New Intel drivers enable Quick Sync on some Pentium, Celeron chips

Intel has released a new batch of graphics drivers, and there’s a surprise in store for folks with Pentium and Celeron processors: some of those chips now support Quick Sync hardware-accelerated video transcoding. The new drivers also let you add custom resolutions through the control panel, and they purportedly improve OpenGL image quality, among other tweaks.

Here’s the full list of new features, in Intel’s words:

  • Intel® Quick Sync Video now enabled on select Pentium and Celeron processors as called out in the ‘HARDWARE’ section above
  • Quality improvements for Video conferencing and Video capturing usages on the system
  • Custom display resolutions can now be added. To access this option:
    • 1. Right-click on an open area of the Windows desktop or right-click on the Intel Iris and HD Graphics Driver’s icon
    • in the Windows taskbar’s System Tray (area with the clock)
    • 2. Select ‘Graphics Options’
    • 3. Select ‘Custom Resolutions’
  • Quality improvements for OpenGL based applications
  • Added OpenGL support:
    • EXT_clip_control extension
    • ARB_vertex_attrib_binding extension
    • Increased the maximum number of texture image units to 32

You’ll want to check the official release notes (PDF) for a full list of Quick Sync-enabled Pentium and Celeron chips. The release notes also have details about a number of bugs that these drivers stamp out. Most of the bug fixes seem to be tied to Windows 8.1, but I see a couple mentions of Windows 7 in there, too.

The new Intel graphics drivers can be downloaded here for 64-bit systems and here for 32-bit ones.

Comments closed
    • lycium
    • 6 years ago

    Very pleased to hear about the GL rendering quality, now if only AMD would get theirs up to snuff…

    • uni-mitation
    • 6 years ago

    Let’s call it what it is, artificial market segmentation. Not that there is nothing wrong with Intel making a tidy profit.

    Edit- Grammar.

      • the
      • 6 years ago

      Except for when you want everything enabled and Intel won’t sell you such a chip regardless of how fat your wallet is. (See Core i7 4770 + unlocked muliplier + ECC memory + 128 MB eDRAM + TSX + VT-d)

        • Deanjo
        • 6 years ago

        I just wish they would enable AES-NI on the i3 / Celerons since they already support ECC. I don’t want to have to buy a Xeon just to have a nice encrypted NAS setup.

          • Bauxite
          • 6 years ago

          [url=http://ark.intel.com/compare/77481,77480,77770,77769,77771<]Haswell i3 already support AES-NI along with ECC on C22x chipsets[/url<] which many ZFS and OpenVPN aficionados already know 😉

            • Deanjo
            • 6 years ago

            Thanks for pointing that out. Time to build another NAS box.

            • stdRaichu
            • 6 years ago

            Interesting – back when I bought my E3-1230v3 (which is only about twice the price of the i3-4130T over here in the UK), I looked on Ark and didn’t see any of the i3’s as having ECC support. Although I do stuff on my NAS that most don’t and so I plumped form the quad core; idle power usage seems practically identical anyway.

            As an aside, it used to be that back in the day it was only the i7 and Xeon chips that could do CRC32c in hardware; is this still the case for Haswell? A quick double-check of Wikipedia suggest that instruction is part of the SEE 4.2 instruction set now.

            • Deanjo
            • 6 years ago

            The i3’s have had ECC support since at least sandy bridge when couples to a server chipset. The AES-NI support is something new however that came with Haswell.

            • stdRaichu
            • 6 years ago

            I was just checking the ARK pages for some of the SB i3’s (e.g. [url=http://ark.intel.com/products/53428<]the i3-2130[/url<]) but I don't see any mention of ECC support (neither confirming or denying it); is it something that Intel left enabled but chose not to publicise? It's listed as supported under the IVB i3's however.

        • Bauxite
        • 6 years ago

        Also see Ivy-E + ECC + unlocked w/8 cores and only your cooling being the limit.
        (unlocked on single socket at least, I get that they would keep MP tightly controlled)

    • Waco
    • 6 years ago

    Next they’ll allow SRT on all chipsets. Right Intel? RIGHT????

      • UnfriendlyFire
      • 6 years ago

      Someone should look into Intel’s drivers or bios codes. Just in case if there’s a SRT setting.

        • Waco
        • 6 years ago

        There’s definitely a flag for CPU detection (and although Intel customer support has no clue, you can’t use SRT without a Core i3/i5/i7 chip) – the chipset restriction I’m not sure is so easy to complain about. It just irks me, that’s all. 🙂

    • FakeAlGore
    • 6 years ago

    [quote<]in the Windows taskbar's System Tray (area with the clock)[/quote<] <pedantry>It's called the Notification Area.</pedantry>

      • Milo Burke
      • 6 years ago

      Is your handle related to artificial intelligence and gore? Or to Al Gore, the former vice president?

        • Flying Fox
        • 6 years ago

        Copy and paste the text, then change font to confirm I vs l?

          • Milo Burke
          • 6 years ago

          Brilliant scheme. Although I’m hoping to hear him explain it in his own way. =]

    • derFunkenstein
    • 6 years ago

    Hmmm..I’d assumed they’d all be Bay Trail Pentiums/Celeries getting it to help with video playback life, but desktop Haswell Pentiums like the G3220 are listed as having Quick Sync enabled too. A rare “gift” from Intel. Probably due to Kaveri being half-way reasonable.

      • Deanjo
      • 6 years ago

      [quote<]Probably due to Kaveri being half-way reasonable.[/quote<] More then likely just to bring them up to par with their linux drivers in feature sets.

        • willmore
        • 6 years ago

        So they’re not going to pull an Intel and remove the feature from the Linux driver? Good to know.

          • Deanjo
          • 6 years ago

          Think you mean nVidia (who recently pulled 4 monitor mode with base mosaic to match the windows drivers that only supports 3).

            • Klimax
            • 6 years ago

            If I am not missing anything, that shouldn’t be limitation of Windows, though…

      • mczak
      • 6 years ago

      Well this driver doesn’t support Bay Trail Pentiums/Celerons at all (and don’t ask me why not since Bay Trail Graphics is 99.99% identical to Ivy Bridge Graphics with one single extra feature), hence yes those Celerons/Pentiums there are all Haswell (at least I couldn’t spot any Ivy Bridge ones at a first glance, though not all Haswell ones support it neither).

      • MadManOriginal
      • 6 years ago

      Video playback decode blocks are different from QuickSync which is encode.

        • Deanjo
        • 6 years ago

        QuickSync does encode and decode.

          • mczak
          • 6 years ago

          MadManOriginal is right though, you don’t need QuickSync for simple playback acceleration (though obviously this definitely shares some hw bits).
          You can see that here for instance (old, this was the case with old pentiums/celerons already, gen5): [url<]http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/guides/pentium-celeron-graphics-guide.pdf[/url<]

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