What Are Alternative Drivers?


Drivers are quintessential and integral parts of a computing device, whether it is a computer or laptop. Drivers are tasked with numerous functions, right from supporting the operating system to ensuring that every feature of the computer works and does so in sync with other components and devices. There are many types of drivers based on their functions but the entire plethora of drivers can be categorized into two groups. One is drivers made by the manufacturers of the chipsets and systems. The other is alternative drivers.

Alternative drivers can be simply defined as drivers which cater to the same functions, have similar attributes as the drivers recommended in a computing system and have all the features but are not made by the recommended manufacturer or by the maker whose hardware and systems are used in the computer.

To give you an example, if you buy a Windows computer or laptop that has Intel inside, you are likely to have an Intel graphics driver preinstalled. Some computers or laptops may not come with such graphics drivers but most do and they would commonly have a compatible Intel graphics accelerator driver or a visual accelerator driver from Intel. These drivers will cater to all the necessary functions but you might not want Intel drivers. You may have a liking for AMD graphics drivers. You can use AMD graphics drivers with the same computer or laptop instead of the Intel drivers. The AMD graphics accelerator would be compatible with the system, barring a few rare exceptions. In this case, the AMD graphics drivers are alternative drivers.

In most types of drivers, you will have various manufacturers who offer similar drivers with similar features. There are obviously some differences in the features and specifications of these alternative drivers which is why people choose one over the others. Only a few drivers, such as the chipset driver, should be left unchanged. It is always wise to use Intel chipset drivers if you have an Intel processor inside. But with drivers that do not have everything to do with the processor, there are many alternative drivers to choose from. Right from the audio visual drivers to network drivers and additional hardware drivers, there are many alternative drivers at your disposal.

When you decide to opt for alternative drivers, you must try and ascertain that the driver would support the functions, would be compatible with the system and that the installation of such a driver wouldn’t impair any other component of the computing system.