In­tel pub­lishes its first Mod­ern Win­dows Driver for PCS, and there’s no go­ing back

Driv­ers will be pro­vided by your PC or card maker, although some sup­port apps will be pub­lished on the Mi­crosoft Store, too.

PCWorld (USA) - - News | How Fast Is 5g? - BY MARK HACH­MAN

In­tel has pub­lished its first Mod­ern Win­dows Driver for sev­eral of its mod­ern in­te­grated GPUS, rep­re­sent­ing a new way for graph­ics driv­ers to be pushed to your Pc—and some­thing to keep an eye on un­til the new driver in­fra­struc­ture set­tles in.

Mod­ern Win­dows Driv­ers, also known as Uni­ver­sal Win­dows Driv­ers, are a new fea­ture of the Win­dows 10 Oc­to­ber 2018 Up­date that takes ad­van­tage of the UWP in­fra­struc­ture within Win­dows 10. As Mi­crosoft ex­plains it ( go.pcworld.com/ unwn), a Mod­ern Win­dows Driver is a

“single driver pack­age that runs across mul­ti­ple dif­fer­ent de­vice types, from em­bed­ded sys­tems to tablets and desk­top PCS.” The first In­tel driver to take ad­van­tage of this is la­beled UWD 25.20.100.6444 ( go. pcworld.com/dch1).

Mi­crosoft doesn’t in­tend for you to do any­thing dif­fer­ent to ob­tain the new Mod­ern driv­ers. If you own a pre­built PC, the PC maker will con­tinue to be the first place you should check for up­dated driv­ers, ac­cord­ing to an In­tel FAQ ( go. pcworld.com/infq). That’s be­cause the uni­ver­sal driver in­cludes a base driver, plus op­tional com­po­nent pack­ages and an op­tional hard­ware sup­port app. The lat­ter two are writ­ten by the sys­tem builder or OEM, while the for­mer is writ­ten by the GPU maker it­self. (AMD and Nvidia are ex­pected to tran­si­tion to Mod­ern driv­ers, too.)

With re­gards to In­tel, you’ll be able to down­load them via In­tel’s Down­load Cen­ter ( go.pcworld.com/down) and via In­tel’s Driver and Sup­port As­sis­tant, or IDSA ( go.pcworld. com/idsa). Driv­ers may also be pushed by Win­dows 10’s Win­dows Up­date, while the sup­port apps will be (or should be) pub­lished to the Mi­crosoft Store app.

WHAT YOU NEED TO BE CARE­FUL ABOUT

In­tel be­gan pub­lish­ing its first Mod­ern Win­dows Driv­ers on Novem­ber 28. The fol­low­ing chipsets are sup­ported:

• In­tel UHD Graph­ics 620/630 (for­merly co­de­named Cof­fee Lake)

• In­tel Iris Plus Graph­ics 655 (for­merly co­de­named Cof­fee Lake)

• In­tel UHD Graph­ics 600/605 (for­merly co­de­named Gemini Lake)

• In­tel HD Graph­ics 620/630 (for­merly co­de­named Kaby Lake)

• In­tel Iris Plus Graph­ics 640/650 (for­merly co­de­named Kaby Lake)

• In­tel HD Graph­ics 610/615 (for­merly co­de­named Gemini Lake)

• In­tel HD Graph­ics 500/505 (for­merly co­de­named Apollo Lake)

• In­tel HD Graph­ics 510/515/520/530

(for­merly co­de­named Sky­lake)

• In­tel Iris Pro Graph­ics 580 (for­merly co­de­named Sky­lake)

• In­tel Iris Graph­ics 540 (for­merly co­de­named Sky­lake)

Here’s the catch. Ac­cord­ing to In­tel, you can only use the ex­e­cutable in­staller pro­vided by In­tel or your PC maker. If you use the “INF/ Have disk in­stal­la­tion” or any other method of in­stalling driv­ers, In­tel warns that that could cause “mi­nor to cat­a­strophic is­sues or sys­tem in­sta­bil­ity.” That’s be­cause it by­passes In­tel’s own in­stal­la­tion method.

In ad­di­tion, there’s very lit­tle lee­way to roll back from a Mod­ern Win­dows Driver to a legacy driver. It’s a “com­plex process that can re­sult in sys­tem in­sta­bil­ity,” In­tel writes. “We don’t rec­om­mend it.” If you ab­so­lutely must, con­tact In­tel’s sup­port ( go.pcworld. com/isup).

In other words, the Mod­ern Win­dows Driver/ Uni­ver­sal Win­dows Driver tran­si­tion is a one-way street, and let’s hope you don’t have any is­sues with the new driv­ers.

We’ve asked In­tel some ad­di­tional ques­tions about the tran­si­tion, and we’ll up­date this story when we hear back.

What this means to you: If you don’t have the Win­dows 10 Oc­to­ber 2018 Up­date yet, there’s re­ally noth­ing to do—you can man­u­ally re­quest the Oc­to­ber 2018 Up­date from Win­dows, but the roll­out is pro­ceed­ing slowly. (Mi­crosoft hasn’t pro­vided the up­date to the Mi­crosoft Sur­face Book 2 I’m writ­ing this on.) It’s not ex­actly clear whether In­tel will pro­vide this driver in a “legacy” for­mat, ei­ther. That’s kind of im­por­tant, given that the new driver pro­vides some up­dates to Fall­out 4, Far Cry 5, and other top games, ac­cord­ing to Ne­owin ( go.pcworld.com/intr).

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