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How to update CPU drivers

Do CPUs even need drivers? Don’t they just ‘work’? We solve one of life’s big mysteries

Updated: Mar 29, 2023 3:35 pm
How to update CPU drivers

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You may be wondering how to update CPU drivers – especially if you’ve recently gone through the routine process of updating the drivers for your graphics. We’ll be discussing how exactly all of this works in this article. Drivers (as the name would suggest) are the ‘driving force’ behind your PC components – instructing them on what to do and how to do it, when dealing with a workload. So, it’s important to keep it all up to date.

READ NOW: Don’t forget to check out more details on the latest AM5 / Zen 4 processors from AMD

Every component needs a driver, including the CPU, right? Well, the thing is – yes, they do, but not exactly in the same sense as many other components. Let’s elaborate and take you through all details below.

DO CPUs need drivers?

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.

READ NOW: Learn how to upgrade your graphics driver too

Where do you find CPU drivers?

how to update 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. 


motherboard chipsets

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

Final word

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.

Jack is a Tech and News Writer who has a vast and proficient knowledge of CPUs, Motherboards, and Computer technology.

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