Feeds

Intel driver tweak adds vertex shaders to old IGPs

Vertex Shader 3.0 support in hardware

Boost IT visibility and business value

Intel has quietly rolled out support for hardware acceleration of Vertex Shader 3.0 calculations in a range of its integrated graphics chipsets, including the Q963, G965, 945G and the mobile GM965.

The release of the new Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) driver, version 14.31, came earlier this month and was prompted by the launch of the G35 chipset. The driver was previously updated in April.

The update allows a range of titles - including Battlefield 2, Battlefield 2142, CoD 2, Elder Scrolls: Oblivion and Ghost Recon to be played on the G965 at "acceptable frame rates", according to Mike Abel, an Intel Product Marketing Engineer. Abel didn't say what his definition of acceptable is, but the results look reasonably smooth:



Can't see a video? You need to get FlashPlayer from Adobe

Up until now, these games could not be played on the chipsets like the G965 because they require hardware-accelerated vertex shader processing, and the G965 and earlier integrated chipsets didn't support it.

Intel said this feature could be added through a driver update because of its GMA architecture: it uses unified shader-style "execution engines", so it's just a matter of programming some of these to handle vertex processing rather than pixel texturing. Intel claimed this approach allows it to boost graphics performance by simply upping the number of execution units and/or increasing the graphics core's clock frequency.

Other games benefit too: Far Cry, for example, will see a 1.5-2x increase in frame rates, to the "low 20s", Abel said.

Not a score to impress hardcore PC gamers, perhaps, but Intel said it's a good result for casual gamers who want to play modern titles but don't necessarily want to spend money on top-of-the-line hardware.

Initially targetting Windows XP and Windows 2000, the driver will be updated for Windows Vista in due course, Intel told us this weekend.

The 14.31 driver release is available from Intel's website here.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
Top Gun display for your CAR: Heads-up fighter pilot tech
Sadly Navdy kit doesn't include Sidewinder missile to blast traffic
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Things are looking up in Flappy Bird sequel
'Swing Copters' offers the same gameplay but in a different direction
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.