Here’s a trend I’m seeing in driver downloads from hardware manufacturers: they’re bundling dozens of drivers into one file that detects your hardware and installs the right driver. (Mind you, while I’m just noticing this trend, it’s probably been around for years…I’m not all that perceptive…)
I got a new machine this week, and it came with a 128MB NVidia GeForce Ti video card (insert sounds of Tim Allen going “Argh-h-h” here…). To get the driver for it, NVidia just has you pick your product line (“GeForce,” for instance) and you get a 61MB download with, I guess, every driver for that line. It’s an executable that figures out what card you have, and installs it. You can then toss the installer.
The machine came with a Sound Blaster Audigy card as well. Same deal here, with a twist. The download was a little executable that detected the card, then downloaded the correct driver from Creative’s site and installed it.
You’re sacrificing download size for the sake of not having to figure out what hardware you have. The app saves you the trouble, but you end up downloading 10- or 20-times what you need.
I personally love it, but, then again, I have broadband.