Universal Windows Drivers

Following the announcement of the introduction of modern drivers, also known as Universal Windows drivers Intel is releasing driver updates for a few of its Intel Graphic Cards.

These Modern Drivers will take advantage of the Universal Windows Platform (UWP), an application programming interface (API) created by Microsoft for Windows 10 Operating System. Hence drivers are also known as Universal Drivers.

As stated by Microsoft, “A universal driver consists of the following parts: a base driver, optional component packages, and an optional hardware support app. The base driver contains all core functionality and shared code. Separately, optional component packages can contain customisation and additional settings.”

The base driver is written by the Independent Hardware Vendor (IHV), that is the device manufacturer and the optional components are built by OEM providers.

After the device driver is built and certified it can be deployed on all the machines with the same hardware be it laptops, tablets or workstations and then Microsoft can test the base driver on all the different types of systems via the Windows Insider program.

Now to install these new universal drivers Intel has insisted that you use the Intel® Driver and Support Assistant (IDSA) which can detect the system’s configuration, identifies the current drivers and allows for the update of any outdated drivers if any.

Intel has warned that if one uses any other installation method is used then it would cause “minor to catastrophic issues or system instability.” That is because it will conflict with Intel’s own installation method.

Moreover, if by chance you would want to rollback from the universal drivers to the legacy driver it would be a very complicated process and Intel does not recommend it. If it’s an absolute necessity its best to contact Intel support first.

So, in short, it’s a one-way ride. But intel is working hard with Microsoft to ensure a smooth transition for the users.

As of 28th November 2018, the following chipsets are supported:

  • Intel UHD Graphics 620/630  (code-named Coffee Lake)
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655  (code-named Coffee Lake)
  • Intel UHD Graphics 600/605  (code-named Gemini Lake)
  • Intel HD Graphics 620/630  (code-named Kaby Lake)
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640/650  (code-named Kaby Lake)
  • Intel HD Graphics 610/615  (code-named Gemini Lake)
  • Intel HD Graphics 500/505  (code-named Apollo Lake)
  • Intel HD Graphics 510/515/520/530  (code-named Skylake)
  • Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580  (code-named Skylake)
  • Intel Iris Graphics 540  (code-named Skylake)

The advantages of the new Universal drivers over Legacy are better ram management as it reduces ram usage while using OpenGL, better power efficiency and Vulkan Driver stability Improvements.

All this will result in better performances of newly installed games and support for 12 PC games

  • Far Cry 5
  • Witcher 3
  • Fallout 4
  • FIFA 18
  • Paladins
  • The Sims 4
  • Borderlands 2
  • Euro Truck Simulator 2
  • Battlegrounds
  • Rocket League
  • Path Of Exile
  • SMITE

 

More detailed information on Modern Windows Drivers can be found on the Microsoft website.

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