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Last reply by 09-28-2022 Solved
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XPS 8950, best driver update approach?

I recently resolved a compatibility issue with my XPS 8950 by disabling all Dell and Killer related drivers. Everything works great now.

The only potential downside to my approach is that updating drivers is not automated. It's similar to the old days - you need to know the version of every important driver and you check those versions against what Dell has on their site for your Service Tag.

Except, these days, things are a bit more complicated. Game-Ready vs Studio Nvidia drivers are different, the latest Nvidia GRD (currently used) is newer (maybe better?) than the one Dell wants you to use? I don't want to update anything that will bring those Dell and Killer drivers back to life, they are just fine in their disabled mode. Also, in one case, the driver that is installed on my machine is newer than the one that Dell requires - don't know how that happened.

If you are not a SupportAssist user, what's your strategy for keeping the driver update task simple/quick?

Solution (1)

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8 Platinum
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Not sure if this is the best-way, but it works for me.

I uninstall things like Support-Assist, Dell-Update, Alienware-Update ... things like that.
In Bios, I have "UEFI Capsule Updates" Disabled.
I don't use any of Dell's wizards or updating-helpers.

Anything vital that really needs to be updated, seems to get updated from Windows-Update.
I get drivers for my (Dell-OEM-BackBlower) Nvidia GTX-1070 from www.nvidia.com .

It's an Aurora-R6, so I'm not expecting another BIOS update. but once a year or so, I drop by support.dell.com and check anyway. Other than Alienware-Command-Center or maybe a (late-in-life) firmware-update for something ... there is nothing there I need. Again, everything is working fine, so why mess with it?

For example, I recently saw that Dell had posted the latest Intel-Killer drivers with Intel Killer Performance Suite . It was working fine, but I tried it anyway (one day, I'll learn). It made things un-stable and slower. After some (ultimately unhelpful)  options-changing ... I just uninstalled the Intel Killer Performance Suite part (and Killer Intelligence Center v3.1.x ). Waste of time ... shouldn't have messed with it. Luckily, it left behind the same working/basic NIC driver as before (the one Windows-11 tossed me). It's working normally again now.

I've learnt over the years ... if your computer is working, don't mess with it. And in general, leaner and simpler is better. Just use your computer for fun-stuff or your work.


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.

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Replies (5)
4 Beryllium
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Don't confuse Nvidia drivers with Dell Update.

Dell doesn't seem to keep current with Nvidia drives at all.

I use either GEForceEXperience (installed with a Driver from the Nvidia site) or go to Nvidia (https://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us ), fill in the card data, and get the one I want. Never had a problem doing that. It appears the main difference between Game Ready and Studio boils down to are you a gamer or not? I've tried both but I'm sticking with Game Ready. If you install GEForce, it will alert you to a new driver.

I've never had the need to remove and Dell or Killer S/W, but some people have had problems and/or do that.

If you do not, just go to the Support Page for drives and downloads, https://www.dell.com/support/home/en-us?app=drivers, and let if uses your system and then there is a pull down below "Check for Updates" called "Find Drivers' and there will be a list. Best to go by DATE posted and figure out which you need.

Alternatively, on that same page is a 'subscription' to be notified of new drivers and updates. However, that seems to lag somewhat from when first available.


===================================

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Thanks,

Irv S.

3 Argentum
490

Thanks @ispalten 

Makes sense.  I plan to stick with the nVidia Game Ready drivers as well.  I agree that just using the dates for the drivers on the Dell page is probably the best way to go.

10 Diamond
478

Keep in mind that Windows Update can/will push NVidia, Killer, and other driver updates too. So just because a driver you have is newer than the latest one Dell offers, doesn't mean that's a problem...

If you want to disable all driver updates via Windows Update, there are settings in Microsoft's Group Policy Editor which is standard in Windows Pro, but may be downloaded/installed for Windows Home. Blocking driver updates using GPE settings blocks ALL driver updates, even BIOS updates. But, you can't pick/choose which ones to reject or allow...

Ron

  Forum Member since 2004
  I am not a Dell employee

8 Platinum
453

Not sure if this is the best-way, but it works for me.

I uninstall things like Support-Assist, Dell-Update, Alienware-Update ... things like that.
In Bios, I have "UEFI Capsule Updates" Disabled.
I don't use any of Dell's wizards or updating-helpers.

Anything vital that really needs to be updated, seems to get updated from Windows-Update.
I get drivers for my (Dell-OEM-BackBlower) Nvidia GTX-1070 from www.nvidia.com .

It's an Aurora-R6, so I'm not expecting another BIOS update. but once a year or so, I drop by support.dell.com and check anyway. Other than Alienware-Command-Center or maybe a (late-in-life) firmware-update for something ... there is nothing there I need. Again, everything is working fine, so why mess with it?

For example, I recently saw that Dell had posted the latest Intel-Killer drivers with Intel Killer Performance Suite . It was working fine, but I tried it anyway (one day, I'll learn). It made things un-stable and slower. After some (ultimately unhelpful)  options-changing ... I just uninstalled the Intel Killer Performance Suite part (and Killer Intelligence Center v3.1.x ). Waste of time ... shouldn't have messed with it. Luckily, it left behind the same working/basic NIC driver as before (the one Windows-11 tossed me). It's working normally again now.

I've learnt over the years ... if your computer is working, don't mess with it. And in general, leaner and simpler is better. Just use your computer for fun-stuff or your work.


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
3 Argentum
428

@Tesla1856 

Great advice, thanks!  I am good.

Thanks also to the other contributors in this thread.

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