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Discussion Starter #1
I just got a used Dell Latitude 2100 netbook and I was wondering if it's ok to use generic drivers to update the video driver and sound card. Since the reason why I' am asking is that I remember I use to own a Dell desktop tower back around 2004 and it didn't let me use generic drivers and I could only use OEM drivers. I just don't know if this netbook will do the same thing and will not allow me to use generic drivers. I heard some people said that Dell tries to force people to use OEM drivers but maybe newer ones don't do that anymore. I just noticed that Intel and Realtek have more newer drivers than the OEM drivers on Dell. But if Dell computers even now won't let me use generic then I will just use OEM drivers.
 

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It's usually not a good idea to use non-OEM drivers. Even if it lets you, I'd recommend against it, unless you're using a newer OS that Dell doesn't support for the system, and your only option is to use the generic drivers. Reason being, new drivers are sometimes compatible with old hardware, although they usually don't offer any fixes for said old hardware. In that case, at best you won't break anything, at worst, driver issues.

But suppose it doesn't "let" you install non-OEM drivers and you want to anyway. I'm sure there's a way around it - Dell probably just codes that stuff into the OS, as drivers aren't firmware, nor controllable through BIOS.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Here are some of the specs for my netbook.

1.6GHz Intel Atom N270, Memory 1GB, 533MHz DDR2, Hard drive 80GB 5,400rpm,
Operating system Windows 7

It has a Intel GMA 950 IGP on this netbook.

The sound card is a Realtek ALC272

Is this netbook old? All I know is that people mostly say to use generic drivers since they are more updated and will give you better performance since OEM drivers don't update as much.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustin_Broke View Post

Here are some of the specs for my netbook.

1.6GHz Intel Atom N270, Memory 1GB, 533MHz DDR2, Hard drive 80GB 5,400rpm,
Operating system Windows 7
It has a Intel GMA 950 IGP on this netbook.
The sound card is a Realtek ALC272
Is this netbook old? All I know is that people mostly say to use generic drivers since they are more updated and will give you better performance since OEM drivers don't update as much.
Not terribly old; all the Atoms from 2008 to 2010 were roughly the same (single-core). By "old hardware", I meant that once a new version is out, fixes for the old hardware aren't typically released, even if it can use the new driver. Example, I think the GMA 950 and 3150 can both use the same newer driver, but most if not all the fixes in the newer drivers are for the 3150. But do you see what I'm saying? Everyone "saying" to use generic drivers, without giving actual proof they're better, are just repeating assumptions. Frequently updating drivers doesn't mean they're better - personally I've had new drivers introduce bigger issues than they fixed in the past, so I'm certain not to unnecessarily update drivers without any possible benefit. You won't get better performance, you can benchmark and see just as much. OEM drivers are typically more stable, as Dell does the validation on the specific laptop.

Anyways, find the newest OEM driver, find the newest generic driver, compare the release notes. If there are fixes, great, you now know the generic drivers have potential to work better. If it all looks like nonsense (very minute, pointless, and obscure "issues" are cause for new driver versions a lot of the time), you saved yourself the hassle and a possible headache of toying with new drivers.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well here's a link to the drivers from Dell for the video card.

http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/us/en/ussoho1/DriverDetails/DriverFileFormats?DriverId=DX2CK&FileId=2731107899&productCode=latitude-2100&urlProductCode=False

Here's one from Intel
http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=18223&ProdId=2301&lang=eng&OSVersion=Windows%207%20(32-bit)*&DownloadType=Drivers

Here's one for the GMA 3150
http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=19494&ProdId=3235&lang=eng&OSVersion=Windows%207%20(32-bit)*&DownloadType=%0ADrivers%0A

It looks like the 950 and 3150 are different drivers.

Also as you see the Intel drivers are more current for the GMA 950. I can't find any details saying about the OEM drivers from Dell so I can compair.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Also I have a Sony laptop that is on my sig but I tried using the generic drivers for Intel HD and the generic ones gave me more FPS like 5 to 10 more for games. So that's why I thought generic drivers are better and my netbook would have better performance. But the question I had was that will Dell computers today will let you use generic drivers. Since I use to own a Dell desktop and I did install a retail copy of Windows XP Home and still it didn't let me use the generic drivers. Basicly I didn't use the recovery I used a retail fresh copy of Windows XP Home.

But if you still say that I should use OEM then I can use OEM drivers for my Sony laptop also.
 
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