There are 2 main Intel HD Graphics chipsets currently:
Intel HD Graphics 4000 (3rd generation, also known as Ivy Bridge)
– codename: HD Graphics P4000 / ULTRABOOK P4000
Intel HD Graphics 2500 (2nd generation, also known as Sandy Bridge)
– codename: HD Graphics P3000 / ULTRABOOK P2000
How Do I Know What Intel Graphics Driver I Have?
Many laptops and low-end desktop computers come with an integrated GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) built into the CPU or processor. If a computer, laptop, or notebook is powered by an Intel processor, it should have Intel HD graphics of some sort onboard.
If you do not know what graphics card that your computer has, then there is a way to find out: go into the system's BIOS/UEFI settings screen when starting up and press “DEL” or some other key (usually between F2 and F10) when directed. On this screen, it should tell you which graphics chipset your system has.
The first 2 digits on the code denote which generation of Intel HD graphics it is, and the following 3 or 4 will tell you what kind of performance you can expect from the integrated graphics chip:
The first 2 digits (HD Graphics 4000 or HD Graphics 2500) denote which generation of Intel graphics chipset it is. The following 3-4 numbers tell you the approximate performance.
Figures in brackets are an average score out of 10:
HD Graphics 3000 (codename: Arrandale and Clarksfield) = 4-5 (6.5) / ULTRABOOK P1000 - P2000, CELERON M, and ULTRASPARPENT B8xx chipsets; Ultrabook CPUs with integrated graphics such as Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors with 35W TDP should at least match this score if not perform better than it due to more optimized usage of the system's power.
HD Graphics 4000 (codename: Ivy Bridge) = 6-7 (8.5) / ULTRABOOK P4000 - P5000, CELERON N/V/J, and ULTRASPARPENT B9xx chipsets; Ultrabook CPUs with integrated graphics such as Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors with 17W or less TDP should at least match this score if not perform better than it due to more optimized usage of the system's power.
HD Graphics 2500 (codename: Sandy Bridge) = 5-6 (7.5) / Desktop CPUs HD 2500 GT1 chipset which is also found in laptops with Celeron B4 xx, Core i3-31xxT and 32xxT, Pentium B6xx. HD Graphics 2500 is also found in laptops with Core i5 processors that have a 35W TDP.
What are Integrated Graphics?
Integrated graphics is an electronic circuit that is built into a computer's motherboard which allows the computer to display images. Integrated graphics has its dedicated video memory and shares system RAM, which it uses as a frame buffer, with the CPU’s Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). The GPU also sends the rendered images back to system RAM for use by the CPU.
Integrated graphics is not a discrete graphics processor, although it can be called an ‘onboard’ or ‘built-in’ graphics chip. It does not have any dedicated memory of its own and cannot function without system RAM, which is used by integrated graphics as a frame buffer for the images. The GPU is an integrated graphics system that has to share this system RAM with the computer's CPU, which means that it has limitations on how much information it can render at one time. Integrated GPUs are mainly found in laptops because they use less power than their discrete counterparts, but there are also very low-powered desktop CPUs with integrated graphics (e.g Intel HD Graphics 2000/3000).
The advantages of integrated graphics are low power usage and reduced cost. The disadvantage is lower 3D performance than dedicated GPUs because it shares the system RAM with the CPU’s GPU. This means that it can only render images of up to a certain size before it runs out of frame buffer space, which hampers its ability to produce complex scenes quickly enough for modern games.
All this makes integrated graphic cards less suitable for playing computer games but suitable for running other applications like reading email or watching videos (using software like Windows Media Centre).
Useful Device Manager
Follow the steps below to identify your drivers via the Device Manager on Windows:
- Navigate to Start > Control Panel.
- Click Device Manager.
- Find the Display Adapter section and expand it.
- Right-click Intel® Display Adapter and select Properties.
- Go to the Driver tab and you should see your driver version.
How to Update Intel Graphics Driver?
You can update your graphics driver by visiting the Intel Download Center.
First, find out which of the following statements are true for you:
Does your computer have an Intel processor that is 4th Generation or later?
Does your computer have an Intel processor that is 3rd Generation or earlier (e.g. Core 2 Duo)?
If you answered yes to both of these questions, continue with this section. If not, jump ahead to How do I know if my computer has an Intel processor using Windows* OS?
Navigate to support.intel.com/drivers. From here select Drivers & Software and Operating System (OS). You now need to find out which of the following statements are correct for you: Do you have Intel® Core™ processors in your computer?
Do you have an Intel processor that is 4th generation or later (e.g. Core i7-XXXX)?
Do you find the Desktop Boards section with supported motherboards for Intel® Core™ processors?
If you selected yes to any of these questions, continue with this section. If not, jump ahead to How do I know if my computer has an Intel processor using Windows* OS? Note: You may want to revisit this step occasionally as new board models and/or drivers will be added over time. Click Download Center > Operating System (OS) to find your graphics driver. Important - before downloading the file please check whether it is designated for 32-bit or 64-bit systems. For example:
Intel® HD Graphics Driver for Windows* [15.40] - ThinkPad T530
Operating System (OS):
32-bit / 64-bit:
Please note that the following operating systems are no longer supported on 4th Generation Intel® Core™ Processors and higher: XP*, Vista*, 7*, 8*. For 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ Processors and earlier, please refer to your OS support documentation or contact your computer manufacturer for more information. Install using the default location. If you have an older graphics driver installed then it is recommended that you uninstall it first before installing a new version via this utility.
The first way is to identify your driver version and use the Windows Device Manager (steps 1-7) and the second method is to go to the Intel Download Center (steps 8-11). As always, we recommend you visit the Intel Download Center regularly to ensure that you always have access to the most current drivers available. Remember The more up-to-date your graphics driver, the better your gaming experience! If you found this guide useful please like and share it with others who may benefit from it. Thank You!