Nvidia graphics cards are known for exceptional performance across the world.
Having the largest market share in the graphics card market, it is no secret that most of the graphics cards we see on PCs and laptops are from Nvidia.
Therefore, it’s highly likely that the PC or laptop you use for gaming, illustration, 3D modeling, or video editing has an Nvidia graphics card in it.
But no matter how powerful your graphics card is, it won’t give you the same superior performance if you don’t update them frequently.
Now, the good news is Nvidia keeps on rolling out graphics card driver updates to fix bugs and boost overall performance.
So, all you need to do is update your graphics cards to the latest versions.
If you are new to it and don’t know how to update them, read on.
Let’s discuss Nvidia graphics card drivers and guide you on how to update them and optimize performance.
What Are Nvidia Graphics Card Drivers?
An Nvidia graphics card driver is software that is created exclusively for the Nvidia graphics card installed on your PC or laptop. It serves as a key aspect of graphics computation because it is this software that allows your operating system and other programs to communicate to the GPU.
Without an Nvidia driver, your OS or games won’t recognize the GPU in the system; thus, you won’t be able to use the device. It basically tells the Nvidia graphics card in your system how to do its job and what to show.
It is mandatory to have such a driver installed in your system so that the OS can reap all the benefits of the GPU. The driver allows the OS to utilize all the advanced features like screen resolution, color depth, refresh rate, etc., ensuring you get the best visual output.
Furthermore, Nvidia graphics card drivers are supported by multiple OS and all the games in the market, so there is never a compatibility issue. The manufacturer rolls out drive updates at regular intervals to maintain health and performance.
Every driver version Nvidia rolls out as an update makes significant performance improvements, enhances optimization, and fixes issues, especially with new games.
In addition, new updates also bring out support for new GPUs, added features, and new gaming technologies. The latest released Nvidia driver version is 531.61 WHQL.
How Do Nvidia Drivers Help in Graphics Card Management?
Nvidia drivers play a significant role in the graphics card management of all the GPUs and ensure they deliver the best performance. It serves as the main program that helps operating systems, software, and games communicate with the graphics card.
When you install an Nvidia graphics card in your system, the OS will know its presence but won’t have any medium to take advantage of its graphical functions. The Nvidia drivers fill the gap by working as a medium and allowing both entities to communicate with each other.
In other words, it takes all instructions from the OS or games and then directs the graphics card to render graphics or images according to the requirement. Importantly, it lets the system turn binary code into images, videos, and graphics.
From managing the resolution, refresh rate, color depth, and dynamic range to audio and optimizing graphics performance, Nvidia drivers play the primary role in GPU management.
With modern Nvidia drivers, you can easily manage fan speed settings and clock speed to get the best graphical performance you need. It manages the fan speed based on the CUDA core as well as GPU memory usage. Plus, the driver lets you overclock your graphics card, which helps you get a better performance in comparison to stock settings.
The driver manages every aspect of the Nvidia GPU you use. With every update, the driver gets more proficient in GPU management. There are many technical aspects and features like RTX, which can only be managed when you have the required driver. Another significant role that drivers play is heat management.
Benefits of Nvidia Drivers
Nvidia drivers might seem like just software that helps in communication, but there is more to it than meets the eye. Nvidia drivers have many benefits, such as:
#1. Helps in Communication
Nvidia drivers serve as the main program that helps build communication between an Nvidia graphics card and the operating system. Moreover, it helps relay instruction from games and video editors to graphics cards, which in turn renders the required visual.
#2. Optimizes Graphical Performance
With the right and updated Nvidia driver, you can enjoy the best graphical performance from your GPU. Whether you are playing a game or editing a video, Nvidia drivers enable these programs to derive a GPU’s full potential.
It introduces new improvements with every update, ensuring you don’t face any FPS drop or bottlenecking. For example, if you are playing the latest Red Dead Redemption 2 game, a proper Nvidia driver with an appropriate GPU will help you play the game at 60fps in 4K.
#3. Complete Management and Better Control
An Nvidia driver plays a key role when it comes to GPU management because it controls every aspect to ensure smooth performance. From managing heat and clock speed to memory utilization and management, an Nvidia driver ensures complete GPU management.
When you have an Nvidia driver installed in your system, you get to control many technical aspects of the GPU. Ranging from screen resolution, refresh, and clock speed to fan speed, and 3D performance, you can control many aspects with the latest Nvidia driver.
#4. Features and Technologies
Nvidia drivers have many modern features and technologies that help enhance overall performance. Features like RTX, shader detailing, overclocking, refresh rate customization, etc., can be utilized with an Nvidia driver.
#5. Supports Multi-GPU Setup
Nvidia drivers utilize SLI technology to support multi-GPU setup in your system. The drivers make the two or three GPUs in your system work together, ensuring you get the performance of both.
It can combine the power and features of multiple GPUs in your system to deliver a high frame rate, quick rendering, and better color depth than a single GPU. Even if you install all the necessary software in your multi-GPU system setup, without an Nvidia driver, you won’t be able to harness the power of both devices.
Why Is Updating Nvidia Drivers Important?
Updating your Nvidia driver may seem like the least important task, but it improves performance with each update. Here are the reasons why you must update your Nvidia driver:
Every update of Nvidia drivers brings bug fixes that allow programs and games to run smoothly.
There are many occasions that your system might crash while playing a new game or running multimedia software. This problem could arise anytime, but when you update Nvidia drivers, the new patches can fix them.
You might also get to encounter some other problems due to bugs. With updates, Nvidia fixes the latest issues that might have arrived with the latest GPU series, like heating and stability issues.
Supports New Games and Multimedia Applications
When you install a new game or multimedia application in your system, it might crash at the start. Sometimes the game or application often crashes in the middle while opening certain features.
This mostly happens when your Nvidia driver lacks support for new games and applications. Nvidia rolls out support for different applications and games with its update. So, many of your problems in this regard will get solved.
Frame stuttering, low fps, high rendering time, and pixelation in editing preview are some common issues that many users face.
But when you update your system with the latest Nvidia driver version, a lot of issues get resolved. And many users witness a significant boost in gaming and editing performance.
In some Nvidia drivers, the performance of the games and multimedia applications can increase by 40-60% after updating.
Introduces New Features
When you update your Nvidia, you are not only limited to bug fixes and patches, but it also brings about new features and functionalities. This helps enhance the rendering performance and gaming experience.
For example, when Nvidia rolled out Low Latency Mode and Vulkan with a new driver update, it boosted gaming performance.
Steps to Update Nvidia Drivers
Now that you have a good idea about Nvidia drivers let’s discuss the step-by-step guide on updating your Nvidia graphics card driver.
Step 1: The easiest way to update your Nvidia driver is by utilizing the Nvidia GeForce Experience software. If you somehow don’t have it, you can easily download and install it from Nvidia’s official website. After installing it, you just need to launch the software.
Step 2: If you have already been using the Nvidia driver, then head to the “Driver” tab in the Nvidia GeForce Experience software. Look for the “Check for Updates” located on the top right side of the interface and click on it.
You will see the “Download” option located under it, and all the details of the update will be shown along with it. Click the “Download” option, and the latest driver will start downloading.
Step 3: If you use the Nvidia GPU for the first time and haven’t installed the driver, the Nvidia GeForce Experience will show you a “No Driver Found” message.
When you get the message, you need to click on the “Continue” tab, and the software will start identifying GPU mode. It will ask for permission whether it can download the compatible driver or not, and you just need to allow it.
Step 4: When the download is complete, the software will ask you whether you want to perform a “Custom” or “Express” installation.
If you do the Custom installation, it helps you do a clean installation as it deletes all the older drivers and settings and ensures a new driver update.
You can choose which components you need to install and make an optimized choice. However, if you want a complete installation with all the drivers, then you can go for the Express installation. It will install the extra tools that come along with the driver.
Choose the installation type you prefer and click on “Install” at the end.
Step 5: The installation process will take some time. When the installation is done, Nvidia GeForce Experience will show that the driver has been successfully updated. It will show all the components that have been installed. Click on the “Close” tab to end the process.
However, if you face an issue while automatically downloading the latest Nvidia graphics card driver, then you can do it manually. Let’s see how you can do it.
Step 1: To commence the process of manually updating the GPU driver, you need to go to the Nvidia website and look at the GPU driver download from there. When you reach the driver page, it will ask you for some details so that you can download the correct driver type.
Step 2: In the driver requirement option, the first thing you will have to select is “Product Type,” and there you need to select “GeForce”. Most of the consumer GPUs are from the GeForce family.
Next, in the “Product Series,” you will have to select the generation that your GPU belongs to. If you have a GPU for your PC, then it will either begin with GT or RTX series. However, for a laptop, it will be mentioned as Notebook in the suffix of the product series.
Step 3: Now, select the GPU model number installed in your system. If you are not sure about the product number, you can check the device manager for the exact GPU model number.
Once you select the above, select the “Operating System” you use and the “Download Type”. For casual gaming and multimedia usage, you should choose “Game Ready Driver” in the “Download Type”. For professional usage, you need to go for “Studio Driver”. In the end, just choose “Language” of your preference and then click on “Search.”
Step 4: A new page will appear, where you will be shown the “Download” option. You can check for the updates you will get with the new driver. Also, look for the “Supported Products” option to check whether your GPU is there in the list. Once you have verified everything, just click on the “Download” button.
Step 5: It will take a few minutes for the driver to download, but the time may vary according to internet speed. After the download is complete, you need to open the “Driver Update” file and then click on the installation file.
You will get the Nvidia setup screen and have to choose between Express or Custom Installation. If you are looking for the “Perform A Clean Installation,” then you will have to choose the “Custom” installation option. However, if you choose “Express” installation, you will get a complete installation.
After you select one of them, click on the “Next” tab, and the installation process will start.
Step 6: The installation process will be concluded in a few minutes, and your only task is to click on the “Close” option to finish the driver installation process.
Updating the Nvidia driver is a vital task that you must always keep in mind, as it not only fixes bugs but also brings many improvements that boost performance. With every update, Nvidia brings new features and support for more technologies, like games and multimedia applications, for a better user experience.
This article helps you learn about the benefits of Nvidia drivers and how to update them automatically and manually. The above step-by-step guide will help you do everything smoothly, ensuring you don’t miss out on anything.
Durga Prasad Acharya
Durga Prasad Acharya is a Freelance Technical Writer who loves writing on emerging technologies, such as AI & ML, Cybersecurity, Web Hosting, SaaS, Cloud Computing, and more. Besides writing, he’s a web designer and is passionate about… read more