New to the community so please bear with me.
So my question is this, when Intel release a driver update, the example being the 'Intel(R) Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260', is there any supporting documentation that details the issues resolved or enhancements provided as part of the driver? I can't seem to find this. The reason I ask is that our company SOE is using a driver from June 2013 and I want to understand what benefits we would get from updating this driver to a newer version. I need to justify the update, if it is required, with a technical advisory note. I understand that it is best practice to keep your drivers up to date, but getting this changed in our SOE is a big deal given our company size, hence me requiring some detailed technical documentation to support any change request.
I understand that it is best practice to keep your drivers up to date
Not necessarily with this wireless adapter. There are a variety of experiences with this card as documented in the many threads about the AC7260 in this forum, and many of those are about problems with drivers.
My own experience is this: my card had failures to wake after sleep with drivers prior to v16.6. Once that one came out, my card worked fine. Then I tried later ones. All of the v17 drivers until the most very recent which the OEMs have now, 17.12, gave me the same trouble. I'm still basically beta testing 17.12 for myself, knowing that I can always roll back to 16.6, which always worked as intended.
Updating drivers is sold as being helpful, if not essential, but I just don't think it's true as a general rule. If your June, 2013, driver is working for you, leave it alone. If you're getting rated speeds and your connections are solid, and the card wakes up properly, what more can you expect? A new driver can't improve on optimal performance in the grand scheme of things.
I've never seen release notes for these driver files, either, here at Intel. The OEMs have blurbs about them, but the changes detailed may or may not be from the manufacturing source. That is not to say that new releases don't address problem issues. If the release notes specifically describe a problem and declare that this release is a fix, then go for it. But general descriptors like "improves performance" or "adds support for x,y, and z models"--I tend to be skeptical of those.
If it isn't broken, don't fix it.
Thanks for the reply. I understand the 'if it ain't broken, don't fix it', I guess it was more of a general question given that the driver was released in June 2013 and the 802.11ac standard was fully ratified in December 2013. With the gap in dates I wondered if perhaps any changes may have been applied to an updated driver file post ratification that I need to consider, hence the query regarding the documentation for the drivers.
Point taken. But, unless it's here and well hidden, I don't think you're going to find that documentation on this site.
Lack of release notes has been a recurring gripe in this forum. (Along with new drivers not fixing known problems.)
Not a specific issue, but I assume updated drivers are released to address issues identified in previous versions. Given that the driver we currently use is pre the ratified date of 802.11ac, I just wondered if there was anything added to more recent drivers that address issues that have been identified in earlier versions. The one we are using is almost 18 months old and is part of a new SOE that was developed for a hardware refresh programme. Just seems the driver is a little old and given the number of updates that have been released since then, may suggest we need to consider a newer driver. We aren't experiencing any particular issues other than a couple of users occasionally dropping their connection.
Joe, I find it remarkable that you'd even wonder why someone would be interested the attributes of a driver release.
Do you just install software updates on your own hardware willy nilly, without wondering how, if at all, it might change the functionality of an app or your system as a whole? Are you not interested in what the developer changed (ostensibly) in the driver from the previous version?
The release notes are not published because the list of fixes is written with such level of detail and technical vocabulary that makes them incomprehensible to users.
You may test the latest driver for better results.
http://www.intel.com/support/wireless/wtech/proset-ws/sb/CS-034041.htm Intel® PROSet/Wireless Software — Intel® PROSet/Wireless Software Downloads
Sorry for the late reply Joe.
I guess what I am looking for in some technical justification for asking our SOE team to consider upgrading the driver in our SOE. I wondered if, perhaps, there had been some advancement in your driver software that improves for example a client's roaming ability, etc. You obviously write these drivers for a purpose and to address an existing issue or to add a feature. I personally don't have the time to test this as it is something that is not managed by the team I am in. We are deploying next generation wifi in all of our global facilities and I want to ensure that the initial client experience with the wifi that is the laptop's association is optimal through the most optimal device driver.
Hope this makes sense? Thanks
You may try contacting Intel support for further assistance.
http://www.intel.com/p/en_US/support Intel Customer Support