I just finished installing Windows 8 natively using a VHD, as discussed in my previous post, and while exploring I noticed some fonts were not quite as crisp as I would like. Others may not notice this subtle nuance, but it is likely that in aggregate you’ll be affected by stretched images, poor font and color quality, and even poor performance without proper hardware accelerated graphics. Let this post serve as a reminder to update your drivers and check your resolution so that you can experience Windows 8 the way it is meant to be: fast, fluid, and beautiful.

The typical first place to check for driver updates on any installation is Windows Update in your Control Panel.  Unfortunately, yet expectedly, no certified Windows 8 drivers were available for my NVidia graphics display card.

The next location to check was my OEM (original equipment manufacturer), Asus. Most OEMs have driver download links prominently displayed on their support websites, and Asus is no exception. However, the latest driver they had for my model was for Vista.  I knew that Windows 8 is architecturally similar to Vista, so I tried to install the driver anyway without success: it detected my OS and rejected me off the bat.

Last stop: the video card manufacturer.  Luckily for me, NVidia’s Windows 7 driver downloaded and installed perfectly.  I’m now using my fully native screen resolution, allowing for accurate color and shape rendering, and crisp, clear fonts.

Your turn!  Take a quick look at your resolution or other hardware settings, and update where possible.  While Windows may be functional with the baseline drivers, your experience and performance will be sub par without the true software to power your hardware devices.