Windows 10 graphics: Intel unveils new 'modern' drivers for 1809 and beyond

Intel is rolling out Universal Windows Drivers that are required for Windows 10 1809.

Intel is alerting Windows 10 users that it will be providing Modern Windows Drivers for its chips from November 2018.

The new Modern Windows Drivers, also called Universal Windows Drivers (UWD), are targeted at Windows 10's Universal Windows Platform (UWP).

Microsoft is requiring UWDs for the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, version 1809, and beyond. The change also applies to Windows Server 2019 and later.

Users will be able to roll back to a legacy driver, but Intel recommends against doing this because it could cause system instability, which is "especially pertinent to graphics drivers".

Intel says it's been working with Microsoft to ensure a smooth transition, and notes there shouldn't be an impact to users' experience.

Intel graphics controllers that will receive an update to Modern Windows Drivers include:

  • Intel UHD Graphics 620/630 Coffee Lake
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 Coffee Lake
  • Intel UHD Graphics 600/605 Gemini Lake
  • Intel HD Graphics 620/630 Kaby Lake
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640/650 Kaby Lake
  • Intel HD Graphics 610/615 Gemini Lake
  • Intel HD Graphics 500/505 Apollo Lake
  • Intel HD Graphics 510/515/520/530 Skylake
  • Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580 Skylake
  • Intel Iris Graphics 540 Skylake

While users are unlikely to see any changes in their experience of Intel graphics, there are some notable changes to how the modern drivers are installed. For example, it could be extremely risky to use 'INF/Have disk installation' to install the UWDs.

Intel notes in an FAQ that during the transition to UWDs "you can only use the Installer (.exe) provided by Intel or your computer manufacturer".

SEE: 20 pro tips to make Windows 10 work the way you want (free PDF)

Using 'Have-Disk installation' bypasses the required Intel installer, and "can result in minor to catastrophic issues on your system and system instability".

As reported by Neowin, Intel has already released the first modern 64-bit graphics driver, UWD 25.20.100.6444. As per Intel's release notes, users will need an internet connection for Windows to download the Intel Graphics Control Panel from the Microsoft Store.

The updated driver includes automatic gaming tuning, reduces RAM consumption when using OpenGL, improves battery life when using Intel's Display Refresh Rate Switching (DRRS) power-saving tech, and Vulkan Driver stability Improvements.

It also adds support for several games, including Artifact and Farming Simulator.

Intel reiterated its warning about using Have-Disk to install UWD 25.20.100.6444: "DO NOT use the INF / Have-Disk method to install or uninstall this driver as it bypasses the Intel installer designed to install these new drivers, thereby possibly resulting in minor to major system instability.

"For this reason, we're not providing the ZIP file for the next several driver releases while users transition to this new Microsoft driver platform."

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