Intel has decoupled its graphics drivers from OEM customization, enabling users to update them irrespective of whether the PC vendor has officially approved them or not. What it means in essence is that users will now be able to update GPU drivers on their desktops and laptops without losing out on any OEM-implemented feature or functionality. The changes are applicable to all devices powered by Intel 6th-generation Core processors or higher and running Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (RS3 / 1709) or newer.
In its official release notes for version 8141 on Monday, Intel said that it is decoupling its GPU driver updates from OEM customization because of persistent user-demand for unencumbered generic graphics drivers that offer all the latest game enhancements, feature updates and fixes. These updates will not affect any existing OEM customization, which can be updated by the PC vendors separately via Windows Updates, the company said.
According to Intel, “As of this release (v8141), Intel Graphics DCH drivers are now unlocked to upgrade freely between Computer Manufacturer (OEM) drivers and the Intel generic graphics drivers on Download Center. Simply use the exe and enjoy the update on your 6th Generation Intel Processor platform or higher, and don’t worry about your OEM customizations – they remain intact with each upgrade and the OEMs can maintain customizations separately via Microsoft Windows Update”.
Do note that Intel still warns against installing its generic graphics drivers unless it’s a custom built computer with no software customizations from third-parties. According to the company, “OEM drivers are handpicked, customized, and validated to resolve platform-specific issues, enable features and enhancements, and improve system stability”, and should be prioritized over generic drivers in most cases.