What is the purpose of chipset drivers?

Rakanoth

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Oct 6, 2017
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Chipset drivers are not like GPU drivers. If I do not install them after installing Windows 10 anew, I don't see any problem like not being able to play games or use GPU based software.
What is the purpose of installing them? They are downloadable from AMD (or Intel) website or motherboard manufacturer's website. What do I gain if I install it and what do I lose if I don' install it?
 

auntjemima

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These days, I wouldn't think much. Maybe windows doesn't have a controller driver, or something to that extent. Maybe extended features that the motherboard controls.
 

Denpepe

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The purpose would be to have all your motherboard hardware identified and running as intended, chances are good that the latest windows build has most of this already for slightly older hardware.

Otherwise you could run into issues I think especially with USB and the sorts not working as intended
 

NobleX13

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I've never had an issue while running Windows 10, but I always make a point to install them anyway. I feel like manufacturers have to go through extra steps to get their drivers included in the Windows Update driver repository, so there are usually better/newer drivers available for most of the hardware in your machine.

I usually use Snappy Driver Installer to lay everything down. Comes in handy, especially for legacy systems.
 

GiGaBiTe

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I've never had an issue while running Windows 10, but I always make a point to install them anyway. I feel like manufacturers have to go through extra steps to get their drivers included in the Windows Update driver repository, so there are usually better/newer drivers available for most of the hardware in your machine.

Despite Microsoft having Windows Update based drivers since Windows 9x, they've still not managed to have a good solution in all that time. Windows Update drivers are often out of date, sometimes by years, or have a "lesser version" of a driver which lacks the functionality provided in the full driver from the manufacturer. In the decades since WU drivers have been available, I've seen almost every problem you could contemplate from using them from functionality issues to system bricking.
 

OliverQueen

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Should always be the very first driver installed on a new OS installation & restart the system before installing any other driver. It does make a difference even nowadays to performance & some of the motherboard components are still not autodetected & installed by Windows Update either, especially with newer boards made after the software was.
 

HAL_404

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I use the free version of Driver Booster. You can find it at Steam
 

noko

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I don't think anyone has delved into this question or shown any benefit or not by downloading the most recent chipset driver. The chipset driver themselves don't tell you much in why you need them in the first place. I can see the initial launch of a chipset and getting the newer drivers. After 6 months or more? Maybe not.
 

viivo

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Chipset drivers yes, Intel RST/SATA drivers no (unless you RAID which most don't)
 

sirmonkey1985

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for legacy hardware i'd say just use what ever windows installs if it detects it properly. for newer hardware go with the latest driver on AMD or intel's site and grab the chipset drivers from there. typically if they're updated regularly windows is usually 3-5 months behind before a driver will be included in windows update.
 

Shikami

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This is something I wished AMD did do, identify the hardware. It is kind of nice to see a name to the hardware of the PnP ID. Then with that you can see the I/O, memory range, IRQ's/MSI that are "bound" to it. Match it to the whitepapers (q.v. https://www.intel.com/content/www/u...s-chipset-on-package-pch-datasheet-vol-1.html) if needing to learn some particular things, for trouble shooting, or whatever. It can be actually useful, but I been doing this for a long time like this. Rather than PCI to PCI bridge....hmn there are so many which one is connecting the network, sound, or SCSI, etc? Going through Device Manager via "connection" view and seeing the device interfacing with names of the interface is much better, IMO.


So, back in the day the chipset drivers did some minor things with the OS's. GART (AGP), USB, and a bit later SMB. A bit later some not so much as driver were including (q.v. Windows 10 USB 3.x), but SMB is still important. They just started to identify since most of the PCI drivers and functions are already established via PCI.sys. Other particular drivers such as SATA, RAID, GPU....these are specific and not a part of the core logic inf install.

Anyways, Intel says it right here:

About this file/download



The Intel Chipset Device Software installs the Windows* INF files. An INF is a text file that provides the operating system with information about a piece of hardware on the system. In the case of the current Intel Chipset Device Software, that information is primarily the product name for the piece of hardware. This allows the operating system to show the correct name for that piece of hardware in Device Manager.
 
Last edited:
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from my testing at least, on a z390 motherboard (in my case msi z390-a pro) there is no point at all to download chipset drivers from MSI or intel and install them, the performance / fps in games is identical if I install them or do not install them.

I would guess since they are so tiny in size also (~2 megabyte) the only thing they do is basically remove unidentified entries in device manager and give them a name,

however on the latest win10 build for example there are no unidentified entries in device manager anyway after a fresh install..


z390 isnt exactly a new chipset at this point anyway so it would make sense that its fully supported in all ways by win10 itself without need for chipset drivers,

things like Audio, LAN, and NVME drivers are a different story though but that was not the question of the thread I guess also !
 

Jamie Marsala

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I do know that the AMD chipset drivers are better than what comes with Windows 10. They add Power Profiles that allow for better multi core performance and single core/thread performance than the built in drivers and power plans.
 

Armenius

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out of date generic windows drivers vs amd labelled ones that are up to date. amd also installs their power plan with the chipset driver.
Not always true. The Windows driver store online is a lot more robust than it was back in the days of XP. If Microsoft can identify the hardware needing a driver then it will install the driver that is specific to it. There have also been times when Microsoft actually had a much newer driver than the manufacturer had available on a few devices I've had in the past.
 

defaultluser

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They used to be required back in the early days of Windows, if you didn't want constant crashes/poor performance. But ever since Windows 7, the default Microsoft chipset driver was the only on support TRIM on-release, and has the same performance as the real driver. You just don't get RAID support,

And Windows 10 will go and grab your needed drives for you when they update the OS, saving you the trouble (this is why you will see any custom drivers get reset when you update you OS).
 
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