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Tweaking Your PC: Getting the Last Mile Out of Your Hardware Part 4 of 4 (Page 1/5)

Posted: October 1, 1999
Written by: Keith "Farrel" McClellan

Originally Printed in PC Gamer's Ultimate Hardware Bible, an Imagine Media Publication. All rights reserved. Reprinted with Permission.

The Importance of Current Drivers

Keeping your drivers up to date can make or break your system. Newer drivers are generally faster and more stable, not to mention that they often support new features.

To freshen up your drivers, begin by going to Windows Update and clicking on the device drivers link. This little area of the web site will check your drivers against the versions that Microsoft supports, and will update any drivers that need to be.

Next step would be to go to your computer manufacturer's web site and check for the newest drivers they have there. Many times, these drivers will be more up to date than the ones that Microsoft has access to. Another bonus of working with your manufacturer's site is that any drivers that you download off their web site, they are required to support.

You could also go to the manufacturer's web site for each specific component and download their newest drivers. Generally these drivers will be based on the newest internal driver builds, but remember that these drivers, while faster, may not necessarily be any more stable. In fact, some of these drivers are less stable than their older cousins. So if you are planning on using these drivers (especially if they are called beta), make sure you keep a copy of your older drivers to fall back on if there is a problem.

If you are having trouble finding your manufacturer's web site, check out Drivers Headquarters or WinDrivers. They have links to drivers for almost every piece of hardware made in the past few years and some of them go back to Win3.1.

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