6:30PM ET update: It appears that the driver will land much quicker than a ‘few weeks’. The latest is that it will drop this coming Monday.
Earlier this week, Intel launched its 11th-gen CPUs, and to say it was a bit of a rough launch is an understatement. We’re still in the middle of testing our chips, but we’ve perused many reviews around the web, and you have to try pretty hard to find a positive spin. In some cases, the current-gen chips perform worse than the last-gen ones, despite having refreshed cores and more aggressive clocks. We’re hoping to find some surprises somewhere in our testing.
The launch didn’t need another mark on it, but it received another one over the past few days when it was realized that Intel wouldn’t be delivering an official graphics driver for a ‘few weeks’, which was revealed by Intel’s GPU software engineering director Lisa Pearce:
On one hand, it’s strange for a company to release a new product and not have full driver support for it from the get-go. On the other, the chances that someone is going to buy a new CPU for their new DIY gaming build and then stick to the IGP is unlikely. However, having monitored various threads around the web since launch, there are in fact people wanting to use the IGP right now (perhaps because securing a new discrete GPU is harder than a new CPU right now).
According to other information we’ve found, it seems that some OEM system builders that include 11th-gen CPUs may have the proper driver already. Press were provided with a special driver for testing, as well, but apparently Intel considers it to be too “beta” to release directly to the public.
Some ambitious users have commented that downloading the latest .zip driver from the website (or your motherboard’s support page if the VGA driver shows March or April as its posted date) will work if you install it through Device Manager, and choose the ‘Have Disk’ option. You’ll want to have it search the folder created from the extracted .zip recursively, so you won’t have any issues finding the correct entry.
We admit this seems to be an odd misstep for Intel, as it seems like the company has had plenty of time to iron things out to get a public driver posted on time. We normally expect delays for drivers on Linux, but certainly not on Windows.