Drivers are some of the most important pieces of software you can possess. Put simply, they’re the ‘driving force’ behind your components, the instruction set that tells them what to do and how to do it, when faced with a certain workload. Without drivers, your PC would be nothing more than a very expensive paperweight. here’s how to update CPU drivers
So if every component needs a driver, then a CPU must need a driver too right? Well, yes they do and no, they don’t… Allow us to elaborate.
Excited about AM5 and Zen 4? We are too, so much so we wrote articles on them.
Do CPUs need drivers?
How to update CPU drivers, do we even need them? The short answer is yes, but not in the traditional sense.
CPUs need drivers to function properly like any other PC component. However, CPUs are the brain of the PC and a properly functional CPU is required to sustain an operating system.
Whenever you attempt to install a driver, 99.99% of the time you do it via WIndows or whatever operating system you may be running. Let’s take a GPU driver for example. In this case, you will load up Windows, navigate to wherever you have the driver and install it – a painfully simple explanation but it serves its purpose as an example.
If you want to know how to install GPU drivers properly you can do so here.
Where do you find CPU drivers?
As we mentioned before, you need a properly functional CPU to sustain an operating system, and install other drivers. But if your CPU is already functional that implies it must have a driver already installed, but how? You didn’t install one.
This is where CPU drivers differ from other component drivers – they’re already baked into the operating system. The operating system contains a basic driver for your CPU, similar to the baseline ‘Microsoft Basic Display Adapter’ that comes preconfigured with Windows, to allow your display device to function properly before you install a more up to date device-specific driver.
If you’re interested in where Windows stores your CPU drivers, you’ll find them at C:\Windows\system32\DRIVERS\.
Windows contains an instruction set for your CPU already. But how does Windows know what CPU you have and what to do with it?
How do CPU drivers work?
Forget how to update CPU drivers, How do CPU drivers work?
When a CPU is manufactured it has one main purpose and that purpose is to compute. The poor chip was born to do maths comprising billions of logical yes/no answers that make up a more complex set of calculations and instructions.
It’s this basic level of logic that the drivers coordinate and tell the CPU how to handle the logic and the instructions it’s being given. All CPUs work in this fashion, no matter the number of cores, threads, speed or cache size. So there’s no real need to have chip-specific drivers for CPUs.
But what about features specific to CPUs and chipsets? Good question.
Chipsets are a driver in the traditional sense, something that needs to be acquired, installed and kept up to date. It’s these chipset drivers that allow the special motherboard and CPU specific features to function properly.
If you want to know more about chipset drivers, specifically AMD chipset drivers, check here.
Your PC wouldn’t work if you didn’t have CPU drivers installed already. Thanks to them your PC works – at least well enough to read this article. CPU drivers are already baked into the operating system to allow your PC proper function as without them, your PC would be useless.
These driver updates (if any are needed at all) are mostly handled by Windows through its own update services. So all that’s required on your end is that you keep your PC updated. Windows updates also ensure the latest security patches and virus definitions are delivered to your PC, so please keep it up to date.