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Why are there no CPU drivers?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Could someone give an explanation why there gpu drivers but not CPU drivers? Low level description would be great, the more info the better
post #2 of 9
Cause they come with the OS. If you go into your device manager, you'll see a "Processor" category.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
So if I don't update windows I'm losing performance?
post #4 of 9
if there is windows hotfix for an issue that needs "fixed" with the windows <-> CPU communication then potentially? but the CPU in the hardware chain is pretty low level so its sort of a "bulit in" component...whereas a GPU is a plug-in card whose signal is shunted in much "later" in the data process flow and as such, the GPU drivers telling the GPU how to regulate itself and communicate and play nice with others can be tweaked moreso...

this is probably not a very good explanation. more of a guess...
post #5 of 9
Because it's the backbone of a whole operating system, the core instructions for the operating system are written directly for the CPU. You're probably familiar with the term x86 instruction set- that's what this is. So since the software is natively written for the CPU, its instructions can be processed by the cpu directly.

Keep in mind that drivers exist to allow software to interface with hardware, but if that link is there natively, drivers are not needed.

Check it out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X86
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post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feild Scarecrow View Post

So if I don't update windows I'm losing performance?
sometimes

for example SP1 for Windows7 doubled FLOPS thanks to some new instruction set...
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post #7 of 9
I suppose another way to look at it, would be a CPU is more "reliant" on the motherboard BIOS updates for any "updates" to functionality as well
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by un1b4ll View Post

Because it's the backbone of a whole operating system, the core instructions for the operating system are written directly for the CPU. You're probably familiar with the term x86 instruction set- that's what this is. So since the software is natively written for the CPU, its instructions can be processed by the cpu directly.

Keep in mind that drivers exist to allow software to interface with hardware, but if that link is there natively, drivers are not needed.

Check it out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X86

Ok so since gpus have different gate configurations games and such made a broad sweep of usability and nvidia releases drivers to modify which cuda cores do what and how to use the ram. Any boosts to CPU performance will be in the developers hands because CPUs are completely standardized, thus if they do need to performance increases they will redo the internal code itself.

Gpu drivers will modify what instructions it inherits from the CPU.

Am I on target?
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feild Scarecrow View Post

Ok so since gpus have different gate configurations games and such made a broad sweep of usability and nvidia releases drivers to modify which cuda cores do what and how to use the ram. Any boosts to CPU performance will be in the developers hands because CPUs are completely standardized, thus if they do need to performance increases they will redo the internal code itself.

Gpu drivers will modify what instructions it inherits from the CPU.

Am I on target?

Pretty much, there's quite a bit of variables to the topic but you've got the gist of it. You could say that an OS has the drivers built in, but the kernel or 'core' of the OS is essentially written directly for the CPU. Everything beyond the kernel will need some type of drivers to be installed, and generally if they're more of a core component to a computer, you're less likely to need (software) drivers to use the device. For example, the ability for a hard drive to interface with the CPU is through a driver- but it's one stored in Firmware before you ever even open the motherboard box.


I guess the point that I'm making is that just because a device doesn't necessarily need drivers doesn't mean it's coded to be processed without translation, afaik only the kernel of the OS is able to be processed without translation, everything else requires a driver- whether it's one stored in bios or installed from Nvidia's website.
Edited by un1b4ll - 4/1/13 at 12:05pm
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