It's only been a couple of weeks since Intel released the last update to its DCH graphics drivers for Windows 10, but a new version has already popped up, and it includes some notable news. Version 188.8.131.5283 of the Intel Graphics drivers adds support for Intel's 11th-generation processors, known as Tiger Lake, along with the new Iris Xe graphics architecture that comes in these processors.
Because of that, this driver includes support for a ton of new features enabled by these new GPUs, such as additional decoding and encoding support for certain HEVC (high efficiency video codec) and VP9 formats, among other things. Here's the full list of Iris Xe features enabled in this driver:
- Media Enhancements
- High Dynamic Range support
- Dolby Vision with video encoding acceleration.
- Decode Support for HEVC 12-bit 4:2:0, 4:2:2, 4:4:4 and VP9 12-bit 4:2:0, 4:4:4.
- Support for 16K picture HEVC and VP9 video decode
- HEVC and VP9 Decoder performance enhancements to support 4K60 4:4:4
- 4K60 HEVC encoder performance improvements
- HEVC and VP9 4:4:4 speed mode support
- Sampler Feedback support
- Graphics Profile Guided Optimization for Compute Shader SIMD
- Intel Turbo Technology Power and Performance Enhancements
- Display Enhancements
- 5K LACE DPST enabled by default
- LRR 2.5 for Adaptive sync panels to dynamically reduce panel RR to lowest possible RR or to media multiple RR (e.g. 48Hz) for idle/media playback scenarios to work alongside Panel Self Refresh
- Additional power savings on battery when combining internal display with external displays.
- 12 bits-per-channel support on single DisplayPort
- LACE Improvement for Dark Content Treatment
As usual, the driver also includes some gaming improvements, specifically with official support for new titles. It also includes support for the first title that's only supported on Iris Xe graphics, Star Wars Squadrons. The only other game getting official support is Rogue Company, which is compatible with Intel Iris Plus graphics or higher.
In terms of bug fixes, there's only one in this release, since it seems to focus almost exclusively on adding support for the new processors. Intel has fixed an issue where players might experience crashes or hangs while running the Resident Evil 3 remake in DirectX12 mode on Ice Lake processors with Iris Plus graphics.
There are, however, a few known issues to be aware of with this release:
- Intermittent crash or hang may be seen in Red Dead Redemption 2* (Vulkan), Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint* (DX11), Horizon Zero Dawn* (DX12), Call of Duty: Modern Warfare* (DX12), Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege* (DX11).
- Minor graphics anomalies may be observed in PGA Tour 2K21*, Battlefield V* (DX12), Rage 2* (Vulkan), Star Wars Battlefront 2* (DX12), Assassin’s Creed Odyssey* (DX11).
The latest driver is compatible with all of the same hardware as the previous releases, in addition to the newly-added support for Tiger Lake processors. It's also compatible with the same versions of Windows 10 as before.
It's worth noting that the driver was sent to Neowin through our news tips channel, and looking at Intel's website, it looks like the listing for DCH graphics drivers is missing altogether, with the exception of beta releases. You'll also notice that the title of the page for this driver release indicates that it's on hold, though no reason is given for that. It's possible that this isn't the version Intel wants users to install, or it may just be waiting to publish it at a specific time for whatever reason. We'll update this post when the situation changes.
Update: The page has been updated and there's no longer an indication that the driver is on hold. It should be safe to download now.