Intel GPU Driver Update Claims Up To 37 Percent Performance Boost

Intel GPU Driver Update Claims Up To 37 Percent Performance Boost

Intel has released a new graphics driver for its Sandy Bridge integrated CPUs that it claims delivers significantly improved performance in a number of titles. Listed gains are reprinted below:



In addition, the new driver purportedly fixes intermittent crashing when an HDMI monitor is connected, WebGL rendering issues in both Chrome and Firefox, and cleans up artifacts that were formerly present in Assassin's Creed, Darkspore, TES:Oblivion, Empire:Total War, F1 2010, and Starcraft 2. Corruption issues in Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Crysis, and Dragon Age 2 were also attended to. Finally, the driver package includes an updated OpenGL driver.

One thing this release inadvertently highlights is how much Intel's GPU driver improvement program lags behind its competition. Intel's previous GPU driver was released five months ago. NVIDIA has released three WHQL driver updates over the same time period, while ATI has released five.

We don't want to sound overly critical--Intel's GPUs are far more compatible with modern games than they were just a few years ago, and relative performance has improved tremendously over the same time period. If the company wants to seriously compete with ATI and NVIDIA GPUs, however, it's going to have to pick up the pace.

 As integrated GPUs become more powerful, the number of people using them for gaming will increase, and the need for up-to-date drivers that can handle recently shipped titles becomes greater. Many of the bugs Intel fixed are in games that've been on the market for a year or more.  
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This screen refresh blanking out your posts sux balls! Argh!

EDIT: Sorry folks. I was frustrated at the time I posted this and had lost a three paragraphs reply.

While I applaud Intel's new graphics efforts and recognize that they have a lot of capability that they never had before, I have to give the guys at AMD credit for their APU solution. The onboard Radeon HD6550 is leaps and bound better than the Intel GPU buit into my Sandy Bridge PC.

I just bought a XFX Radeon HD6770 1GB-DDR5 for it, and I am now running it in 'crossfire' with the onboard video. The results are pretty cool too.

No, it will not beat my Sandy Bridge based PC with the GTX570 in it, but it's capable enough to play games at decent resolutions and that at speed. There is no lag happening here. So KUDOS to AMD for again coming up with a low cost solution for the PO folks.

I think that onboard graphics are going to take off in a big way in the next few years, but I still like to be able to change my graphic capabilities at will, and as my wallet can afford to do. Discrete graphics is certainly the way to go as I see it.

(thanks for the link Marco, I'll check it out)


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I thought that was fixed!

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It seemed like it was, but it is not so.>> back to the timed - out refresh .

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Yeah! You're sure right "realneil". Although sometimes I do take my time posting, but the screen refresh does cause me troubles more than you know. In fact sometimes that screen refresh even wrecks your videos that you show up here sometimes.

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Sorry guys. We're working on it. Going to def. fix it for any content tagged with a video in the short term. In the meantime, may want to check this out if your an FF user.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/lazarus-form-recovery/

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Marco C:

Sorry guys...In the meantime, may want to check this out if your an FF user.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/lazarus-form-recovery/

Thanks for the suggestion, Marco. I found that Lazarus Form Recovery is also available to Chrome users HERE so I'm going to try it out.

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For years everyone has criticized Intel for not providing real competition to ARM and having the worst graphics imaginable, but this is just one of many indications the eight hundred pound gorilla is ready to tackle these issue head on. The real question is how fast they'll do so and how well they'll stack up against the competition with any given product. Integrated graphics? Who cares. Like the article says, they'll have to demonstrate more of a commitment than one driver update to lure customers away from AMD and Nvidia.

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I have to agree. I mean at this rate Intel will be a bad choice for graphics (low-end or high-end) and the other brands will pick up business; whoever heard of updating their drivers five months at a time.

Also thank you Marco for coming up with a quick fix, greatly appreciated!

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Thanks for the add-on link Marco :)

Intel certainly is going to have to pick up the pace on the driver updates but it does at least seem like they are making significant gains with this update so that is a positive sign.

Though I personally don't think integrated graphics will ever be the choice of gamers they are great for light gaming and the average user.

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I wonder how many software titles that they have fixed or will eventually try to fix with their driver update downloads. I had an Asus P8H67-MLE motherboard, sporting a Core i7 2600 & using onboard grahics or iGPU.Wink On this pc I installed a retail boxed copy of XP Pro x32 bit Wink on 100GB of the WD sata 3 velociraptor @ 6GB/s that has 450 GB in total. I had installed from a copy of Mavis Beacons Teaches Typing Platinum ver.20 onto this pc. After a short while I noticed that in certain areas of her typing course that my mouse started to freeze. It continued to get worse, but I noticed that the rest of my gear was okay, but I did not have much on anyway. I thought that I had a virus, maybe I still do. I finally installed a graphic card, a Asus EN210GT slient & the problem went away. So that is what made me think that it was a virus. I did install a copy of a spare vista ultimate onto another partition & that same mavis beacons typing course worked without any mouse freezing problems.Big Smile I did do that vista install before I added the graphic card though. That is why I thought that maybe it was a problem with the cpu rather then a virus on my motherboard & at that time it was offline also. One more thing & that I had already tried a new mouse that I bought from another more reputable shop that sold office supplies. The freezing still occured after using that new mouse.Angry

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One more thing that I forgot to add & that is that I will still use Intel processors, because I use graphic cards anyway.Wink  That Asus P8H67-MLE motherboard with a Core i7 2600 & XP Pro x32 bit installed onto it, I now use as a online gaming pc through steam now at first. For a browser I use Mozillas Aurora & I have  had no problems yet so far. As a back up, I have installed Goodles Chrome, but Mozillas Aurora is by default. Smile  I'm playing Aliens vs. Predator & no signs of any mouse freezing or anything else at all, but that is using that Asus EN210GT silent graphic card.Cool  All inside a Numan 2019B case with a native 400watts psu. The case is only a tiny one, but I will upgrade to an Asus GTX 550 TI soon.Big Smile 

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"I mean at this rate Intel will be a bad choice for graphics (low-end or high-end)."

Taylor, Intel has been a horrific choice for graphics since it introduced the i810 chipset back in the late 1990s. The integrated GPU with Sandy bridge is by far the best solution the company has ever launched.

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Joel H:
Taylor, Intel has been a horrific choice for graphics since it introduced the i810 chipset back in the late 1990s.

Oh so true,.... but they sold a whole lot of PC's with that funky onboard GPU to corporations and businesses. That made Intel the 'most used GPU' in computing for years because it was cheap, and it did what most workstations needed to do. "Barely capable" helped to make them a fortune.

EDIT: It was also perfect for the home user that wanted only to browse the web and check e-mail.

And,......it's 'inabilities' helped the discrete graphics card companies to survive too. Smile

 

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Joel H:

"I mean at this rate Intel will be a bad choice for graphics (low-end or high-end)."

Taylor, Intel has been a horrific choice for graphics since it introduced the i810 chipset back in the late 1990s. The integrated GPU with Sandy bridge is by far the best solution the company has ever launched.

It's a known fact that Intel graphics are bad, hell; I didn't say that they were the best back then (I mean who remembers the Integrated Graphics that Intel motherboards had) and I certainly know that they sucked (still do) back then as well...

I was making that in reference to Intel's current GPU's. I mean they've gotten a lot of praise for at least being competitive with the lower-end AMD/NVIDIA graphics cards, be a shame to lose that buzz to some graphic driver issues huh?

Also @realneil I have to agree; cheap and mass produced wins out in the end.

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I can attest to the performance increase of Starcraft 2 atleast.

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I don't think they've lost ground due to slow driver updates. My point was meant to be an observation of how they need to improve if they want to continue gaining ground. I've used multiple laptops with SB integrated and light gaming is possible, if you don't expect too much.

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Joel H:
I've used multiple laptops with SB integrated and light gaming is possible, if you don't expect too much.

I don't think that they give a rats butt about high end gaming graphics. Otherwise they'd have something viable for us. Didn't they have some sort of Graphics initiative going on a few years ago and then suddenly decide to just end the project?

I agree that they have come a long way in the last few years.

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Yeah, Larrabee was the name of that project...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larrabee_(microarchitecture)

Intel's driver support has always been pretty minimum, there are independent developers who have projects dedicated to making better drivers because of it... Like Sherry modded drivers for Intel's ATOM GMA's...

http://angelictears9xxssf.wordpress.com/

However, they may also be prioritizing considering all the things they have been doing and plan to get done. Ivy Bridge for example is coming out next year and they need good drivers for its release and to take advantage of its better graphical performance. Especially since they'll need it to finally give a good reason for companies to buy into Ultrabooks.

While they've made a seriously risky move for their ATOM lines by going again with a Imagination PowerVR GPU instead of their own in-house solution.

Many would remember how badly GMA 500 was handled, based on the PowerVR SGX535. Though mostly because of the closed driver support and Imagination's total lack of support for Open Source drivers for Linux at the time.

Both Oak Trail and Medfield are using the updated GMA600, same SGX535 but clocked higher at 400MHz. While Cedar Trail will be using the slightly better PowerVR SGX545, clocked at 400MHz for GMA 3600 in the N2600 and clocked at 640MHz for GMA 36050 in the higher end N2800.

However, this time round Intel had their own Linux based MeeGo OS to support and hired a bunch of Open Source driver developers from Nokia, who seem to have managed to get the drivers to work properly for MeeGo on a Oak Trail tablet. Plus they took an extra two months to ensure drivers all work properly for Cedar Trail.

So hopefully they'll get the driver support done right this time, at least early benchmarks look promising, but overall point is they got a lot on their plate right now and it's a wonder they even got this update out.

Though Intel probably would be better off buying Nvidia to better compete with AMD, which bought out ATI for comparison, and also would help them better compete in the mobile market.

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Realneil,

You're thinking of Larrabee. It was ambitious, and Intel has never *completely* given up on it, but they decided to delay attempting to push it into a consumer GPU and opted instead for a high-end compute-assist part. Larrabee became Knights Ferry (that's the developer part). Knights Cross will be the first commercially available part.

Does Intel give a rat's butt about high-end graphics? Insomuch as they want a piece of NV's burgeoning Tesla business and to own a chunk of the GPGPU market, absolutely. The rapid evolution of Intel's integrated graphics in the last few years is a direct result of the company not wanting to be locked out of the multimedia / HD content race by NV and AMD.

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