Intel HD 4000 graphics driver to offer 10 percent performance boost

Depending on which Core processor you run in your system, you may be relying on an integrated HD Graphics 4000 GPU. While capable, it’s no match for a dedicated graphics card, but will serve you well enough inside an Ultrabook. The good news is, even though the GPU’s performance is limited, Intel is set to give it a major boost this week.

A new driver is about to be released for the HD 4000 GPU. Intel has developed it mainly in preparation for the release of the Haswell processors later this year. But a nice side effect is that existing Ivy Bridge processors using the GPU are set to benefit, too.

With the driver installed, you should see as much as a 10 percent increase in performance. At the same time, power consumption will be reduced. For Ultrabook/laptop owners, it’s a double benefit as your machine should perform better while lasting a little longer between charges.

The new driver is version 15.31. As well as the performance gains, Intel has fixed a number of graphical bugs and added support for OpenCL 1.2. That should allow programs to take better advantage of the GPU for general processing duties now that it supports the latest version of the OpenCL standard.

If you are running a Core processor with a HD 4000 GPU you should be able to install the new driver using Intel’s automatic driver update tool later this week. And as you can see, there’s every reason to want to get this new driver on your system as soon as possible.

A new driver is also set to be released for Sandy Bridge processors. However, it won’t add support for OpenCL 1.2 and there’s no information yet on what, if any performance gains will be seen for the HD 3000 GPU.

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