Intel HD Graphics 4000 gets higher performance with new drivers

The focus for Intel during the Game Developer Conference (GDC) was the company’s integrated graphics, the part that will be at the center of the launch of the Haswell architecture. Intel not only puts extra gunpowder on hardware but also software in the form of drivers and expanded collaboration with game developers.

Intel will soon launch graphics drivers tailored for Haswell. The new software will also provide benefits to today’s Ivy Bridge, which uses a similar graphics architecture. Ultrabooknews reports that Intel HD 4000 gets up to 10 percent higher graphics performance while reducing power consumption. In addition, support for OpenCL 1.2 is added.

Intel also announces support for two new features, among game developers long awaited, made possible by DirectX 11.1. The first is Pixelsync (OIT), which allows programmers to compose transparent pixels without sorting, which otherwise requires a lot of memory resources. This function enables increased realism for, for example, smoke, windows, hair and other complex geometries. Codemasters and Creative Assembly will use Pixelsync for the upcoming game titles GRID 2 and Total War: Rome II, respectively.

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The second feature is Instantaccess, which gives the CPU and GPU the ability to read and write on each other’s memory. This means that the memory does not need to be moved between the two parts, resulting in higher performance. AMD implemented a similar feature, Zero Copy, in connection with the launch of the first A-series processors “Llano”.

The new drivers are expected to appear during the week with version number 15.31. The launch of Intel Haswell is expected to take place in connection with the electronics trade fair Computex in June.


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