Back in November, Intel 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 also required by Microsoft as of the October 2018 Update for Windows 10 which also resulted in more systems being compatible with the troublesome update. You can read more about UWDs here, and Intel has also published an FAQ page about the new drivers.
Fast forward to today, and Intel has highlighted that it improved more than 55 games in 2018 with a total of 14 driver releases, with the new set now at version 126.96.36.19971 bringing the following changes in our highlights of the release notes below.
The drivers have the following new features:
- Performance improvements and optimizations for Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden*, Monster Hunter World* and Battlefield V* on 6th Generation Intel® Core processors or higher.
- Improved support for 4K/1080p HDR video playback in Chrome* browser.
- Quality improvements in brightness and color when using HDR embedded panels.
- Performance Improvements in DX12 games and/or applications when running in Hybrid graphics systems
- Enable VESA Display ID 2.0 providing improved support for HDR and higher resolutions
- Enables HDR support on Daisy Chained Display Port Monitors
- Improved performance and image quality when Conservative Morphological Anti- Aliasing (CMAA) is enabled for Games and 3D applications.
and bring about the following key fixes:
- Intermittent crashes or hangs may occur in Battlefield V* (DX11), Call of Duty Black Ops IV*, Cinema4D*
- System may hang intermittently when resuming from sleep or hibernate mode while using Collage mode.
- Stability improvements in PowerDVD* Video Playback.
However, there are also the following known issues to be aware of:
- Intermittent crashes or hangs may occur in Assassins Creed Odyssey*, Battlefield V* (DX12), Just Cause 4*, and other games
- Minor graphics anomalies may be observed in Farming Simulator* 2019, and other games.
- The optimization checkbox for gaming tuning in the Graphics Control Panel does not refresh after restoring settings in some systems.
Other important notes include Intel advising 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. In addition to those prerequisites, the new drivers can only be installed on 64-bit systems with Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (1709) and newer.