Intel Sandy Bridge Graphics Developer's Guides

Published: 04/23/2012, Last Updated: 04/23/2012


Latest Intel Graphics Developer's Guide

Note: The Developer's Guide on this page is for Intel® HD Graphics on the Sandy Bridge microarchitecture. For the LATEST Intel Graphics Developer's Guide, go to


Intel Processor Graphics Developer's Guide for Intel® HD Graphics on the Sandy Bridge microarchitecture

This document provides development hints and tips to ensure that your customers will have a great experience playing your games and running other interactive 3D graphics applications on Intel Processor Graphics. This document details software development practices using the latest generation of Intel processor graphics with a focus on performance analysis using Microsoft DirectX*. Intel tools useful in optimizing graphics applications are introduced in a section detailing performance analysis with the Intel® Graphics Performance Analyzers (Intel® GPA).

Intel® HD Graphics is split into product generations, the latest of which was introduced in April, 2012 with Intel® microarchitecture code name Ivy Bridge. Each year, more capabilities and better performance are provided by new processor graphics cores. Intel processor graphics currently represent the most common graphics solution chosen by new PC purchasers. Therefore, it makes sense to write your 3D applications to take advantage of this broad market and optimize the experience for the greatest number of people. By following the tips and tricks in this document, you have the opportunity to make your application shine with the graphics volume market leader.




Download the Sandy Bridge Graphics Developers Guide (Updated Feb 24th, 2011)




To read the rest of the Sandy Bridge Intel Processor Graphics Developer's Guide for Intel HD Graphics, download Sandy Bridge Intel Processor Graphics Performance Developer's Guide v2.9.6 [PDF 604 KB]



Download the Latest Intel®  HD Drivers



Go to the Support page to download the latest HD Graphics drivers, get FAQ answers and more:


Web site and Engineering support

Software developers can go to the forum at and post questions/comments about the complete line of Intel's graphics chipset solutions. If you are a game developer, many useful documents including everything from multithreading to audio, are available at  Intel HD Graphics driver support page is here:

Previous Developer's Guides

For Developer’s Guides to generations of Intel graphics hardware prior to Sandy Bridge, go to:

Intel HD Graphics Developer's Guide
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator Series 4 Developer's Guide
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator Series 3 Developer's Guide



Related Guides



To view the Media Developer's Guide, go to

Product and Performance Information


Intel's compilers may or may not optimize to the same degree for non-Intel microprocessors for optimizations that are not unique to Intel microprocessors. These optimizations include SSE2, SSE3, and SSSE3 instruction sets and other optimizations. Intel does not guarantee the availability, functionality, or effectiveness of any optimization on microprocessors not manufactured by Intel. Microprocessor-dependent optimizations in this product are intended for use with Intel microprocessors. Certain optimizations not specific to Intel microarchitecture are reserved for Intel microprocessors. Please refer to the applicable product User and Reference Guides for more information regarding the specific instruction sets covered by this notice.

Notice revision #20110804