Display, Media and Network Drivers


PC Pitstop Research took a look at the display, media (sound card) and network drivers for the PCs that ran our on line tests during the month of October 2007. Based on our observations, these hardware classes include devices that are likely to have the most frequent driver updates. When we compared a PC’s installed driver date to the newest driver date for a given device in our database, we were able to determine the percentage of PCs that were not using the newest driver for their hardware component.

It should be noted that a driver with a newer driver date does not necessarily mean a better driver. Often a hardware device manufacturer will issue a new driver as a matter of maintenance or isolated issue. Some driver updates may only affect a small number of people using the device. Some newer drivers have been known to have bugs or actually break something. However, it was interesting to note that 60% – 75% of the PCs tested did not have the most recent driver installed. One would have to surmise that some portion of these PCs users would see some benefit in updating their drivers.

One area that seemed to pop out was that approximately 87% of portable systems were not running the most current network driver for their installed devices. It is probably safe to say that most portable PCs use wireless network cards. Many portables contain both a wireless and an ethernet network device. In our review of Intel and other wireless network device manufacturers we noticed that Wi-Fi drivers seem to be updated frequently to address some security issue or concern. Also one could argue that for portables which contain both a wireless and ethernet adapter, a person might not be as diligent to maintain the driver for a NIC that is seldom or never used.

To check if your computers have the latest drivers run our free Driver Scan.

Percentage of PCs not using most recent drivers – Operating Systems

Percentage of PCs not using most recent drivers – Desktop vs. Portable

Percentage of PCs not using most recent drivers – PC User Expertise

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