Intel's Graphics Command Center will take you on an Odyssey


Intel's been blowing the whistle on the Graphics Hype Train quite a bit lately. The company teased its coming-in-2020 discrete graphics a while back, and more recently it's invited enthusiasts to go on an Odyssey. During GDC 2019, the world's biggest chip manufacturer took to its the Intel Graphics Twitter feed and announced an early-access program for its revamped Graphics Command Center—a replacement for its aging IGP control panel. Check out the over-the-top announcement video asking Intel GPU owners to "guide the future of graphics for a billion people."

Those who opt for early access will need to download a moderately-sized app (by 2019 standards) that weighs in at around 90 MB from the Windows Store. Yes, this new tool is available only from Microsoft's Windows 10 storefront. The older control panel widget was first published in the store in November when, as readers with good memories may recall, Intel updated its drivers to follow the Windows Modern Driver model.

Intel's listing for the Graphics Command Center says that users asked the company to replace the "old, boring, corporate-looking" control panel of the past with a full-service game-optimization tool. The new skin does seem to bring some of Microsoft's Fluent Design principles to the table. More importantly, Intel says the Control Center can automatically optimize the graphics settings for games installed on your Intel-equipped PC with one click. Based on images in the YouTube video, the app also appears to provide definitions for graphics-related terms that we PC geeks like to toss around. Hopefully that means the uninitiated won't get too lost. 

The company says this is the first step in a multi-phase plan to remake its graphics software. Interested gerbils should update their Intel graphics drivers to the latest version prior to installing this updated tool. Feedback is welcome, and users can provide it by sliding into the @IntelGraphics Twitter account's DMs. 

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