Latest Intel Driver Update gives great iGPU performance gains
Great Graphics Performance Improvements
Published: 10th September 2014 | Source: Intel |
Latest Intel Driver Update Delivers Great Graphics Performance Improvements
Intel has recently updated its graphics drivers for the users of their 4th generation Haswell processors. The benefits of updating your Haswell based system's drivers is that it will give you up to 10 per cent better performance from your integrated GPU (iGPU) in games and up to 30 per cent better performance in OpenCL based applications. Significant performace gains to say the least.
Intel described graphics drivers 22.214.171.12407 & 15.36 126.96.36.19907 as follows;
"This driver provides significant gaming performance for 4th generation Intel Core processors with Intel HD, Iris and Iris Pro graphics provides improvements while enhancing battery life through newer power conservation techniques such as CMAA and Adaptive Rendering Control. Experience up to 30% improvement in performance in certain OpenCL workloads and up to 10% improvement certain games. The new and enhanced control panel offers additional media and display customization capabilities."
The Full Driver release notes are available here.
As we can seein the picture above integrated iGPU gaming performance has increased by a significant amount, most notably in League of legends, a popular Free to Play game, with over a doubling of performance. Intel are definitely looking to gain back some of the ground lost to AMD's APUs here, especially in the laptop market.
The driver also adds Conservative Morphological Anti-Aliasing (CMAA), Intel's alternative to FXAA. They claim it looks better than MLAA and FXAA "without performance impact" and in the above picture does not blur the writing as much as Nvidia's FXAA.
Intel at present only give a simple always on or always off option in their control centre, but Intel recommends disabling it after exiting games to prevent it from blurring other applications (most notably text based applications), and they automatically disable it in Windows, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Windows 8.1 Photo.
Adaptive Rendering Control was also added in this driver. This limits redrawing identical frames by comparing new frames with previously drawn ones, which allows Intel to lower the framerate when Identical frames are repeated in order to save power. This is most useful for games like Angry Birds, Minesweeper, and any games where a static screen commonly occurs. It is disabled when not on battery power, or when the driver is set to "Maximum Performance".
This driver could be the start of Intel taking integrated graphics more seriously, to counter the threat posed by AMD's GCN based APUs, as well as a show of support for developers who are championing the use of openCL to accelerate applications. Hopefully we will see similar drivers in the future and Intel will continue to improve in this area.
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