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. 

Ben Funk

Sega nerd and guitar lover

Comments closed
    • George20500
    • 9 months ago

    This is going to be a great family of GPUs. I can feel it. You can tell by the video and soundtrack they’re gonna have lots of powa.

    • crispysilicon
    • 9 months ago

    I’d be more interested if they didn’t leave my 5775C out in the cold with the new drivers, can’t use the control panel without it.
    Nice for a CPU that’s not EOL yet 🙁

    • ozzuneoj
    • 9 months ago

    ” Intel says the Control Center can automatically optimize the graphics settings for games installed on your Intel-equipped PC with one click. ”

    But don’t games already default to lowest settings?

      • Rand
      • 9 months ago

      They do, that’s the problem. Insufficiently low settings to accommodate them.

    • ronch
    • 9 months ago

    I guess this Odyssey all really started when Intel acquired [url=https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chips_and_Technologies<]Chips & Technologies[/url<] back in who-remembers-when and put out the i740 AGP graphics card. Very curious little footnote in the history of graphics cards there, but we were all too busy buying 3dfx and Nvidia back then.

    • confusedpenguin
    • 9 months ago

    Ho hum. Boring. I’m not interested, unless it’s a discreet Intel GPU that can push framerates of 100 fps on the latest PC games with settings cranked to max. Otherwise, Intel should get back on the shortbus and keep picking it’s nose and eating it’s boogers.

      • Star Brood
      • 9 months ago

      Username checks out

      • ronch
      • 9 months ago

      Chill, bud.

    • foruwuwo
    • 9 months ago

    The video looks and feel cheap and amateur. Like an inept rip off made on a third world country.

    • tipoo
    • 9 months ago

    I like how it looks. AMDs also look pretty Fluent-ey these days.

    Nvidias still look straight out of Windows XP, now that could use a refresh.

      • FuturePastNow
      • 9 months ago

      AMD’s Radeon Settings is so slow, though. It’s like each tab is loading a web page.

        • tipoo
        • 9 months ago

        Yeah I’m just talking design, having gone back to Nvidia the Windows XP buttons were a bit of surprise. Ideally Intel kicks both of them into high gear.

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 9 months ago

        I’m not so up to date, but haven’t they started just making desktop apps with HTML, javascript and CSS or what?

          • Star Brood
          • 9 months ago

          There are TONS of webapps these days. A lot of Google products; stuff’s just not your regular static webpage anymore.

          HTML5 ENABLES things to happen that previously required Flash, but neither can be considered fast executables. Native apps are potentially far less resource intensive.

          • Redocbew
          • 9 months ago

          It’s possible, but let’s say you want to write an MVC app with HTML pages as your Views using Node, or Backbone or something, then you really should have those stored locally instead of somewhere out on the Internet. I’d be kind of surprised if AMDs control panel was really doing that though.

      • homerdog
      • 9 months ago

      I like the NVIDIA one. Since it hasn’t changed in a decade I know exactly where everything is.

        • tipoo
        • 9 months ago

        I know where everything is in Windows XP, but it still just looks gaudy to my 2019 eyes. Even if they kept the arrangement all the icons and stuff just look dated.

      • Ninjitsu
      • 9 months ago

      I mean, I open that once every 2 months or less, these days. Couldn’t care how it looks if it’s functional and convenient, and it is.

    • WhatMeWorry
    • 9 months ago

    There is nothing wrong with “old, boring, corporate-looking” if it is powerful, intuitive, ergonomic, and robust. I think some hipsters at Intel are too intent on form over function.

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 9 months ago

      Its not even form over function, its the thought that age is always counted as a negative. I presume its mostly the younger members of society who think that, not being old enough to have seen very many good things ruined by updates.

    • Chrispy_
    • 9 months ago

    It doesn’t have to be particularly good to be an improvement on the Nvidia driver.

    Simple stuff like target frame-rate control, onboard LED control, fan speed, power profiles, voltage and clock controls.

    Seriously, The Nvidia control panel is so useless and pathetic that an ecosystem of third party tools flourishes around it, doing the job that Nvidia themselves are too neglectful to bother with.

      • Ninjitsu
      • 9 months ago

      Nvidia used to have a first party tool that had fan speed profiles and stuff, but they stopped updating it a few years ago.

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 9 months ago

    Downloaded.

    • chuckula
    • 9 months ago

    This is like a Lincoln commercial with Matthew McConaughey.
    Sure you don’t know WTF it’s supposed to be about.
    But it looks good

    #AlrightAlrightAlright

      • derFunkenstein
      • 9 months ago

      My wife said it reminded her in the HUD inside Tony Stark’s suit. I could definitely see the resemblance.

        • Redocbew
        • 9 months ago

        I kinda wish now there was a Jarvis easter egg in there somewhere.

    • freebird
    • 9 months ago

    “Intel’s Graphics Command Center will take you on an Odyssey”

    So will a bridge to nowhere… just a short-lived one. Hopefully, Intel’s is a little longer.

      • Concupiscence
      • 9 months ago

      My first thought was, “It can take me on a drive in a Honda minivan?” Which may be cozy enough, that’s fine, it’s just not a hot rod.

        • Usacomp2k3
        • 9 months ago

        My Sienna has a 260hp V6. I can burn rubber (it has mostly happened by accident if I’m honest). Not hot-rod per-se, but definitely not your minivan of old.

          • JustAnEngineer
          • 9 months ago

          The [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_J_engine<]J35Y6[/url<] in the Odyssey is rated at 280 hp on regular unleaded. Premium would generate another 10 hp.

            • Anonymous Coward
            • 9 months ago

            My car does 90HP. Can spin a tire (on wet pavement) without abusing the clutch, too!

          • Concupiscence
          • 9 months ago

          Yeah, no question it’s not like the bad old days of [url=https://youtu.be/3VJDIeeSdAE?t=238<]people carriers...[/url<]

        • Blytz
        • 9 months ago

        [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYXSKto-nVY[/url<] you need this one then

      • Redocbew
      • 9 months ago

      I’d like to see it turn out well just so that we have another player in GPU-land who does more than IGPs.

        • chuckula
        • 9 months ago

        AMD fanboys LOVE to talk about “needing competition”.

        They just don’t like it when it actually happens.

          • euricog
          • 9 months ago

          Regardless of fanboy-ism, you know perfectly that currently there’s a single player in the GPU market. Its hardware leaves the competition in the dust and because of that they can linger to push new tech forward and they charge what they want for their “premium” technology.

          This lack of competition is the main reason that “mainstream” GPUs are closer to $500-$700 than the $200-$300 that it should be.

          So regardless of having brand preferences or none at all, we all desperately need some competition on the GPU market.

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