Windows Display Driver Model

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

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 on the Microsoft Web site.


The following is a list of all aspects that are part of this managed entity:

Name Description

Display Driver Timeout Detection and Recovery

Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 can detect when the graphics hardware or device driver take longer than expected to complete an operation. When this happens, Windows attempts to preempt the operation, and restore the display system to a usable state by resetting the graphics adapter. Typically, the only noticeable effect from this is a flicker of the display due to the reset and subsequent screen redraw. For more information, see "Timeout Detection and Recovery of GPUs through WDDM" at on the Microsoft Web site.

Multiple Display Adapter Installation

Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 require that when multiple graphics adapters are used in a computer, they must be of the same display driver model type: either Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM), or Windows XP Display Driver Model (XPDM).  If multiple WDDM graphics adapters are present, then they must all use the same WDDM driver. If the either requirement is not met, then Windows uses the adapter that was used to start the computer, and disables any others.

For more information about using specific features of your graphics adapter, visit the manufacturer's Web site. For more information about using multiple graphics adapters and multiple monitors, see "MultiMonitor Support and Windows Vista" at on the Microsoft Web site.

Core Operating System