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Optional Update

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#1 Jespinosa101


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Posted 27 September 2014 - 09:56 PM

Advanced micro devices,inc-Graphics adapter wddm1.2-amd Radeon HD 6310 Graphics is this update important? I found it on my update list so I was just wondering if its okay to update also, what does this update do?

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#2 x64


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Posted 28 September 2014 - 02:07 AM

It is clearly an 'update' for the device driver for your graphics adapter, but I do not know what in particular that update fixes or improves about it.


Device drivers are small pieces of software that are the link between Windows and the various pieces of hardware on the computer. If Windows or wants to draw something on the screen, it gets the device driver for your graphics adapter to do it.. Device drivers are specific to the exact model of hardware that they are designed for, and sometimes to that hardware being used on a particular model of computer.


I am a bit wary about accepting device driver updates from Microsoft updates, but do not ignore them. In particular, I would think carefully about this one, and ensure that the update matches the driver already installed on your system. My reasoning being that device drivers can be issued through four different channels (each subtly different).


  • The Manufacturer of your computer. If you have let's say a "Bloggs model X1000" laptop - The most appropriate driver updates might well come from "Bloggs" themselves... They will know how best to use that model of graphics adapter in their system, and might have modified the drivers (or include specific support software) that they supply to best match their system.
  • The Manufacturer of a separate add-in card that you separately purchased for your computer. The card manufacturer will know how best to use that model of graphics adapter in their system, and might have modified the drivers that they supply to best match their card. Sometimes they will just use the chip-set manufacturers drivers as described in the next paragraph.
  • The Manufacturer of the Chips that form the graphics adapter: ATI in this case. The chip-set manufacturer will have written comprehensive driver software for their chips., and might release these generic driver to the public (or that might just give them too the computer manufacturer ("Bloggs" in my example above), for the computer manufacturer to tweak, release to the public, and support.
  • Microsoft. Sometimes Microsoft will issue derivatives of the Chip-sets manufacturer's driver, to help keep things current.

Sometimes Computer manufacturer supplied drivers or Chip-set Manufacturer supplied drivers can include extra software that help configure or use that hardware on their system. Graphics adapters commonly include utilities to tweak a multitude of options maybe adding in extra control panel options, Items in the system tray (the icons near the clock) or even installing extra programs to help manipulate the graphics adapter. These extras will often vary between the four release channels I listed above.


The Microsoft driver update that you are being offered may be a basic driver (without the extras) and worse, it may any "extras" installed with the previous graphics device driver may not work alongside the Microsoft version.


So my advice would be to decide where your current graphics device driver came from, and consider sticking with that delivery channel - Was it pre-installed on a system you purchased recently? (in which case yo the the system manufacturers website and look for driver updates); If you recently purchased a separate graphics adapter, to may be able to get updates form the card manufacturer, or from ATI directly.


Did you update or install the current drivers from ATI directly? in which case go to ATI for updates.


If you upgraded to Windows 8.1 from a Windows DVD, and Microsoft sorted out the driver software in the update process, the Microsoft offered update may be the simplest choice.


My advice would be to update from the same source that your current driver came from.



#3 rockysosua


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Posted 28 September 2014 - 06:53 AM

In short, MSC puts most driver updates in the optional group as there are lots of people who prefer getting their hardware drivers from the manufacturers, so even if the user has his updates set to automatically install, those optional updates won't be installed.

That being said, MSC has taken a serious interest in having proper drivers in Windows 8 for all common hardware on the market and I use them all the time with perfect results, which wouldn't have been the case 10 years ago.

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