Intel stickersSource: Windows Central

What you need to know

  • Intel has decoupled its graphics drivers from customizations from your PC manufacturer.
  • Now you can update the drivers as Intel releases them without losing OEM customizations.
  • OEMs can distribute customizations via Windows Update, Intel says.

Intel released a new set of graphics driver updates today, and they bring a significant change for anyone using a laptop. The latest drivers decouple generic driver updates from OEM customizations, meaning that you can now update them as Intel releases them without losing out on customizations made by your PC's manufacturer. This eliminates the need to wait for OEM validation before receiving the latest Intel graphics driver updates on your PC.

From Intel's release notes (via @D2Kx_):

We heard how much our users want the freedom to upgrade their systems to our regularly released generic graphics drivers and enable our latest game enhancements, feature updates, and fixes. As of this release, Intel Graphics DCH drivers are now unlocked to upgrade freely between Computer Manufacturer (OEM) drivers and the Intel generic graphics drivers on Download Center.

According to Intel's release notes, you can just download the exe files and install the drivers on 6th Gen Intel processors and higher on the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update and newer. Computer manufacturer customizations will remain intact and can be updated separately by your manufacturer via Windows Update, according to Intel.

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Theoretically, this means, for instance, that Surface users can update their graphics drivers at will, without worrying about customizatiosn that Microsoft has made specifically for Surface PCs. The same applies to any other PC manufacturer.

Beyond this significant change, these drivers verify that Gears Tactics and XCOM: Chimera Squad are playable on Intel Iris Plus graphics or better.