How to Locate, and Download Video Drivers

Only properly functioning and updated video drivers will give you the ability to enjoy movies, games, and other rich media on your machine. Many people run outdated video drivers for a long time, and then wonder why their video skips or their machine freezes every time they try to play a movie. You have to install the most recent video card so that you can get great performance out of your computer's video capabilities.

What are Video Drivers, and Why Do I Need to Update Them?

Also, outdated video cards needlessly consume a whole lot of CPU and RAM. So you can free up system resources and improve video performance by downloading the proper video drivers. Here, we'll go over how to find and install the proper video drivers.

Drivers are basically chunks of code that allow your operating system to communicate with your hardware. Without drivers, your computer would not be able to recognize your hardware. So drivers are necessary for the functionality of any hardware, whether it be keyboard, video, audio, mouse, etc.

Every time you install new hardware, you are basically installing new drivers onto your computer. Different pieces of hardware require different drivers. Many drivers are actually equipped with the code you need to run them. Other hardware components require CD installation. Most video cards require some sort of CD or download installation.

An Easy Way to Download and Install New Video Drivers

Now we'll explain exactly how to install and update drivers so that you can optimize system performance.

 Let's say you've just installed a new video card and you've restarted the computer. You still need to install your video card driver before the hardware will become fully functional. 

Insert the CD that came with the video card and follow the instructions given by the Installation Wizard. The Wizard will ask you to agree to a number of terms, so just click "I Agree" or "Next" whenever prompted to do so. Make sure you restart your computer after installation. Here's a sample screenshot of the Installation Wizard:

Installation Wizard

Once you've installed your video card driver, you should immediately notice that your PC graphics are sharper. Just to be sure, right-click on the desktop and click "Graphics Properties" or "Properties." You'll click one or the other depending on what version of Windows you're using.

Going Directly to the Source – The Hardware Manufacturer

It's very possible that you don't have an installation CD for your video card driver. In this case, you have to directly download the driver from the manufacturer. Don't let this intimidate you. The majority of video card manufacturers offer drivers for hardware in sections of their website dedicated to "Support" or "Downloads." Here, we'll use NVIDIA as an example.

Support or Downloads

Click on the "Download Drivers" link at the top left of the screen.

Download Drivers

You'll need to select the proper criteria from the menus provided. When you've located the driver you need, download it and save it to your computer. You'll be given the option to run or save it, but make sure you click "save."

Save File

When the driver has been fully downloaded, double-click on the driver icon. The installation wizard will open, and all you have to do is follow the instructions. Then, reboot your machine.

Click Run

It's important to periodically check for video card updates so that your video card operates at peak potential. You will notice that your video performance is richer every time you update your video card. One more thing: Be sure to update drivers if you upgrade your operating system. This is necessary for your video card to function properly. You can use Device Manager to accomplish this.

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