Video: Why Intel 915 graphics don't have a WDDM driver for Vista

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I get this question a LOT: "Why hasn't Intel released WDDM drivers for the 915 integrated graphics chipset? I can't run the fancy visual effects in Windows Vista, like Aero Glass, without one!"

People hardest hit by this issue include virtually all Tablet PC and UMPC users, along with lots and lots of people using laptops with that particular Intel integrated graphics chipset. I personally have two systems, a Lenovo X41 Tablet PC and an Asus R2H UMPC, that are affected. The Intel Software Network forum is full of complaints, rants, and even veiled threats on the topic - implying that we, Intel, are sitting on the driver, or not releasing it for some unknown reason (most speculate that it's because we want to force people to upgrade to a newer, more powerful graphics solution).

In this video, I sat down with Intel's Chuck DeSylva, right after he gave a presentation at GDC 2007 on the topic of optimizing your games to take advantage of the Intel G965 graphics chip. I asked him the million dollar question: Why are there no WDDM drivers for Intel 915 graphics?

Watch the video for the answer. It's about 3.5 minutes long, and weighs in at 22MB if you want to download it directly.

The short version (if you're impatient): The WDDM Vista driver spec came out long after the 915 design was complete and in production, and even though it has advanced features like Pixel Shader 2.0, there is a missing hardware feature, called the Hardware Scheduler, that 915 lacks, and without that, it doesn't meet the WDDM spec from Microsoft, and we (Intel) can't release a WDDM driver for it.

There. It's done. I hope that answers your questions. Please link your friends and associates to this video/post for the "definitive" answer.

As always, we're open to your feedback, so please feel free to post a comment, respond in the ISN forums, or contact me directly if you have any more questions or issues.
For more complete information about compiler optimizations, see our Optimization Notice.


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I must say that I have never been so disappointed in my life...well maybe not, but it's close. I have been a devoted Intel person since I got into computing back in the mid 80's but because of Intel's slap in the face over the 915 issue I will probably never support Intel again. I have decided that any other purchases will not include Intel products. It would be SO easy for Intel to make a small change in the drivers to support Aero and consider them BETA and make probably thousands of people happy.

Sorry Intel....It was a good relationship while it lasted but I've got to move on

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can somebody tell us how far they have come with this driver? any progress or how long it will take to reach us loosers

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We must have the capabilities of the GMA 900 restored. That means the release of the WDDM driver.

But most pressingly give us back our 96MB*!

*Intel BIOS updates, forced on us "customers" via Intel partners (other large monopolistically aspiring corporations) restricted the GMA from using 224MB as specified when we bought the product, to only 128MB! For product differentiation purposes.

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I believe Intel will regret their choice with not providing the customers with some sort of solution. I will buy either AMD or a Mac the next time out.

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Intel, are you ready to loose 1 million customers all over the world?

Because that is what is going to happen.

Bye, bye Intel. Next laptop won´t be an Intel inside. For sure.

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the Aero issue doesn't bother me to much.What pisses me off is the fact that vista installs perfect on my 915,But i can enable my S-cable out for my external monitor with vista.Has anyone figured out a way to get that feature to work with vista? The option to turn it on just isn't simply there.Makes me wanna smash the dam thing.I agree if Intel can't even fix my small issue.I will never buy Intel again. Like i said aero i don't care about.Give me my damn s-cable out option!!!!

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I'm delusioned by the intel 915 graphic card in my dv 2555 hp laptop. I tried ceaselessly to install beryl from linux but to no avail I even updated linux to 7.10 and useld beryl compiz but the machine would just hang.....

Then came the blank screen. I ran linux in recovery mode and typed;

sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.bak
sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg

sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.bak /etc/X11/xorg.conf

to revert back to the former working position. I was guided through a set of dialogue boxes which said in substance that my graphic card is "s***".

Men, release the damn drivers on WDDM. I know they are there and it can be done. Else we can opt to NVIDIA, radeon and ATI in future.


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I agree with Josembi. The fact that intel failed to realease a driver on the 915 chipset is totally wrong.
Its relevant to note that the consumers are the sufferers, and this may create an economic damage in future as far as purchase os intel products is concerned.

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OMG. Nice video :)

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intel...Don't play with us
I'm serious it's been a long time since you did NOTHING about this driver(as far as we know). And if you guys took so long to say 'NO, we can't build/write this driver', you better think twice, because I'm sick and tired of staying here, waiting for a reply.
At least you could just tell us what's being done about this.

By the way, the latest driver was released in 2004 for windows.
What about linux users?

I tell you what: if you guys have some respect to your customers, you should consider to keep us update about this driver, not only for windows but also for linux distros as well.
Have you put yourselves in our position? How do you think we are supposed to fell?

I tell you again, intel: DON'T turn your back on the community
You have been warned. Write down the driver ASAP. Please!

[ if you dare delete this post again, no problem ]