Microsoft Windows 10 Gets Better Graphics Driver Evaluations To Improve Stability, Performance And Driver Quality

Microsoft has indicated it is now further optimizing the way to evaluate how well Graphics Drivers work with Windows 10 OS. By extensively analyzing data about seemingly random system crashes and hangs in games, Microsoft claims it can ensure only good quality and absolutely compatible graphics drivers are sent across to Windows 10 OS users. This should lead to better system stability, longer and smoother runtimes, and overall performance improvements.

Graphics and its relevant drivers have been quite troublesome for Microsoft in Windows 10 OS. Some of the most common and frequently occurring errors, freezes and system crashes are often attributed to poor quality, incompatible or incorrect graphics drivers. Hence Microsoft has reportedly decided to monitor such weird behavioral issues and try to block problematic graphics drivers. Based on the data analysis, Microsoft will determine whether a particular graphics driver should be rejected or pulled.

Microsoft To Gather System Crash, Freeze And Other Data To Evaluate Quality Of Graphics Driver:

Microsoft uses an extensive data collection and analysis system that intelligently evaluates graphics drivers. The company does this by measuring crashes and hangs in games, to determine whether the graphics driver should be rejected or pulled. Microsoft has traditionally used data to determine whether a system should be offered a new feature update version of Windows 10, among other things.

The recently issued Windows 10 v2004 20H1 May 2020 Cumulative Feature Update faced an ‘Upgrade Block’. Apparently, the preexistent Windows 10 installation had old drivers, and from the two driver issues, one was blocking the update from being offered on the device.

How Does The Microsoft ‘Graphics Driver Evaluation’ Method Work?

Now Microsoft’s Windows graphics team has developed three new measures that will be integrated into the evaluation of graphics drivers. These methods will become active from June 29, 2020. Two of the measures look at crashes in hangs in applications and the third one at rollbacks of drivers.

The first method in ‘Graphics Driver Evaluation’ analyses the number of user-mode crashes in the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge web browser. It measures how often Microsoft Edge crashes and reports it was caused by the graphics driver. The method then puts the data about crashes in relation to all devices with that particular driver.

Microsoft looks at seven-day time blocks and evaluates a minimum collation of 30,000 hours of Microsoft Edge Chromium runtime. The calculation is: Crashes in Edge Chromium Normalized by Usage = Total Edge Chromium Crashes / Runtime in Years. The driver fails the test if that result exceeds 1.

The second measure is identical to the first but instead of Microsoft Edge web browser crashes, it looks at crashes in multiple third-party communication and collaboration applications.

Microsoft has revealed it uses the following applications for the second measure:

  • MICROSOFT.SKYPEAPP
  • DISCORD.EXE
  • SKYPE.EXE
  • TEAMVIEWER.EXE
  • LYNC.EXE
  • WECHAT.EXE
  • QQ.EXE
  • SLACK.EXE
  • KAKAOTALK.EXE
  • ZOOM.EXE
  • ZOOM
  • WHATSAPP.EXE
  • LINE.EXE
  • YOUCAMSERVICE.EXE
  • TELEGRAM.EXE
  • VIBER.EXE
  • MICROSOFT.SKYPEROOMSYSTEM

For the second method, Microsoft is evaluating a minimum collation of 10,000 hours of Communication and Collaboration Application runtime. The time block, however, is identical to the first method. Additionally, the calculation methodology is identical as well. The final calculation is Crashes in Communication and Collaboration Applications normalized by usage in years = Total Crashes in Communication and Collaboration Applications / Runtime in Years. The driver fails the test if the result exceeds 1.

The third measure in the ‘Graphics Driver Evaluation’ analyzes driver rollbacks or re-installation in the first two days of installation. The minimum population is set to 5,000 devices and a seven-day time period. The driver fails the test if there are more than 10 rollbacks per 10,000 devices with the driver.

Alap Naik Desai


A B.Tech Plastics (UDCT) and a Windows enthusiast. Optimizing the OS, exploring software, searching and deploying solutions to strange and weird issues is Alap's main interest.