What Drivers to Install on a Fresh Windows
There is nothing quite as satisfying as installing a fresh new Windows and getting to try new CPU/GPU overclocks and new tweaks for your system. The not-so-fun part of fresh installs though is having to deal with drivers and the initial installation procedures.
In truth you can make the driver installation process a lot less painless by knowing what to install and what can be ignored – this way you will get the benefit of all the compatibility that your drivers bring and a lightweight system without useless drivers at the same time.
Driver Installation Process
You can automate the driver installation process by using something like Snappy Driver Installer Origin, but I would recommend you do this manually so you can have full control over what is being installed.
- Open your motherboard site and look for the available drivers for your Windows version.
- Download and install the LAN driver so you have a stable network connection.
- Download and install the sound driver (most likely a Realtek driver) – if you are using an AMP/DAC, ignore the sound driver and just install the software/firmware for your AMP/DAC if it has one.
- Ignore chipset drivers, on-board VGA drivers (if you do not have an APU) and any other driver that is not needed for the operation of your PC.
- Install your GPU driver properly while also being mindful of which driver version you are using for max performance.
- If necessary update your BIOS – big emphasis on IF
- Install .NET Framework and Visual C++ packages with all of the necessary versions. Without these APIs most things will not work properly. You might also want to install DirectX – certain applications might work fine without it so it is not a requirement.
- Extra tip – once you have installed all of your drivers and have restarted your PC you can use Ninite to install multiple programs at once on your PC to speed up the setup process of your new Windows install.
With all of these steps done you have installed all of the main drivers and APIs your system needs to run properly and also have installed most (if not all) of the programs you use on your PC in one go.
The driver list might look different for your motherboard, but the concept stays the same – LAN, sound, GPU, APIs and Ninite for the finishing touches – easy as that.
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