Nvidia driver updates: Are they neccessary?

I have a question for some of the more tech minded individuals on our forum here.

First off I play no video games, none. But, I’ve been getting the Nvidia driver updates simply because I have assumed our developers were. Does that make any sense whatsoever. Or, not being a gamer, am I simply wasting my time with the new updates?

If you want to play with the latest versions of OpenGL, CUDA, and OpenCL, chances are you will need to update the drivers (as they are what deliver the latest version of various code platforms).

So yes, in a way, but perhaps not as often as the average gamer does.

There’s no reason whatsoever to use outdated drivers. At least on nvidia, it’s not like it actually takes effort to update them - they’ll usually download automatically, you confirm it with a button press, and 15 seconds later you’re up to date. No idea about AMD.

Ok Ace I’m the proud owner of a brand new driver update. With my Verizon dsl that took just over thirty minutes to download.

Now to add one more comment to the mix. I have numerous times read of forum members having a problem with a Nvidia update. So part of my thinking was, ‘If it ain’t broken…’

But, I don’t mind asking the stupid sounding questions so I will leave this thread open. Maybe a developer will see it and give us the definitive answer.


I usually wait a few weeks before updating drivers- and only if they provide significant improvements or updates. You never know how they affect certain hardware configurations and you’d end up losing things when your computer crashes. Then you’d have to waste time rolling back your drivers.

I think Nvidia releases sometimes experimental or beta drivers, those I normally avoid and stick with their official releases.

To note, it’s probably a good idea to wait for feedback regarding drivers before downloading the new version, as both Nvidia and AMD have been known to put out turkeys every now and then (some even destroying the GPU itself).

The good news though if you’re caught with one is that you can do something known as a roll-back.

There seem to be four main reasons for NVidia driver releases, from most to least common:

  1. Optimizing for new game releases
  2. Support for new GPU model release
  3. New features/updated CUDA
  4. Bug fixes

New game support is the most common and does nothing for blender performance. The second kind of update is irrelevant unless you buy a new GPU. The third kind of update occasionally helps performance–but not often–and seems to be more likely to make a difference only if blender is programmed to take advantage of the new features. As far as bugs, I have yet to run into a bug that I am aware of with NVidia. If you have a working version of a driver that isn’t giving you problems, and you aren’t moving to a newer version of blender, then there is rarely a reason to update the driver.

Is driver update the reason my 2.49 will not work? It opens but the splash will not go away and buttons only appear when I mouse over them. its like it never opens up completely.

Moved from “General Forums > Blender and CG Discussions” to “Support > Technical Support”

I never update drivers until the dang thing just don’t work anymore. There are good reasons to not update your drivers and there are tons of posts on various other forums about people who have updated and other software quit working. Including big names like Apple and Microsoft so flip a coin to decide.

I’m in the boat…if it ain’t broke don’t fix it!

Thanks for all the advice it’s much appreciated since this has nagged me every time a Nvidia update popped up. I didn’t but maybe should have added my card is a GT 530. So new features / updates are being added to say a 680 which aren’t even relevant to my bottom tier card. Not only that but at a blazing 115KB / sec. for downloads on a good day my machine isn’t used when downloading apps, programs, or updates. It’s a old man thing actually.

The general view seems to run from maybe a update with a new version of Blender to wait and check the forum about any comments on a specific update. Or, more or less if it’s not broken… So I guess I’m not the only non gamer on here. Once again thanks to all for your comments. theoldghost