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New Intel HD 4000 Drivers Improve Performance Up to 10%

By - Source: Intel | B 28 comments

Intel is increasing performance while reducing power thanks to drivers set to be released this week for the Intel HD Graphics 4000 GPU.

During GDC 2013, Intel said that the next major driver update for its HD Graphics 4000 GPU will be released this week. This will be the seventh major driver release since Intel launched its second-generation Sandy Bridge Core processors, and will not only improve performance by up to 10-percent, but reduce the GPU's overall power consumption.

During a media event, Intel said this new driver update, v15.31, was developed for its next-generation Haswell processors. However the company is releasing the update anyway for the Ivy Bridge crowd which will improve performance, reduce power consumption, and support the new OpenCL 1.2 standard. Owners of rigs with the 4000 GPU should use the automatic driver update tool next week to see when the new drivers are available.

Intel said it's also releasing a new driver for its HD Graphics 3000 GPU, but it's currently unclear if the driver will feature the same performance boost and power savings. This GPU itself doesn't support OpenCL, the open standard for parallel programming across CPUs, GPUs and whatnot, so the latest standard is definitely out the window.

In addition to the new drivers, Intel introduced a number of goodies this week during GDC 2013. One is called PixelSync, a DirectX extension that provides access to underlying hardware that allows programmers to "properly composite partially transparent pixels without the need for an expensive sorting operation". This helps render more realistic smoke, hair, windows, foliage, fences and other complex geometry and natural phenomena.

Another new extension is called InstantAccess which allows physical memory to be written and read from either the CPU or from the built-in Intel HD Graphics.

"These real-time rendering extensions are being released in advance of the launch of Intel's newest generation of Core processors in order to give developers extra time to begin incorporating them into their products," Intel said. "Initially, these extensions are available through Intel's implementation of DirectX and on Intel 4th gen Core platforms only."

During the conference, Intel also demonstrated a version of HandBreak optimized for Intel Quick Sync Video which is dedicated hardware built into the latest Intel Core processors. The company also revealed an updated version of its graphic and game development tools, Intel Graphics Performance Analyzers (Intel GPA 2013 R1), and launched the 2013 edition of its Perceptual Computing Software Development Kit (SDK).

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  • 19 Hide
    jack1982 , April 1, 2013 5:20 AM
    Great news for me as I'm planning on building an i5 system but can't afford the video card until later. Playing in 720p I think I should be able to enjoy a variety of somewhat older games - now 10% better :) 
  • 15 Hide
    A Bad Day , April 1, 2013 5:16 AM
    Not a joke. It was on OCN forum a few days ago.

    Anyways, I still wouldn't use the HD 4000 for low-mid range gaming. Especially when only the high end CPUs have it, thus the HD 4000 is guaranteed to bottleneck.
  • 14 Hide
    damianrobertjones , April 1, 2013 6:29 AM
    We have a post that's positive news and STILL there's a load of negative posts...

    Don't some of you guys have anything better yo do?

    Seriously...
Other Comments
  • 7 Hide
    bin1127 , April 1, 2013 5:04 AM
    Is this real or april fool's joke?
  • 15 Hide
    A Bad Day , April 1, 2013 5:16 AM
    Not a joke. It was on OCN forum a few days ago.

    Anyways, I still wouldn't use the HD 4000 for low-mid range gaming. Especially when only the high end CPUs have it, thus the HD 4000 is guaranteed to bottleneck.
  • 19 Hide
    jack1982 , April 1, 2013 5:20 AM
    Great news for me as I'm planning on building an i5 system but can't afford the video card until later. Playing in 720p I think I should be able to enjoy a variety of somewhat older games - now 10% better :) 
  • 13 Hide
    Murissokah , April 1, 2013 5:20 AM
    If they can keep this up every month, we'll be gaming on Intel GPUs before the end of this century.
  • 2 Hide
    Non-Euclidean , April 1, 2013 5:38 AM
    Nice to hear about boosts for Handbrake, I'll definitely be hopping on the Intel bandwagon for my next build.
  • 1 Hide
    ankit0x1 , April 1, 2013 6:08 AM
    by the way it can play crysis 3 maxed out @640p
    Cheers!
  • 2 Hide
    bunz_of_steel , April 1, 2013 6:18 AM
    only worthy advantage here is the Handbrake optimization with Quick sync. Now that would be nice to see another updated review. Video rendering/rippin with Quick sync vs GPU vs CPU with pros and cons. Yeh prob just us vid buffs that wanna see that stuff lol..... Still would be kwl.
  • 14 Hide
    damianrobertjones , April 1, 2013 6:29 AM
    We have a post that's positive news and STILL there's a load of negative posts...

    Don't some of you guys have anything better yo do?

    Seriously...
  • 7 Hide
    vaughn2k , April 1, 2013 6:56 AM
    The A8-5500 still has the better graphics at a lower price...
  • -1 Hide
    tslot05qsljgo9ed , April 1, 2013 7:03 AM
    Can you please run the FCAT capture software and analysis both Intel (HD video) and AMD (APU) integrated claims as they only refer to FRAPS and with the current exposure on AMD's crossfire being vastly inflated it would be interesting to see if any of the integrated GPUs solutions are also have inflated FRAPS.
  • 10 Hide
    omnimodis78 , April 1, 2013 7:14 AM
    ankit0x110% up of 0 performance=10/100 x 0 =still 0 performanceYay IntelĀ©


    That's quite the narrow minded view, isn't it? Some people don't game, or game very lightly and the HD 4000 more than meets their needs, in most cases even far exceeds it. The best news here isn't even so much the 10% performance increase, though that is always a welcomed, but rather the improvement in power efficiency. Heck, it's a "free" update, so why the negative stab?
  • 5 Hide
    warezme , April 1, 2013 7:41 AM
    10% is ok but there are no specifics as to what parts get a boost? Generally drivers only improve certain areas of performance and 10% is not that much and likely unnoticeable. It is not unreasonable for people to be jaded by Intel graphics. They don't have a solid history of producing competitive or even usable performance beyond 800x600 even though they always promise great improvement from generation to generation. They are better at marketing than engineering.
  • 3 Hide
    hate machine , April 1, 2013 8:35 AM
    Surface Pro runs my games fine at 720p with mid settings. Now I can crank a few things up after this patch.
  • 2 Hide
    dwhapham , April 1, 2013 8:47 AM
    Why is Tom's message board so damn buggy?
  • 4 Hide
    dwhapham , April 1, 2013 8:50 AM
    I recently build at HTPC using an Intel i3 w/HD4000. I only had one PCI-E slot which was already taken by my 4 channel tuner so I had no choice but to use the integrated graphics. Surprisingly, I'm able to play most modern games at low to medium settings at 720p (and some at 1080p). Some examples are SimCity5 and PlanetSide2. Having a 10% increase in performance is a big deal in my case..
  • 3 Hide
    Pherule , April 1, 2013 9:20 AM
    I was playing Path of Exile (single player) and Left 4 Dead on max or near-max settings at 1920x1080 fairly smoothly on HD3000 and HD4000 is supposed to have roughly double the performance iirc. If I do get a new system, be it Haswell or Rockwell, I may not need to get a new graphics card at all. Depending, of course, on available funds at the time. The GTX960Ti may be a rather good deal, come 2016.
  • 0 Hide
    romansky , April 1, 2013 9:31 AM
    What about Linux drivers you lazy Intel!
  • 0 Hide
    blazorthon , April 1, 2013 9:40 AM
    tslot05qsljgo9edCan you please run the FCAT capture software and analysis both Intel (HD video) and AMD (APU) integrated claims as they only refer to FRAPS and with the current exposure on AMD's crossfire being vastly inflated it would be interesting to see if any of the integrated GPUs solutions are also have inflated FRAPS.


    According to Tom's, review, Crossfire is not "vastly over-inflated". It was almost always only a fairly minor issue, granted whether FRAPS was too high, too low, or right on seemed random to me.
  • 1 Hide
    Thorfkin , April 1, 2013 10:16 AM
    It'll be a long time before I trust Intel to reliably support their hardware with driver updates. Intel has an extremely long history of stopping driver updates on older graphics chipsets the moment a newer graphics chipset comes out. This usually results in less than a year's worth of driver updates and then nothing substantial thereafter. At least with AMD and nVidia you get 3 to 5 years worth of driver updates. Gives you a bit of longevity that Intel never seems to offer.
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