You built your first PC and set up a new operating system (Windows), and now you are wondering what drivers you need to install on your new PC. As for gaming and ease of use, I recommend setting up Windows OS (10/11) to start.
Linux isn’t a good choice if you are a beginner and don’t have a specific background in operating systems. You should know that prebuilt computers come with the operating system and all drivers installed. Since the OS and drivers may be months old, you need to update all these drivers to the latest versions before gaming.
So, let’s see what happens to our computer with the installed operating system. Suppose you connect your PC to the internet and leave it for a while. In that case, Windows Update will usually pull all the necessary drivers from its database on the internet for your system to work.
You can view and control this update process as follows:
1. Right-click on the Windows logo in the left corner of the screen and select Settings.
2. Chose Update & Security and then Windows Update
Windows Update is suitable for inexperienced and undemanding users, but we are gamers looking for more and better right? With the motherboard and graphics card, you usually get a DVD with the drivers, but I don’t recommend installing them. They are already obsolete, and it’s time to download new drivers from the official website of your hardware manufacturer.
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What drivers do I need?
Primarily for your motherboard chipset, sound card, WiFi or network card, and graphics card. In addition to new drivers, every newer and better-equipped motherboard and graphics card also has programs that increase their functionalities: monitoring vital system parameters (temp, cooling), RGB lighting, and overclock.
Why do I need the latest drivers?
Primarily due to game performance and more stable system operation. Keep in mind that new games often come as unfinished and buggy products. Also, frequent patches of new games aren’t uncommon.
Therefore, GPU manufacturers (AMD and NVidia) also need to monitor and customize their drivers according to the requirements of new and popular games. That’s why you must always have the latest version of graphics drivers more than any other hardware on your pc.
The first step is to identify the manufacturer and model of your motherboard. It’s written on the packaging or on the motherboard itself.
I will show steps on the example of the motherboard ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming.
The procedure is almost the same whether you have a Gigabyte, MSI, Asrock, or a motherboard from another manufacturer.
Don’t go directly to the Asus page to ask for support for this motherboard because I’ll show you a shorter route.
1. In the browser, enter the board label: Asus B550-F Gaming.
2. Click on the Support link
4. Select Drivers & Utility
5. Click Drivers & Tools and
6. From the drop menu, choose OS – Windows 10
7. Download the Chipset, LAN, and Audio drivers.
8. After downloading these primary motherboard drivers, run the installation of each one separately.
You may need to reset your computer for Windows 10 to install the drivers fully, so don’t forget to do that.
Is your primary graphics card integrated or discrete?
Suppose you have an integrated graphics card (AMD Ryzen G series or Intel HD series). You can download the drivers from the motherboard or the processor manufacturer’s site.
You will notice that the integrated graphics card drivers on the motherboard manufacturer’s website are rarely updated.
Therefore, I recommend downloading them from the official AMD or Intel website.
For example, we search graphics drivers for AMD Ryzen 5 5600G:
- Enter a search term in Google search
2. Choose a link with the model of your processor
3. On the page of your processor, select the link to download the latest drivers.
This way, you have downloaded the latest drivers for your motherboard and integrated graphics card.
You download drivers for a discrete graphics card in a similar way as for an integrated graphics card. However, here is just a choice between AMD or NVidia graphics cards.
I take, for example, the installation of a graphics card driver with an NVIDIA GeForce chip on the graphics card – Asus GeForce GTX 1070.
We’re not going to go to the graphics card manufacturer’s website because there’s almost always an older driver version.
1. Type the graphics chip label into your browser and select the NVIDIA site for the latest drivers.
2. The driver download page will open.
3. Select the graphics chip on your card, as done in the picture.
4. In the end, click the Search button.
As shown, we have downloaded the latest version of the driver for your graphics card. It remains to install and possibly reset the computer after that.
Install DirectX 12
DirectX has long been part of the Microsoft Windows OS with the primary task of speeding up 3D games and video playback. Every game running under Windows OS requires that you have DirectX installed.
Always install the latest version because this DirectX API gives you the best gaming performance. DirectX automatically updates to the newest version, but check which version you have on your computer;
1. Press the Windows + R keys, and the Run window will open.
2. Type dxdiag and press Enter.
3. The DirectX Diagnostic Tool window opens, in which you can see what current version of DirectX you have on your computer
4. If it’s version 11 or older, upgrade to the latest DirectX 12.
The latest version, according to Microsoft, brings about a 20% improvement in gaming. Note that Windows 7 can’t upgrade to DirectX version 12, so it’s advisable to install a newer OS – Windows 10.
When you install all these drivers, your computer will be ready to run your favorite games with the least possible problems. Of course, if you want, you can additionally download utilities from the site of your motherboard or graphics card to monitor the operating parameters (or even overclock your CPU).
You can monitor the temperature and voltage of the processor and graphics card, fan speed, etc. You can also control the RGB lighting if your motherboard or graphics card has it.
In addition to the motherboard and graphics card, you may also have a keyboard or mouse with RGB lighting. Some keyboards or mice require special software to be installed so that you can adjust the backlight or macros (Razer Synapse, Corsair iCUE).
Also, in some ATX cases, you can control RGB lighting via special software (Corsair iCUE). All these are added options that enhance the experience of using your gaming computer.
Of course, an essential thing is permanently installing the latest drivers, primarily for your graphics card. These drivers can automatically check and download the newest version, so you don’t have to memorize and manually check to see if there is a more recent version than yours.
I hope you understand that you must install some essential drivers before running your favorite game—primarily for the motherboard and graphics card.
Windows Update will install the essential drivers. It’s up to you to keep your system up to date because you always install the latest drivers for the full potential of your hardware and additional features, especially for your graphics card.
You don’t need drivers for the processor, but download the latest drivers from the processor manufacturer’s website for the integrated AMD and Intel graphics cards. Download the latest drivers for the discrete graphics card from the official website of AMD and NVIDIA and not from the hardware manufacturer’s website.
Also, download the utilities from the official website of your motherboard or graphics card. In short, this article served you to find out what drivers you need to install on your new pc and keep it in top condition for gaming without any problems.
Feel free to comment if you have questions or suggestions on this topic.