Intel’s latest graphics driver boasts 37 percent 3D gaming performance gain

If you own a high-end graphics card then you know that applying the latest graphics driver update is probably going to give your games a bit of a performance boost as well as sort out a few bugs. What kind of performance gain you see depends on the games and the age of the card, but a single-digit percentage gain is most likely.

Intel also has to release graphics driver updates for the chips it sells that include an integrated graphics solution. For example, the latest Sandy Bridge Core processors with Intel HD Graphics 3000 integrated. What we didn’t expect to see is the latest version of Intel’s drivers boasting as much as 37 percent 3D gaming performance gain in a certain Blizzard-developed title.

That’s exactly what Intel is claiming though, with the release notes accompanying driver versions 15.22.50.2509 and 15.22.50.64.2590 listing substantial performance gains for six popular titles. Here’s the games and claimed frames-per-second gain you should experience:

  • Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty – Devil’s Playground – 37% gain
  • Dawn of War: Chaos Rising – 29% gain
  • Battlefield: Bad Company 2 – 28% gain
  • Supreme Commander 2 – 16% gain
  • DIRT 2 – 12% gain
  • Resident Evil 5 (Benchmark) – 10% gain

The reference machine used to log those gains was an Intel Core-i7-2677M running at 1.8GHz on an Intel 6 Series Chipset coupled with 4GB RAM and Hitachi 320 hard drive. The Intel graphics and Media Control Panel Power Plan was set to “Plugged In, Balance” and the games were all running on low settings.

The new drivers also fix an issue with HDMI monitor connections crashing machines intermittently, and rendering artifacts have been resolved in a long list of titles. Any games using OpenGL should also see some performance improvements due to a new extension, performance optimizations, and a few fixes.

One thing is clear, if you run a version of Intel’s HD Graphics solution then it’s definitely worth updating your drivers if you use your laptop for gaming or anything involving 3D rendering.

Read more at the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator Driver page and associated release notes (PDF), via Hot Hardware

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