Intel has posted versions (32-bit) and (64-bit) of its drivers for the Intel HD-series lineup of integrated graphics processors, which includes both Sandy Bridge and older Nehalem-based chips in both desktop and laptop computers. The drivers are available for all editions of Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Of the Big Three players in the graphics market, Intel is the most erratic about its driver releases - their last generic driver was posted way back in September, and while that driver brought a good number of performance improvements and bug fixes, Intel's latest and greatest fixes just three documented issues: a crashing issue with a program called Interstage Studio Standard J-edition, an issue where the driver would change the refresh rate while on battery power, and an issue where content would appear strangely when rewound. Not terribly exciting, given the wait, but I'm sure that the people experiencing those problems are grateful for the fixes.

As always, Intel notes that these are generic drivers which may or may not be missing features present in the drivers provided by OEMs. I've never had issues using generic Intel drivers on any of my machines, from homemade desktops to OEM laptops to Macs running Windows, but your mileage may vary.

Source: Intel

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  • Aikouka - Tuesday, February 7, 2012 - link

    "an issue where the driver would change the refresh rate while on battery power"

    I think this might actually fix something odd that I noticed. I turned my AVR to my HTPC the other day, and I noticed that XBMC didn't look right at all (looked like the resolution got messed up). I realized after reading that fix that my power went out for a brief moment prior to that event, and it would have gone on battery backup. I don't know how much XBMC likes having the resolution (including refresh rate) adjusted while it's running.
  • MooseMuffin - Wednesday, February 8, 2012 - link

    The refresh rate thing has actually been really annoying, so I'm glad to see the fix.
  • MonkeyPaw - Tuesday, February 7, 2012 - link

    Didn't Intel say they were going to put more effort into graphics drivers? 5 months later and we have 3 updates. I guess they have better places to go with their record profits.

    This is why Intel graphics are met with so much skepticism. Sure, more performance is found in each new version of the hardware, but the support is outright pathetic. AMD and nVidia spend lots of time, money, and effort on drivers, because it is a very big deal.
  • alent1234 - Wednesday, February 8, 2012 - link

    which bugs are there to fix? most people who use these don't play games or do lite gaming. you turn the laptop on, you get a picture. the drivers work.

    the only issue i've found is some youtube videos are screwed up but that may not be the driver, but the encoding

    most amd/nvidia driver updates are custom settings in the driver for each game
  • Guspaz - Wednesday, February 8, 2012 - link

    There are many bugs to fix; Intel's drivers are the worst on the market. Many computers refuse to even take the generic drivers, claiming that you must get them from your computer vendor (who of course haven't updated the drivers in ages).

    Toshiba's Intel drivers, for example, have completely broken flash video acceleration. The newest Intel drivers fix the problem, but they refuse to install unless you get tricky. Which I did, at which point the problems went away.

    I've still experienced issues outputting to Samsung televisions over HDMI, and miscellaneous minor but annoying issues.
  • fic2 - Tuesday, February 7, 2012 - link

    "Intel's latest and greatest fixes just three documented issues"

    Must be because Intel's graphic driver is so close to perfect that nobody can find any bugs in it!

    (Or maybe the one guy at intel that does the graphic driver took a holiday in December and three bugs is all he had time to fix)
  • Bluestealth - Tuesday, February 7, 2012 - link

    Given that they have more than one guy working on their Linux driver I very much doubt that is true.
  • wifiwolf - Tuesday, February 7, 2012 - link

    You mean one guy at windows driver development gets more work done (3 bug fixes) than 2 in linux?

  • KaarlisK - Tuesday, February 7, 2012 - link

    You can find their Ivy Bridge graphics driver at station-drivers.
    And guess what... it only supports Ivy and Sandy bridge.
    Which basically means that they're probably continuing to only support the two latest GPU generations in their latest branch. Which basically means if you want features and performance improvements in the long term, do not go for an Intel GPU, even though the hardware may support everything you need.
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Wednesday, February 8, 2012 - link

    Yeah, that's pretty much been standing procedure for Intel for as long as I can remember. It'd be a bigger deal if that actually implemented substantive new features in drivers for their supported products (better OpenGL support, better performance, etc. etc.).

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