Display Driver Models

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

The Windows operating systems support a well documented, standard architecture for implementing device drivers for graphics adapters. With this model, neither the applications running on your computer nor the operating system itself need to know the details of any particular graphics adapter.  Instead, Windows sends high-level commands to the device driver provided by the manufacturer of the graphics adapter. The device driver, in turn, advertises the capabilities of the graphics adapter to Windows. The device driver translates the commands into the device-specific operations to cause the display output to show what Windows requested.

Managed Entities

The following is a list of the managed entities that are included in this managed entity:

Name Description

Windows Display Driver Model

Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 introduce a new, more advanced driver model for display and graphics hardware called the Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM). To see many of the advanced video capabilities of Windows Vista, such as the Aero desktop theme, you must be using a graphics card that uses a WDDM-compatible device driver. Graphics adapters that use the older Windows XP Display Driver Model (XPDM) still work in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, but they cannot take advantage of the advanced video features that a WDDM driver can.

For more information about the Windows Display Driver Model, see https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=82269 on the Microsoft Web site.

Windows XP Display Driver Model

The Windows XP Display Driver Model (XPDM) is the display driver model used in the Windows XP and Windows 2000 operating systems. XPDM device drivers can be used in Windows Vista and Windows Server "Longhorn" operating systems, but cannot be used to enable the advanced features of Windows Vista, such as the Aero desktop theme.

Core Operating System