It is important to install and update your PC’s drivers. Graphics drivers, motherboard drivers, add-in card drivers, but what about CPU drivers? Technically, CPUs don’t need drivers, but there are a few exceptions and there are situations where you may even want to update the drives that will affect the performance of your CPU.
Do CPUs have drivers?
Generally no. CPUs don’t have drivers and don’t need them to run. Your system must install its chipset drivers – related to the motherboard – in order to integrate all components together and to use all functions of your system. Some CPUs may have graphics drivers built in, but the processor itself does not need drivers.
Processors with integrated graphics use drivers to render your desktop and any games you play. Intel’s latest 12th CPU generation has onboard graphics as long as it does not have an “F” at the end of the model name. For example, there are two Core i9 CPUs, i9-12900KF and i9-12900K, but the difference is that the K model offers onboard graphics while the KF model doesn’t. AMD, on the other hand, has its Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) chips, which also have onboard graphics, but these are limited to the G-series of chips.
In general, if you’re running a high-end AMD CPU like a Ryzen 5 5600X and above, you don’t need to install drivers as these processors don’t have onboard graphics.
For Intel users, this is a little more confusing, as even the high-end CPUs offer onboard graphics, such as the Intel Core i9-12900K, which is equipped with Intel UHD Graphics 770. However, since this is almost always paired with a dedicated graphics card, you don’t really have to worry about it here either.
Do CPU drivers need to be updated?
While installing CPU drivers is rational if your processor has integrated graphics, it is far from necessary. It’s far more important to keep your chipset drivers updated, as is the latest video drivers if you have a dedicated graphics card.
AMD’s newer chipset drivers include a nice feature called AMD Ryzen Power Plans. The power plan offers you the option of operating your Ryzen CPU in high-performance mode or in balanced mode. If you’re using an AMD CPU, Ryzen Power Plan is the driver you’re looking for when it comes to boosting or overall balancing performance without overclocking.
Intel, on the other hand, has nothing on offer for its CPUs with onboard graphics except chipset drivers. These chipset drivers do not affect the performance of the processors, only the graphics capabilities.
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