what do the numbers in the nvidia driver mean

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  1. Posts : 52
    windows 10 pro build 1809
       #1

    what do the numbers in the nvidia driver mean


    the drivers are in this format 43x.y for example

    sometimes y increases when a new driver is released and sometimes x increases when a new driver is released. what is the difference between when x increases and when y increases?

    i dont like to update my drivers that often so is it ok if i only update whenever x increases? i always use the clean install option each time i update the nvidia driver

    also will outdated intel card drivers have any affect on the nvidia driver? intel card drivers are released very frequently and i like to wait a couple of months before i update my intel card
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 27,243
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit
       #2

    The first two digits are the operating system WDDM version:
    Windows Display Driver Model - Wikipedia

    The next two digits are the DirectX version:
    DirectX - Wikipedia

    The next three digits are the driver baseline

    The last four digits are the build.

    For Nvidia drivers view the last five digits.


    Example Driver Version : 23.21.13.8813 = 38813

    23 = WDDM = Windows10 Fall Creators Update - WDDM 2.3

    21 = DirectX identifier = DirectX Version

    Identifier DirectX* Version
    20 12.1
    19 12
    18 11.1
    17 11.0
    15 10.x
    14 9.x
    13 8.x
    12 7.x
    11 6.x

    Intel is similar but a little different than Nvidia

    Example Driver Version : 25.20.100.6472 = 06472

    25 = Windows 10 October 2018 Update - WDDM 2.5

    20 = DirectX version 12.1

    100 = Driver baseline (corresponds to the generation of the processor)

    6472 = build number
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 52
    windows 10 pro build 1809
    Thread Starter
       #3

    thanks for your reply. what i meant to ask was about the numbering in the file name that i download from the nvidia website

    for example there is:-
    1) 431.36-notebook-win10-64bit-international-whql
    2) 436.02-notebook-win10-64bit-international-whql
    3) 436.15-notebook-win10-64bit-international-whql

    what has changed when the 02 became 15 and what has changed when the 431 became 436?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. Faith's Avatar
    Posts : 1,123
    Windows 10 Home May 2019 Update 64-bit
       #4

    Driver 436.15 = 26.21.14.3615. You can see this in the device manager for your gpu driver.

    26 = Windows Display Driver Model 2.6
    21 = DirectX rev 21 (12.1)
    14 = Base number
    3615 = Build number

    Nvidia shows the five last numbers which mostly indicates the build numbers. Higher the numbers the newer the driver. If it's a big jump - 431.xx to 436.xx - it probably means it's a new branch of driver. A branch is where they start building and updating the current drivers to for a while. Once the last numbers are taken it will simply add a higher number to the front and start at 01 at the back, e.g 436.15 -- 15 goes to 99 so the 6 in the front will be 7, and 99 will be 01. The numbers can change often and inconsistently each driver release because Nvidia run test drivers in the background. The difference between 436.02 and 436.15 are shown in the release notes. Since it's on the same branch (R436) it will mostly be the same as 436.02 but with additional fixes and whatnot. 431.36 are based on an older/differnt branch (R431).

    Keep it simple. If it ain't broke don't fix it. Update your drivers based on the PDF release notes if there's anything important for your system to update to, or if it patches any vulnerabilities. If the numbers are higher than the previous (both in x and y), it's a newer driver. Newer driver doesn't necessarily mean it's the 'best' driver for you though. I mean I didn't update to 436.15 because I don't play the game 'Control', which that driver mostly focused on.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 27,243
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit
       #5

    cns00 said: View Post
    thanks for your reply. what i meant to ask was about the numbering in the file name that i download from the nvidia website

    for example there is:-
    1) 431.36-notebook-win10-64bit-international-whql
    2) 436.02-notebook-win10-64bit-international-whql
    3) 436.15-notebook-win10-64bit-international-whql

    what has changed when the 02 became 15 and what has changed when the 431 became 436?
    Multiply by 100.
    The resulting number is driver baseline followed by . then the build.

    431.36 x 100 = 4.3136
    driver baseline = 4
    build = 3136
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 1,323
    Windows 10
       #6

    The Nvidia version number does not mean anything much. They list some changes/fixes in the Release Notes PDF.
    Almost nothing of interest for most people. Sometimes they introduce more bugs than fixes.
    So the latest is not always the best.
    Some of the worst ones in the list disappear. I reckon you are safer with a driver approx 6 months old, that view from 18 years of using Nvidia Graphics cards.

    My Laptop Nvidia Graphics driver is not listed in either Nvidia Certified/Beta list, or Windows updates, it works and that is it. Gets updated about every 6-12 months by Windows updates.

    Same for the Intel driver just the numbering convention is a bit different.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  7. Plankton's Avatar
    Posts : 1,337
    Windows 10 Pro
       #7

    cns00 said: View Post
    thanks for your reply. what i meant to ask was about the numbering in the file name that i download from the nvidia website

    for example there is:-
    1) 431.36-notebook-win10-64bit-international-whql
    2) 436.02-notebook-win10-64bit-international-whql
    3) 436.15-notebook-win10-64bit-international-whql

    what has changed when the 02 became 15 and what has changed when the 431 became 436?

    These are bug fixes, system performance increases, additional games added and so on. Just read the release notes for each driver release.

    NVIDIA DRIVERS GeForce Game Ready Driver WHQL
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  8. Posts : 52
    windows 10 pro build 1809
    Thread Starter
       #8

    you said
    Helmut said: View Post
    Almost nothing of interest for most people. Sometimes they introduce more bugs than fixes.
    So the latest is not always the best.
    i am very interested in that and that's why i am asking about the drivers because i am worried that there are bugs in the driver if the driver is released frequently

    for example i installed 431.36 which was released on July 9, 2019. after that 431.60 got released on July 23, 2019. 14 days is too soon for me to update drivers so i skip it and i wait for next version. after that 436.02 was released on August 20, 2019 so i install it. now 436.15 is available and it was released on August 27, 2019. 7days is too soon for me to update my driver and i am waiting for the next one. is what i am doing correct?

    you said that you got bugs. like what? are they serious bugs that can cripple the system or are they minor bugs?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9. Faith's Avatar
    Posts : 1,123
    Windows 10 Home May 2019 Update 64-bit
       #9

    There's no right or wrong way to do this. If you want to ensure a more bug-free experience, then the last drivers in each branch should in theory have less bugs, in this case driver 431.36. Bugs can vary, but they're usually centered around games because they are 'Game Ready Drivers'. The reason they sometimes release new drivers often is because a new game comes out. If new games are not released often, the fewer the driver releases. As I pointed out, 436.15 came out because the game 'Control' came out, it's primarily the same driver as 436.02 because it's the same branch (R436). But you're reading too much into this. If everything is fine for your system then you don't have to update. Just wait a while and update whenever you feel like it. Read up on the release notes on the "Fixed Issues" and "Known Issues" in there for any potential issues or fixes for your system. That's what I do.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  10. Posts : 52
    windows 10 pro build 1809
    Thread Starter
       #10

    Faith said: View Post
    Bugs can vary, but they're usually centered around games because they are 'Game Ready Drivers'. The reason they sometimes release new drivers often is because a new game comes out.
    are you sure that it's just minor gaming bugs and nothing major that will break my pc and cause blue screens of death?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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