Ivy Bridge driver update brings 10% performance boost, OpenCL 1.2

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Folks who rely on the HD 4000 integrated graphics engine inside some Intel processors can reportedly look forward to a performance boost in the near future. Speaking at a media event during GDC 2013, the company touched on its effort to deliver updated drivers with new features and enhancements every quarter or so, and version 15.31 will be available for Ivy Bridge chip owners as early as this week.

Although it'll be available for Ivy Bridge, the new release is said to have been built for next-gen Haswell processors and marks the seventh driver update since Intel's second-gen Core series, Sandy Bridge. In addition to fixing bugs and bringing support for OpenCL 1.2, v15.31 balances CPU and GPU loads to an extent that produces up to 10% more performance while simultaneously lowering power consumption.

Having not attended Intel's event, one thing's a little foggy: we're not sure if the update is for all Ivy Bridge owners. More specifically, we don't know if the 10% increase is limited to those with the HD 4000 or if the same gains were achieved in parts with the HD 2500. Most outlets report that it's only for the HD 4000, while some claim otherwise so maybe there's a shred of hope if you're stuck on the HD 2500.

Intel is also reportedly preparing a new driver for Sandy Bridge chips with the HD 3000 graphics engine, but even fewer details are available for that. No speed improvements have been announced and since the HD 3000 doesn't support OpenCL, it seems unlikely that it would receive OpenCL 1.2. You can check for Intel-related updates through the company's support page, which includes an auto detect tool.

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