. I could probably just download each driver and then put them in the folders for the existing InstALL program and it might update them. But doing that for each board would be a pain, and I'm sure it wouldn't work for other manufacturers boards.
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