Intel Graphics Drivers Claim Significant Improvements

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors | September 6, 2014 - 05:25 PM |
Tagged: iris pro, iris, intel hd graphics, Intel

I was originally intending to test this with benchmarks but, after a little while, I realized that Ivy Bridge was not supported. This graphics driver starts and ends with Haswell. While I cannot verify their claims, Intel advertises up to 30% more performance in some OpenCL tasks and a 10% increase in games like Batman: Arkham City and Sleeping Dogs. They even claim double performance out of League of Legends at 1366x768.

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Intel is giving gamers a "free lunch".

The driver also tunes Conservative Morphological Anti-Aliasing (CMAA). They claim it looks better than MLAA and FXAA, "without performance impact" (their whitepaper from March showed a ~1-to-1.5 millisecond cost on Intel HD 5000). Intel recommends disabling it after exiting games to prevent it from blurring other 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 the ones it does draw with previously drawn ones, and adjusts the frame rate accordingly. This is most useful for games like Angry Birds, Minesweeper, and Bejeweled LIVE. It is disabled when not on battery power, or when the driver is set to "Maximum Performance".

The Intel Iris and HD graphics driver is available from Intel, for both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7, 8, and 8.1, on many Haswell-based GPUs.

Source: Intel

September 7, 2014 | 02:09 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

And how many laptop OEMs will have customized their Intel Graphics drivers, and how many laptops will actually get the driver updates! The Laptops with the Intel generic HD graphics drivers, will be able to get the updated drivers from the Intel website, but will the OEMs be pushing out their own, for the customized HD graphics drivers! Have disk is not certified to work, and can cause stability problems. It is oftentimes(All the Time, actually) impossible to tell, at the retailers, if the Laptop has generic Intel HD graphics drivers, without purchasing the laptop, and taking it home, and using administrative privileges to go to the Intel website, download the software(components) and install the, to find out if the device's drivers can in fact be updated by Intel, or need to be updated by the OEM(pigs will fly, eating snow cones in hell before some OEM's update their customized HD graphics drivers) ! So how many Haswell based laptop systems come with the Intel generic HD graphics drivers?

September 7, 2014 | 11:25 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I think, you honestly have no clue what you're talking about.

September 8, 2014 | 01:33 AM - Posted by collie

Agreed

September 8, 2014 | 10:12 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Both the post above, and your post in agreement, are from the same user! You are easily outed as having an agenda, an agenda and backing, that has lead to consent decrees being issued in the past.

September 8, 2014 | 10:03 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Just go to the Intel graphics website, and read up, read up on have disk, read up on Intel's ability to update OEM customized graphics drivers, and then when you download the Intel software, and let it determine the drivers status(OEM customized, or Intel Generic)! See the message you get if you have OEM customized HD graphics drivers, that are the OEM's responsibility to update. Just Google the issue, and read.

September 8, 2014 | 09:02 AM - Posted by Goofus Maximus (not verified)

Thanks. I just updated my drivers. I should have checked to see what my settings were before I did that though...

Hopefully I haven't just hosed my working setup for one that works slower, or works badly, or just doesn't work at all... :p

September 8, 2014 | 02:57 PM - Posted by Goofus Maximus (not verified)

Having installed the drivers, I now have a question. Just what IS CMAA, compared to other forms of antialiasing, and is it worth allowing to override MSAA?

September 8, 2014 | 04:16 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

It's a very similar algorithm to MLAA and FXAA. It's a post-processing effect which looks at jagged edges, tries to determine what geometry they represent, and fills in accordingly.

To really understand, you kind-of need to know what aliasing is. Basically, each pixel is represented by a square (or rectangle). Without Anti Aliasing ("1X"), whatever triangle is dominant in the pixel... wins the pixel. This is awkward, because real geometry will slice up a pixel and will look like a jagged edge unless it's lucky (pretty much perfectly horizontal or vertical). The naive way around this is drawing at a higher resolution and shrinking. If, for instance, 4 pixels get crushed into 1 pixel, then each original sample makes up 25% of the final color. This is "Super Sampling Anti Aliasing". It says "well, this object is about 75% in this pixel" (or whatever).

Unfortunately, this means literally four times the pixels to draw. That is slow.

In the case of MLAA, CMAA, and FXAA, the geometry corresponds to an area. If the geometry is expected to take up 30% of the pixel... then the renderer will try to make the final color of that pixel be 30% that color. Of course, because it is a post-process effect, to know what color will be 30% represented in the pixel, or to guess what the underlying geometry is, it pulls it from a neighbor, or a neighbor's neighbor, etc. This looks a bit blurrier than Super Sampling, but at a tiny speck of the cost in performance and video memory.

A very high MSAA or SSAA will produce better results... but at such a high performance cost that it might not be necessary. People say that it tends to look about as good as 4X MSAA, or maybe a little better. That's completely subjective, though.

September 9, 2014 | 04:00 PM - Posted by Steve Schardein

Oddly, I am getting a red wireframe sensation in the outer 25% or so of the image on my Latitude E7440 in Diablo III after updating.  I've tried disabling all of the new options to no avail.  Bummer, it doesn't look like this is going to work for my machine.

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