GPU drivers and software weigh around a Gigabyte now

Hello everyone!

Just a quick and pretty random (but nontheless interesting) observation: just updated my Nvidia GPU driver on Windows and realised once more that graphics drivers for modern cards are 700 MB now (and have been for a while).

Or in other words: the better part of a Gigabyte - for a driver. And that’s compressed download size, so uncompressed and installed it’s probably somewhere around 1.5 Gigabyte. That would be half of a full Microsoft Office 365 install (which appears to be 3 GB according to Google). FOR A DRIVER.

Intererstingly, the Linux variant of the driver is “only” around 160 MB. Which leads me to think: how much stuff do they cram into the Windows version of the driver and assistance software or do Windows drivers “need to be” larger to accomodate Windows? I mean, I know that the Windows version comes with the “Geforce Experience” - whatever that wants to be besides a way to update. But… over a GB installed for a driver? If every one of the twenty components of any machine would do that, you’d need 30 GB for drivers alone. Which update every other week.

Am I stuck in the past to wonder about this? Maybe someone has an interesting take on this. Even though it’s always a bit of a dated perspective, but I just realised that my first 486 with its 420 MB harddrive would be only half the machine to even download (let alone install) one NVIDIA driver package. Then again, that would have taken about 32,4 hours to download under optimal conditions and cost over 50 € in connection cost. Now it’s a 20 second download, does not cost any connection cost, and is just simply a fact of life.

I guess: all is well. But still - around a GB! For a driver… :pouting_man:

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Well that’s just it… it’s not just a driver. I don’t have nVidia, but on AMD you get all sorts of extra crap in there. You get all the abilities to stream your game session, record it, transcode it, save it for later. You get all the 3D abilities and some CUDA AI and parallel computing support (or whatever it’s called.) OpenGL, WebGL, Physx (on Nvidia). nVidia streaming support (for game streaming to an nVidia Shield.) Support for codecs (nVidia has their own proprietary tool for doing video transcodes called nVEC.) And so on. One could argue all these extras could be supplied by the games and/or Steam and/or the OS… but since nVidia loves them some proprietary lock-in, that’s just not possible.