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First post, by tails

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How important are chipset drivers?

I've just watched a Phil's computer lab video on an ultimate xp machine (https://youtu.be/LjR2X39BVyo). He uses a GA-B85M-D3V which does not have any drivers available on the gigabyte website and a quick Google search doesn't come up with any h85 chip set drivers either.

Is it likely that he's not using any, are there unofficial drivers available, it does it just not matter?

Reply 2 of 13, by tails

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lost77 wrote on 2020-02-17, 23:29:

He was using Snappy Driver Installer to get the drivers. You can grab them elsewhere like here on the Asus site:

https://www.asus.com/Motherboards/B85MG/HelpDesk_Download/

So any chipset drivers usually work regardless of motherboard?

Reply 3 of 13, by SirNickity

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Depends on what support the OS has.

E.g., it was pretty common in the Win9x days to see a few "Other (?)" devices listed in Device Manager. These would end up being things like PCI/ISA bridges, USB controllers, power management controllers, etc. This happened a lot less by the release of XP.

Things like IDE controllers would normally work fine using standard ATA drivers, and video would work OK despite not having the hot-rod AGP drivers. You might get more performance using the optimized drivers, or maybe not. Once SATA happened, you needed drivers if you wanted to run outside of legacy (IDE compatibility) mode.

I would usually grab an Intel chipset INF package of the latest vintage appropriate for that platform, and not worry so much about where exactly it came from. You can get it from Intel's website (or you could, anyway, before they got blackout drunk and forgot the 90s-2015 ever happened), another motherboard support site / CD, or any old driver library. Same goes for the VIA drivers. Board-specific stuff, like RAID controllers, Ethernet, audio ... you kinda have to go on a case-by-case basis, but that's not what you were asking about anyway.

Reply 4 of 13, by Dochartaigh

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I was unable to find my chipset drivers for my super common motherboard. A TON of posts said that you really don't need them in many cases - that sometimes it's literally not even drivers, just an INF file which gives the exact name of the hardware and literally nothing else. YMMV at least, but I thought I would chime in with what my ~hour of research so far has said.

Reply 5 of 13, by Zup

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It depends (mostly) on your OS (the drivers that came integrated with it). Without motherboard drivers, I've seen:
- Some devices not working (USB/Network/Sound).
- OS unable to install or boot from hard disk (when transitioning from IDE to SATA).
- Some devices acting slower (i.e.: IDE devices working only on PIO modes).

Usually computers with a given chipset will work with drivers of other motherboards with the same chipset, but beware... some times some devices (sound devices) won't work.

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Reply 6 of 13, by dionb

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No computer will work without chipset drivers. The question is whether whatever default is in your OS will function at an acceptable level. Generally hardware that is common and (slightly) older than the operating system in question will work out-of-the-box, take Dochartaigh's i440BX-based motherboard in Windows 98SE. That's not because it doesn't need drivers but because the necessary drivers are already provided by the OS. With a different motherboard chipset (i.e. Via ApolloPro133) things would not have been as simple.

Not installing drivers where they are not automatically detected (those question marks in device manager) will always affect functionality, the question is whether that matters. Take that common Via chipset. If you don't install the AGP Miniport drivers AGP cards will still work, but only as PCI device. Not installing the IDE busmaster drivers will keep IDE running as if it were an old passive ISA IDE adapter. USB driver is pretty self-explanatory. The general 'inf' driver also shouldn't be underestimated. Yes, sometimes it's an empty file with a name, but it can be much more, particularly related to ACPI and interrupt routing. This is where no driver (or a bad one) can leave you with an unstable system.

Bottom line: if unsure, make sure you have drivers for all your devices installed. There is never really a good reason not to. Also, with the exception of custom hardware (which can include some obscure audio codec implementations), ignore the brand and model of your motherboard and go for drivers from the chipset vendor. They will usually be much more up to date and you have a wider range to choose from, which can be a good thing with Via 4-in-1 and nVidia Detonator drivers.

Reply 7 of 13, by tails

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It looks like in Phil's case he used snappy driver which was good enough to install most or all of the required drivers. He has a video about installing XP on Haswell and describes his process.

https://youtu.be/a4PTuaF8BO0

Reply 8 of 13, by Horun

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The full snappy driver pack is 90GB, no thanks. Would rather spend the time and research the required drivers but that is just me. I have a fully functional i7-8700k on a Z370 board running Win 7 and found all the drivers needed just by doing some research. Unfortunately Intel, Asus, MSI etc removed them all but was able to find them. 🤣

Hate posting a reply and have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor. 🤣 Second computer a 286 12Mhz with real IDE drive ! After that came 386, 486, Pentium, P.Pro and everything after....

Reply 9 of 13, by lost77

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tails wrote on 2020-02-17, 23:34:

So any chipset drivers usually work regardless of motherboard?

As long as it is the same chipset, yes. Also the Intel chipset driver from the Asus site (you can get it many other places) supports tons of different chipsets. Just like an AMD or Nvidia graphics card driver will support maybe 7-8 years worth of GPUs.

There may be other devices than the chipset (separate USB , RAID, network controller etc.) that require their own driver.

Reply 10 of 13, by Horun

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lost77 wrote on 2020-02-20, 00:40:
tails wrote on 2020-02-17, 23:34:

So any chipset drivers usually work regardless of motherboard?

As long as it is the same chipset, yes. Also the Intel chipset driver from the Asus site (you can get it many other places) supports tons of different chipsets. Just like an AMD or Nvidia graphics card driver will support maybe 7-8 years worth of GPUs.

There may be other devices than the chipset (separate USB , RAID, network controller etc.) that require their own driver.

Excellent answer ! Asus drivers are a good place to start even if the board is not from Asus.

Hate posting a reply and have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor. 🤣 Second computer a 286 12Mhz with real IDE drive ! After that came 386, 486, Pentium, P.Pro and everything after....

Reply 11 of 13, by Stiletto

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Horun wrote on 2020-02-20, 00:37:

The full snappy driver pack is 90GB, no thanks.

Unless I am mistaken, as long as you have the drivers for your Ethernet/Wifi on the system in question, you do not need to download the full pack - just let it scan and download for that specific machine.

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Reply 13 of 13, by Horun

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Stiletto wrote on 2020-02-20, 05:23:
Horun wrote on 2020-02-20, 00:37:

The full snappy driver pack is 90GB, no thanks.

Unless I am mistaken, as long as you have the drivers for your Ethernet/Wifi on the system in question, you do not need to download the full pack - just let it scan and download for that specific machine.

Thanks that is good to know ! Might just grab all 90Gb, if the layout is good could maybe easy to search thru.

Hate posting a reply and have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor. 🤣 Second computer a 286 12Mhz with real IDE drive ! After that came 386, 486, Pentium, P.Pro and everything after....