Sandy Bridge IGP update boosts SC2 performance by 37%, more

By on September 21, 2011, 5:30 PM

Although Intel's Sandy Bridge architecture drastically improved the company's previous integrated graphics solutions, the HD 2000 and 3000 are far from ideal when playing modern games. In our review, the Core i7-2600K's IGP barely achieved playable framerates in games such as Resident Evil 5 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 with extremely low quality settings. In fact, the latter title fell to 21.5fps when running on low quality at 1680x1050.

Gamers are undoubtedly best served by a discrete graphics card, but folks stuck with Intel's IGP might be able to squeeze a few more frames out of the chip with a new driver update. Released today for all Sandy Bridge desktop and mobile processors, the update reportedly improves performance by 37% in StarCraft 2, 10% in Resident Evil 5, 29% in Dawn of War: Chaos Rising, 28% in Bad Company 2, 12% in Dirt 2 and 16% in Supreme Commander 2.

Download: Windows XP 32-bit | Windows XP 64-bit | Windows Vista/7 32-bit | Windows Vista/7 64-bit
Release notes: Windows XP | Windows Vista/7 (XP's release is older and lacks many of the changes)

Along with the raw performance boost, the fresh software brings a slew of bug fixes, many of which are game-related. Intel has resolved rendering artifacts and other corruption issues in roughly two dozen games and benchmarks, including StarCraft 2, Dawn of War II - Retribution, Crysis, Dragon Age II, Brink, and Minecraft. One bug caused intermittent crashing when using an HDMI display, while another caused rendering issues in Chrome and Firefox.




User Comments: 8

Got something to say? Post a comment
compdata compdata, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Good to see them making improvments. All of this should feed into the Ivy Bridge Graphics chips as well, which look a bit more promissing for low end graphics card replacement.

Sarcasm Sarcasm said:

So that's about a 6fps boost for Bad Company 2. Pretty good!

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

Is anyone else put off by having integrated video in your CPU? It's a total waste if you want to use good video, yet Intel packs graphics into even their highest end CPUs.

I want more cores or integrate other motherboard components chips in it. I have my own video card, thanks.

Puiu Puiu said:

It just goes to show how bad their drivers are and just how much they can still optimize them. Once a new series of IGP is available they just forget about the rest and 90% of the updates are just for the new ones.

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

People who buy a i7-2600K are not gonna be interested in the IGP in the slightest, especially if it only barely plays games at low quality settings. Why not just make the CPU cheaper and let the GPU do the things which a GPU is supposed to do?

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I don't understand why they can't release a series of CPU's that do not have the IGP in there so they can lower the price? And I would assume the CPU would run ever so slightly cooler as well since the IGP won't be there.

As slh28 said above me, if you have purchased the i7-2600k your not gunna want the IGP!

Jibberish18 said:

spydercanopus said:

Is anyone else put off by having integrated video in your CPU? It's a total waste if you want to use good video, yet Intel packs graphics into even their highest end CPUs.

I want more cores or integrate other motherboard components chips in it. I have my own video card, thanks.

I'm okay with it since I use my laptop for the basics but I still would like a decent graphics solution in there that doesn't murder my battery. Yeah sure I can do Nvidia's or AMD's switchable graphics but those aren't perfect and few and far in between.

Also, if you guys remember, Intel continues to release driver updates like 2 years later for their IGP's. Heh. Expect improvements...much later.

fpsgamerJR62 said:

Impressive performance gains, percentage wise, for a driver update but I suspect that the Sandy Bridge IGP will still not be able to generate playable frame rates for the majority of contemporary PC games. I would also think that most PC games today were never designed to be played on systems with integrated graphics in the first place.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.