What happened now? Intel is immediately ending support for game drivers for older iGPUs. Integrated graphics aren’t designed for serious performance, but the latest versions can run many of today’s popular games, including those that Intel is dropping support for.
Intel this week announced that active software support is now only available for 11th generation processors and later. this is moving its CPU from 6th to 10th generation to support legacy software. Thus, in addition to critical and security fixes, older processors will receive updates less frequently than new ones.
Basically, Intel separates its drivers into two groups in one package. The legacy set is for all processors from Skylake to Ice Lake, including Elkhart, Lakefield and Jasper Lake. Active support is underway for Rocket Lake, Alder Lake, and presumably Raptor Lake processors scheduled to launch in October. This basically means that older users of Intel integrated graphics will no longer receive zero-day game support drivers.
While newer iGPUs still get support drivers for new games as they launch, the rest have to wait for updates every quarter. To check your system’s processor in Windows, go to Settings > System > About. Next to the word “processor”, the first number after the hyphen indicates the generation of your processor.
The return of seven-year-old Skylake processors to legacy support is not surprising, but the 10th generation processors are barely two years old. The reduced level of support could potentially affect the gaming performance of a large portion of iGPU users.
On Steam Hardware in June 2022 interview, all Intel iGPUs combined make up about seven percent of the systems surveyed. However, many of the most popular PC games are not available on Steam and are light enough to run on an iGPU. These include games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, League of Legends, Minecraft, Valorant, and Sid Meier’s Civilization 6.
Even the TechSpot test show The Ice Lake iGPU drives playable frame rates in some of these games, as well as Rocket League and Grand Theft Auto V. So it’s hard to say how many users will be affected.
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