Sandy Bridge Driver Update Boosts Game Performance in Windows

Paul Lilly

Intel has made available an updated graphics driver for Sandy Bridge processors capable of delivering up to 37 percent better performance on Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) platforms, providing you're rocking Intel's integrated HD graphics instead of a dedicated videocard.

The Santa Clara chip maker is billing the download as a "major garphics driver update for 2nd generation Intel Core processors with Intel HD graphics." ULV platforms, such as the ones most often found in ultraportable and slim notebooks, stand to gain the most from the updated driver, though Intel spokesman Dave Salvator tells CNet the update applies to any system with a Sandy Bridge chip running Intel HD graphics.

Intel is touting the following double-digit performance gains with the new driver installed:

  • Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty -- Devil's Playground: 37 percent
  • Resident Evil 5 Benchmark: 10 percent
  • Dawn of War: Chaos Rising: 29 percent
  • Battlefield: Bad Company 2: 28 percent
  • Dirt 2: 12 percent
  • Supreme Command 2: 16 percent

The updated driver also resolves a bunch of issues in Windows 7 and Vista, things like intermittent crashing when using an HDMI monitor and minor rendering artifacts in some games.

Intel GMA Driver Windows 7/Vista 32-bit
Intel GMA Driver Windows 7/Vista 64-bit

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