Intel graphics drivers go universal with 25.20.100.6444 release

One subtlety of the Windows 10 October Update (also known as version 1809) that may have been lost among its many growing pains is that it's the first widely-released version of Windows 10 that requires the use of Windows Modern Drivers (an initiative that might also go by the name of Universal Windows Drivers, or UWDs). The benefit of WMDs, according to Microsoft, is that a device maker such as Intel can write a base driver that can be certified and deployed to every machine with a given piece of hardware—including OEM systems—via Windows Update.

OEMs can still add customization of their own to a WMD, but those customizations are the only thing an OEM is responsible for validating. That way, Microsoft can test base drivers on every system with compatible hardware by way of its Windows Insider flighting, instead of worrying about distributing machine-specific custom driver packages to certain systems only.

For its part, Intel is on board with the WMD initiative, and it plans to begin distributing Windows Modern Driver packages for compatible operating systems this month. The company released its first WMD driver today, although it's wisely using the Universal Windows Driver acronym to preface the version number of that release. Beyond the new driver model, UWD 25.20.100.6444 includes some new features and game support.

Previously supported

auto-optimized titles

Newly supported

auto-optimized titles

American Truck Simulator

Battlefield 1

Battlefield 4

Call of Duty WWII

Destiny 2

Dota 2

Grand Theft Auto V

League of Legends

Overwatch

World of Tanks

Fallout 4

Far Cry 5

FIFA 18

Paladins

Path of Exile

The Sims 4

Smite

Borderlands 2

Euro Truck Simulator 2

Playerunknown's Battlegrounds

Rocket League

The Witcher 3

The driver adds 12 new games to the auto-tuning support list for Intel IGPs and Radeon RX Vega M graphics processors, bringing the total number of supported titles to 22. Furthermore, the optimization utility in the Intel Graphics Control Panel can now rescan a system for new games to optimize without requiring a system reboot.

Furthermore, release 25.20.100.6444 includes support for Valve's new digital card game Artifact, plus optimizations for Eternal Card Game and Farming Simulator 2019. Intel further says that users with Iris Pro graphics or better can dive into Grip Combat Racing. Among other improvements in this release, Intel says RAM consumption should be lower when running OpenGL titles, battery life should be improved when using Display Refresh Rate Switching on supported monitors, and that its Vulkan driver should be more stable in general.

Concept art for Artifact. Source: Valve

As for specific bug fixes in this release, minor graphics anomalies should no longer appear in NBA 2K19, FIFA 19's DirectX 12 mode, or in Assassin's Creed Origins. Intermittent crashes should no longer occur in Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, FIFA 19's DirectX 12 mode, or in World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth.

Windows Advanced Display Settings should now show the proper bit depth on primary monitors, a custom resolution of 980×588 at 60 Hz should now appear for monitors that support it, three or more virtual displays should work under the driver's Extended Configuration mode, and intermittent crashes or hangs should no longer occur with Miracast in extended mode on Pentium Silver and Celeron CPUs. Finally, Battlefield 4 and Dragon Age: Inquisition should no longer experience the minor performance regressions of the last Intel driver release.

Before installing this driver, Intel warns that attempting to bypass its installer executable with the "Have Disk" method available in Windows will result in system instability ranging from "minor to major." Intel also cautions that users attempting to roll back from this driver will need to first uninstall it from the "Apps and Features" section of the Windows 10 settings menu before installing a legacy driver. As with bypassing the installer executable, Intel cautions that attempting to roll back without first uninstalling this driver could have "minor to catastrophic issues."

If all those warnings aren't deterring you from giving the 25.20.100.6444 release a shot, you can find a list of Skylake and newer CPUs that can work with UWDs on the driver download page. If you're interested, you can also peruse the release notes for the driver on Intel's site. Thanks to TR tipster SH SOTN for the heads-up.

Comments closed
    • Kretschmer
    • 11 months ago

    What knucklehead chose a name that shortens to “WMD” for drivers of all things? At Microsoft! The jokes write themselves…

    Bad intern, bad!

      • Ninjitsu
      • 11 months ago

      Considering what a buggy WMD release can do to thousands of systems, i think it’s aptly named 😛

    • lycium
    • 11 months ago

    I actually don’t even care about the first ~10 significant driver updates, as long as they happen and Intel keeps the momentum.

    This can only be good for the GPU world, since unlike Nvidia, they seem intent on supporting open standards!

    • Chrispy_
    • 11 months ago

    I was going to lay on some snark that nobody’s playing the 6-year-old Borderlands 2 anymore, but Steam charts say otherwise – it has a pool of about 10,000 players.

      • Waco
      • 11 months ago

      People are impatiently waiting for Borderlands 3, and BL2 is still one of the best coop shooters ever released.

      • gmskking
      • 11 months ago

      Its a great game. Pre-sequel is also really good.

      • Neutronbeam
      • 11 months ago

      Nanoflower and I co-op on it every month…last weekend and maybe this weekend.

      • auxy
      • 11 months ago

      It makes me really sad that the people above (as well as the 10,000 daily players) don’t see how garbage the Borderlands games are. They’re mediocre in their best aspects and just godawful in every single other. [list<][*<]My chief complaint is that the gunplay is completely terrible. In a game where you are meant to grind for gear for hours on end, the actual core gameplay must be excellent. In Borderlands it's snore-inducing. The weapons have little impact on the bullet-sponge adversaries, and every fight devolves into circle-strafing or backpedaling while you unload your weapons into the boring enemies. If you somehow manage to go down, likely because the random [s<]garbage[/s<] loot system didn't give you a strong enough weapon to handle one of the random enemies, all you have to do is throw a grenade and pop back up, completely eliminating any sort of challenge the game could possibly have had.[/*<][*<]The "random" weapons all end up feeling the same and the "unique" weapons are so insane as to be completely useless. The guns don't even make visual sense and most of them look silly or outright ridiculous. Ultimately you're just going to pick whatever works with your character's skills and has the highest DPS anyway, since virtually all the weapons save the completely useless launchers are just hitscanners with barely-varying stats. [/*<][*<]Speaking of the skill trees, every character has one tree that is blatantly superior to the other two. "Balance doesn't matter in a PvE game" except when the lack of balance is so egregious that there's no point playing any way but the one that works the best. The DLC is awkwardly crammed into the game and doesn't fit in the balance curve at all, and the "difficulty" modes ultimately just amount to throwing more health and damage buffs at the enemies without actually making anything harder.[/*<][*<]The story is 15% complete nonsense and 85% references to Reddit memes that were years out of date by the time the game shipped. Worse still, the game is very proud of its terrible dialogue, stock characters, and stupid story segments, so you have to stand around waiting while characters spout goofy-ass gibberish at each other that not even a 12-year-old would find amusing. To make matters worse, the DLC inserts a number of stale, dated references and ham-handedly delivered political messages to cover for the writer's apparent embarrassment at his own creation in the base game.[/*<][*<]Finally, the games have massive technical issues! Widespread physics problems including rockets that simply don't work because collision is totally broken, incredibly poor performance given the terrible ripped-off visuals, mountains of crash bugs that were never fixed, weapons that generate in an invalid way leaving you with a placeholder gun, and nonsensical network sync issues unseen since the days of QuakeWorld are all on the docket.[/*<][/list<] I hate Borderlands so much, but much more than that I hate that people seem to be content to slurp up whatever diarrhea pours out of game studios these days. AAA has completely gone to seed; all the talent needs to leave those companies and go make the games they want to make because it's only when games come from the developer's passion that they are actually good. Sorry for this burst of mostly-incoherent, directionless animus. I haven't slept in days. I should go try to do that now. ;つД`) Stop giving Gearbox your money and time!

        • sweatshopking
        • 11 months ago

        [quote<] It makes me really sad that the people above [/quote<] [quote<] I hate Borderlands so much[/quote<] maybe you take video games too seriously. I'm not a fan of borderlands either, but you should chill, brah

        • jdevers
        • 11 months ago

        I actually had a lot of fun playing Borderlands and Borderlands 2, I thought the pre-sequel was pretty contrived. As far as the plot, who plays a game like that for the plot. At its core Borderlands is a first person take on Diablo and other action RPGs, not an FPS that has some RPG elements. I honestly haven’t played it in a few years but I don’t remember the skill tree issue you lost either, all the characters I ever made had elements of at least two if not all three trees and it definitely never seemed like there was a “best tree” issue maybe a tree that fit a play style more than others but that isn’t a problem with the game.

        • Krogoth
        • 11 months ago

        It sounds like you were expecting a FPS.

        Borderlands is a “shoot and grab” dungeon crawler at heart. There’s still nothing on the market that has match it. The other clones have failed miserably in one shape or another. I never had any glitches or serious issues with it.

        The story never took itself seriously. If you were expecting some serious drama then you are going to be disappointed.

        • Kretschmer
        • 11 months ago

        How DARE people like things that I don’t! Relax, it’s entertainment. People enjoy (or are conditioned to) grind, whether that’s through a MMO interface, FPSRPG, or isometric dungeon crawler. You’re certainly entitled to your opinion, but we all have some vice like repetitive games, emoji abuse, or cocaine.

        I agree that the Borderlands series was severely flawed, but I enjoyed playing through each title at least once. Sometimes mindless shoot-and-loot is relaxing when you don’t feel like absorbing a Witcher 3 or Bioshock Infinite.

        • Spunjji
        • 11 months ago

        I feel less strongly than you but, overall, agree. In particular I never made it through Borderlands 2 mostly because the loot system is so damned unsatisfying. It’s like they decided that the only solution to the ridiculous and never-ending weapon-stats-peen-comparison problem the first game had was to make it so, so much worse.

        Seriously, I could probably have put up with most of the flaws were it not for the fact that keeping a weapon for longer than ten minutes is a basic impossibility due to both the levelling curve and ridiculous random stats. That’s not a selling point in a game for me. “Gee, I know you like SMGs, but the only sufficiently powerful weapon you’ve picked up for the last half hour was a rocket-spewing shotgun so, uh, deal with it.”

          • Krogoth
          • 11 months ago

          Loot system in BL2 was more grindly and had a strong bias towards raid bosses if you wanted to get the good stuff. The problem is it is a catch 22 since most of the raid bosses tend to require the good stuff if you wanted a fighting chance even with buddies.

          It is also annoying that you were forced to use slag weapons if you want to kill stuff on True Vault Hunter to Ultimate Vault Hunter Modes without running into ammo issues.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 11 months ago

        tl;dr version: “people have different tastes than me and it bugs me”

          • auxy
          • 11 months ago

          Things can be objectively good or bad. People can enjoy objectively bad things, too, which is what we have here. This is simply because they don’t know any better, though.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 11 months ago

            ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      • G8torbyte
      • 11 months ago

      Uh-oh, I might be in that pool. I went back to the game recently after a few years or so. Replayed the Tiny Tina DLC Raid on Dragon Keep for no other reason than to see Princess Pony or whatever fart out weapons after feeding it crystals. It’s just a satirical game and Pandora is just a silly place that old Monty Python fans like me occasionally waste time at.

    • ozzuneoj
    • 11 months ago

    I was hoping we’d finally get proper Windows 10 support for the i740 with this universal driver. I have a Real3D Starfighter that’s just itching to show off the power of AGP texturing in Minecraft Windows 10 Edition.

      • Klimax
      • 11 months ago

      Interestingly, old XDDM drivers sort of work under 7… (Better then ATI driver of for similarly old cards)

    • sweatshopking
    • 11 months ago

    REFUSED TO INSTALL ON MY SURFACE PRO 6 WTF

      • LostCat
      • 11 months ago

      Or Surface Go heh.

      I’m really not even sure if Intel cares about their display drivers. They keep trying…I think.

        • sweatshopking
        • 11 months ago

        Seems ms has their drivers labeled as custom, so we’ll have to wait for these to come out through windows update.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 11 months ago

    [quote<]the auto-tuning support list[/quote<] The Sims 4 really needed it. My people could never sing that well un-processed.

    • Krogoth
    • 11 months ago

    Raja: Now you will witness the stability and performance of this fully enabled and operational driver suite!

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 11 months ago

      AMD Trojan horsed Intel. Just wait and see.

      • K-L-Waster
      • 11 months ago

      You mean IGP is now going to start running within 99% of electrical and thermal limits?

        • Kretschmer
        • 11 months ago

        I regret that I can only give you +1.

      • Kretschmer
      • 11 months ago

      So the graphics drivers will brick Intel’s CPUs? Sneaky, Raja.

    • chuckula
    • 11 months ago

    I’ve found the WMDs!

      • BurntMyBacon
      • 11 months ago

      I find the reclassification of UWD to WMD both humorous and potentially insightful (prophetic even).

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