I just downloaded a utility called "SlimDrivers" that CNET seems to like. It says I have 30 out-of-date drivers on my XPS 9000/435MT. Should I trust the utility and install the drivers?
Dell stops validating new drivers shortly after product release, but manufacturers don't necessarily stop updating their drivers.
It's impossible to say whether drivers not approved by Dell are necessary or safe or will improve performance or stability.
What experiences have you-all had with non-Dell driver updates?
It's 50/50 on whether a non-Dell driver will work. I've used an Intel chpset driver for my Dimension E510, but as Dell uses a lot of custom implementations of the Intel chipset on another model with an Intel chipset it may not work. If you have Integrated (on the motherboard) Audio, you need to use the Dell drivers as we have found, in most cases, that non-Dell drivers either do not work or do not work properly.
Finally keep in mind the old adage, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". Look at what the update does and if it does not apply to your PC there is no need to update. The drivers from the hardware vendors are general and issued many times to fix specific problems, that may only apply to their hardware if used with a certain motherboard. I've seen a lot of SoundBlaster sound drivers issued to fix a problem with a specific game, for example.
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