Intel has announced big changes to its releases of graphics drivers, introducing a new kind of driver specifically aimed at Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019, optimized for UWP. These drivers, referred to as Windows Modern Drivers or Universal Windows Drivers (UWD), are required by Microsoft as of the October 2018 Update for Windows 10. You can read more about UWDs here, and Intel has also published an FAQ page about the new drivers.
Starting today, upcoming releases of Intel Graphics drivers will be UWD, and they will replace your current drivers, which are now considered legacy. While it is possible to roll back to legacy drivers if necessary, you will need to manually uninstall the modern driver through the 'Apps and Features' page in Windows.
To start things off, Intel is releasing version 126.96.36.19944 of its graphics driver suite, which is a UWD and is only available for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update and later. It's also only available in a 64-bit flavor. Aside from the transition to the new driver model, it includes launch support for Artifact and Farming Simulator 2019, and also adds support for the following titles:
- Fallout 4
- Far Cry 5
- FIFA 18
- Path of Exile
- The Sims 4
- Borderlands 2
- Euro Truck Simulator 2
- PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS
- Rocket League
- Witcher 3
There are also a few new additions and improvements in this release, including updates for automatic game tuning:
Automatic Game Tuning Feature Updates.
Reduces RAM consumption when using OpenGL.
Improves battery life when using Display Refresh Rate Switching (DRRS) on supported monitors.
Vulkan Driver Stability Improvements.
In addition, this version fixes a number of issues from previous releases, including performance improvements in some games:
Minor graphics anomalies may be observed in NBA 2K19, FIFA 19 (DX12), Assassin's Creed: Origins.
Intermittent crashes or hangs may occur in Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, FIFA 19 (DX12), World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth (DX12).
Windows Advanced Display Settings may show incorrect bit-depth on some primary monitors which leads to inaccurate colors.
Custom Resolution 980 x 588 @ 60 Hz may not get added in capable resolutions.
Three or more virtual displays may not be supported in Extended Configuration (ED) mode.
Intermittent crashes or hangs may occur when using Miracast* in extended mode on Intel® Pentium® Silver and Intel® Celeron® Processors
Minor performance regression may be observed in 100.6373 in Battlefield IV and Dragon Age Inquisition.
If you want to install the latest driver and get the first taste of Universal Windows Drivers, you can head to the download page here. Intel advises against using the 'Have Disk' method or the INF file to install the latest drivers, as it bypasses its installer designed to replace legacy drivers and may cause instability. As such, for the next few releases, installers will only be available in .exe format. You can check the full release notes here, which also includes the full list of compatible hardware.