The updated feature score directive is a general installation setting that's required for all Windows 8 drivers that follow the Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM).
This table shows the values that apply for Windows 8. Key changes are italicized.
Feature scores for WDDM versions
|Driver model||Feature score|
|Windows 8 WHQL||E0|
|Windows 8 Pre-Release Driver||E3|
|Windows 7 WHQL||E6|
|Windows 7 inbox||EC|
|Windows Vista WHQL||F6|
|Windows Vista inbox||F8|
|Microsoft Basic Display Driver||FB|
|XDDM third-party||FC (Not used in Windows 8)|
|XDDM inbox in Windows Vista||FD (Not used in Windows 8)|
|VGA||FE (Not used in Windows 8)|
|Default or No Score||FF|
|Unsigned drivers||No feature score = FF|
Each operating system release introduces a new feature score value. For Windows 8 this is E3 for in-box and pre-release drivers, and E0 for WHQL drivers. The feature score is used by Windows to determine which driver to install when multiple possible drivers exist. A driver with a higher ranked feature score is selected.
All Windows 8 in-box driver devices have a higher ranked feature score than all existing Windows 7 drivers because the in-box drivers are tested on Windows 8, and existing Windows 7Windows 7 drivers have not been. This results in the in-box Windows 8 driver replacing existing Windows 7 drivers. An independent hardware vendor (IHV) can use the E0 feature score with a Windows 7 driver if the following is true:
- The driver has been tested for Windows 8.
- The driver has fixes that make it better than the in-box driver.
- The driver is intended to be retained on upgrade to Windows 8.