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CPU Drivers: Everything You Need To Know! (for Beginners)

Upgrading components on a computer is for the most part very exciting because you will have a significant performance boost. Components on a computer need drivers so that the operating system (OS) can talk to the components such as the motherboard, CPU, and graphics card, and allow them to work flawlessly. 

Today, I will explain everything there is to know about the drivers for CPUs specifically. Whether you need them, and exactly what you need for a new or current CPU to work perfectly.

Do you Need To Install CPU Drivers? ( Are CPU Drivers A Thing?)

CPU On Motherboard

When playing games or using software that requires quite a bit of computing power it’s widely recommended to ensure you have the latest drivers for the different components on your computer, more specifically the graphics card. Especially, if there is an issue. However, do you also need drivers for your CPU, and do you need to install them yourself manually?

You do not need to install CPU drivers for a new computer, or for a CPU upgrade. CPU drivers come preinstalled on the operating system (OS), such as Windows. If you upgraded your CPU it’s highly recommended to do a fresh install of your OS to stop driver conflicts which can cause a lot of issues.

When you swap out the CPU for a new one, the drivers for your old CPU will still be installed. They can be uninstalled, however, generally, this can still cause a conflict in the backend code of the operating system you’re using such as Windows, or Linux. This can cause the computer to not boot, or cause fatal errors often, where you’ll need to restart your computer.

Therefore, to avoid all of this hassle it’s highly recommended to do a clean install of your OS, after installing your new CPU. For a new computer altogether, or if you’ve had you’re computer for some time and want to know whether it’s necessary to update the drivers – rest assured you do not need to install the CPU drivers manually yourself or update them.

They are built into any operating system you’re using. And the operating system will auto-detect them.

Key takeaways:

  • When swapping out a CPU for a new one do a clean install of your OS.
  • For an existing CPU or a new computer, you do not need to do anything with your CPU drivers.

Are CPU Drivers Important?

Some drivers need to be kept up to date, particularly if you encounter a problem with using a program or computer game. In getting various apps and games working I’ve read a tonne of info that says you need to ensure your drivers are up to date to stop programs from crashing.

But, often they don’t mention the CPU drivers, so how important are they, and are they something you should be concerned with your CPU driver so that your computer functions as it should?

As a general rule, CPU drivers are not important. They are kept up to date and installed automatically by your operating system (OS). If you replace your CPU, though, you should reinstall your OS so that there are no CPU driver conflicts.

A driver is a piece of software that allows a computer component to communicate with the other components and the operating system via using commands sent via computer code. These are handled by the operating system and the BIOS which acts as a central hub between all of the components and all the apps.

Do you Need To Upgrade CPU Drivers?

Drivers can be updated automatically, but you may have noticed that sometimes drivers can be upgraded manually by searching for driver updates with Windows or the operating system you’re using. The major computer component providers provide downloads for all of the drivers on their website which you can install yourself. But, is it necessary to upgrade drivers for your CPU.

You do not need to upgrade CPU drivers. CPU drivers aren’t updated or are updated very rarely. But, you do need to update your CPU drivers if you replace your CPU. This is a CPU driver replacement rather than an upgrade. This is best doing a new installation of your operating system (OS).

It’s possible to search for a driver update using ‘Device Manager’ on Windows or the equivalent tool for your operating system (OS). But, as a general rule, there is never a new update available.

For the most part, it’s not worth it to check if there is a CPU driver update as there will never be one. If you’re experiencing significant issues with your computer, it can be worthwhile to check. But, almost 100% there will not be a new CPU driver available. 

Are The Motherboard Chipset Drivers Important For The CPU?

As well as the CPU drivers there are also motherboard chipset drivers. These are responsible for the motherboard communicating with the other components that are installed onto the motherboard. But, are the motherboard chipset drivers important for the CPU to function, and if so how important are they?

The motherboard chipset drivers aren’t important for the CPU unless you notice performance issues on your computer. In which case you should check if there is an updated driver on the motherboard manufacturer’s website. You should also do that if you’ve installed a new motherboard.

Symptoms that would indicate you should check that if there is an updated motherboard chipset driver are:

  • Computer crashing/rebooting itself
  • Programs crashing/freezing, where they say ‘not responding’
  • It beginning to run slower than normal or gets slower over time
  • USB ports not functioning correctly – working sometimes but not others

Below, is how to install and update the motherboard chipset drivers if you run into these issues. As a general rule, you don’t need to check for updates to the motherboard chipset drivers regularly as they are only updated somewhere in the range of once every year or two. Depending on the specific company that made your motherboard.

Best Way To Install And Update The Motherboard Chipset Drivers

The motherboard chipset drivers should generally be updated if your computer is having regular issues as such being slower than normal or slower than when you first got your computer, as well as, any other issues that can occur with your computer. It’s very easy to check and update them, here’s exactly how to do it.

Begin by checking if there is an update for your operating system (OS) and update it if there is. Then, find out what motherboard you have and go to the motherboard manufacturer’s official website, and download the latest version of the driver. Then download and install it. 

Then from there, you can simply go to the official website of your motherboard manufacturer. For example, if you have an AMD motherboard go to the official AMD website. 

On the website search using the search tool, or use the menu at the top to find drivers. Then search for the drivers for your specific motherboard chipset. Download it, and double click it to install it. 

I started building and fixing PCs in high school. After a couple of years of offering consultancy to a PC repair shop, I became the goto guy for all my acquaintances for PC/Laptop related buying advice or troubleshooting.