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Intel moving toward graphics hardware upgrade

Company has finally written early versions of drivers that will help it deliver a long-promised upgrade to its integrated graphics technology.

Intel has released an early version of drivers for its G965 integrated graphics chipset, and is on schedule for an August release of the final version.

The G965, released last year, was supposed to be a huge leap forward in integrated graphics performance for the company. But to this point it's been unable to write drivers that would unlock the performance built into that chipset.

The drivers spotted by The Inquirer are actually something called "pre-beta," which is not a formal beta, according to Intel (not alpha?). Pre-beta drivers aren't recommended for novices, and tech-savvy folks probably have discrete graphics cards in their rigs. But if you're feeling adventurous, check out the drivers here.

The drivers, once they're finally ready, will allow owners of basic PCs to take advantage of so-called "transform and lighting" transistors inside the G965 that will deliver much better 3D game performance. The drivers will also allow people to play games that during the launch process look specifically for transform-and-lighting support, such as Battlefield 2142, Rainbow Six: Vegas, and Age of Empires 3.