Help test a new Graphics Card Driver Updater tool!

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Post » Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:18 am

Hi all,

Graphics card drivers are a bit of a problem both for Construct 2 and HTML5 in general. In Construct 2 old drivers can cause crashes and glitches. For HTML5 in general, many ordinary users have out of date drivers, and this causes their browser to revert to software rendering making the game run slowly for them. If they updated their driver the browser might enable hardware acceleration then the game would run super fast... but most people probably have no idea how to do that. I reckon this is the #1 problem with HTML5 performance on desktop.

So I've done a little side-project to create a tool called the Graphics Driver Updater. This is a really simple program that tells you what your graphics card is, how old the driver is, and gives you a relevant link to go update it. It's designed for non-technical general users so it has a little bit of explanation and is meant to be as straightforward as possible.

Here it is:

Download the Graphics Driver Updater (beta 2)
(last update: 25th February 2012)

Could you all give it a spin and let me know how it works for you? I'd love to get feedback on if you think it's clear, simple and straightforward. It should also accurately detect your graphics card and the driver date, but let me know if anything seems amiss. Also if detection fails you'll see a "Sorry!" message - would be interesting to know what your setup is in that case.

Also I haven't tested on XP so would be reassuring if someone on XP could give me the thumbs up it works.

If it all goes smoothly, I'd like to release this as an open-source general purpose tool. Any games or apps that need up to date graphics card drivers could use it. Also, if people complain to you about your HTML5 games being slow, you can send them to this tool so they can easily update their drivers, which is the most likely thing to make HTML5 games go faster. It's probably much better than trying to get an ordinary user to figure out what their graphics card is.

The situation with graphics card drivers is total shambles. Many are poorly engineered or simply broken and many manufacturers do nothing to help people update them. It's been a huge pain in the ass while developing Construct 2 and will surely cause more problems in future for other people, especially in HTML5 performance, so I hope this tool can help make life easier for some others out there, because the people responsible for graphics drivers are not doing great IMO.Ashley2012-02-25 16:05:47
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Post » Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:58 am

It works @ XP SP3, with an Intel g41 Express Chipset.

I'm updating the driver even when it says it's ok (because it's almost two years old xD).

I think it will be very useful to be able to copy-paste the results of the test, so you can copy the name of the graphics card when you search for it at the website.

My girlfriend's lap acts slow with my game, so we're going to try it now there. I'll come back with more results.

Edit:
It didn't detect an Intel GMA 4500MHD, not even after the driver update. updating fixed the slowness, though.kirby2012-02-24 05:45:59
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Post » Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:04 am

Worked fine on my old laptop (and also works fine on my main Desktop), and I updated the intel drivers to the latest and now it can run WebGL! Although Chrome webgl runs it at 10 FPS as opposed to Canvas' 33 FPS. I would have preferred it if webgl didn't work now, lol.
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Post » Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:12 am

Works, detected everything fine, and its a nice, simple program. Running Windows 7 64 bit with an ATI Radeon 3200.
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Post » Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:22 am

if fps<20 then print "please check you have the latest graphics drivers"
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Post » Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:51 am

Works perfectly.

Its a really nice tool. Convenient of you to show what version of windows they have as well.

Very clear and user friendly.

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Post » Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:13 am

Nice tool. For laptops with Nividia Optimus Technology though such as mine it only detects the dedicated card (GeoForce GT540M), not the integrated card (Intel HD 3000) which is used for browser based games unless you otherwise specify.

Probably not a huge problem as any laptops with that are fairly recent and can run html5 very well, even with the integrated card, but figured you should know =)

Edit: This is running Windows 7 64bitHaematite2012-02-24 12:43:38
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Post » Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:53 am

Sorry the Graphics Driver Updater couldn't detect graphics card.

Try NVIDIA graphics driver update.. But i also have windows management instrumentation and namespace stopped. :) And other services too.


WinXP 32-bit SP3, Nvidia GTX280.

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Post » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:29 pm

Tried it on my desktop computer, it worked. Found the graphic card, the drivers and the fact it appears up to date.

On my laptop (Xp Sp3, GeForce4 420 Go (Toshiba), not plugged to internet) it displayed the "we can't find your graphic card" message.
No big deal here, I'm not planning to play games on it. (local server)
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Post » Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:41 pm

@mercy, the way it detects the driver uses Windows Management Instrumentation, so I'm not surprised it didn't work!

@Kyatric & others - if it didn't detect the card, did the link to Device Manager work and allow you to find the name of the card? Was that process straightforward to identify + update the driver still?
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