Intel finally ships an updated Radeon driver for its all-in-one ‘module’ CPUs

A new driver for the graphics portion of Intel’s “Kaby Lake G” modules with Radeon graphics baked into the chip is now available. Listed as version 18.6.1, this is the latest graphics driver release since Intel originally revealed its new modules in November 2017. Unfortunately, Intel’s notes don’t list any specific changes since that time, but the new driver reveals a significant change in how Intel will release updates in the future. 

The big deal with these modules is the marriage between Intel and AMD. This all-in-one module contains Intel’s seventh-generation processor cores and integrated graphics in one chip, AMD’s Radeon RX Vega M discrete graphics cores in another chip, and HBM2 memory dedicated to graphics. All three are connected by a super-fast “freeway” within a single module. 

The big fear when Intel officially introduced these modules was that the company would drag its feet regarding updates to the graphics driver. The modules didn’t become readily available in devices until January during CES 2018, thus Intel hasn’t distributed a new driver in six months — eight months if you count the date of the original driver. 

That said, the driver released in November 2017 was version 23.20.792.2048 presumably based on AMD’s own Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.11.2. The new driver ditches Intel’s previous numbering scheme and gravitates to AMD’s system so you know where Intel’s graphics drivers are in relation to AMD’s own driver releases outside the module family. This new version is based on AMD’s Radeon Software Adrenaline suite, version 18.6.1. 

Despite Intel not providing detailed release notes, these mega all-in-one chips officially move from Crimson to Adrenaline, which is a significant change regarding performance and new features. AMD typically introduces a new suite each year and spends the next 12 months improving that suite with fixes, enhancements, and injecting support for new games. 

What we still don’t know is whether Intel will synchronize its graphics driver updates with AMD’s current driver distribution schedule. The latest version is 18.6.1, but will Intel issue a new update when AMD refreshes its drivers for desktop and mobile? If the release schedule thus far is any indication, that is a possible no. Still, the modules are fairly new and both Intel and AMD may still be working on driver synchronization. 

Intel currently provides five “Kaby Lake G” modules ranging from the Core i5-8305G to the Core i7-8809G. For instance, the Core i7-8706G chip consists of four processor cores based on Intel’s seventh-generation design, integrated Intel HD Graphics 630, and 1,280 Radeon RX Vega M GL discrete graphics cores (20 compute units) backed by dedicated HBM2 memory. The Radeon RX Vega M GL is supposedly on par with Nvidia’s GTX 1050. 

The marriage between Intel and AMD is definitely strange. Given that Intel grabbed AMD’s Radeon head Raja Koduri to produce discrete graphics in 2020, we can’t help but wonder what is to become of these modules by then.

Product Review

Digital Storm’s Lynx PC appeals to gamers with stylish, upgradeable design

Digital Storm’s Lynx provides an excellent alternative to gamers who don’t want to build their own gaming PCs. Equipped with powerful hardware and space for two graphics cards, the Lynx is a PC that’s capable of growing with your…

Intel’s next-gen Comet Lake processors will reportedly arrive with 10 cores

Intel may give its next-generation desktop processor, known by its Comet Lake code name, a maximum of 10 cores, according to code found within the company's Linux drivers. Laptop CPUs will reportedly top out with six cores.

Nvidia’s rumored 7nm Ampere graphics could debut next week, but not for gamers

Nvidia's next-generation 7nm Ampere graphics could debut as early as next week at the GTC show as part of an effort to catch up to rival AMD, which announced a competing 7nm Radeon GPU earlier this year.

From Air to Pro, here are the best MacBook deals for March 2019

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.
Emerging Tech

It’s not time travel, but scientists can turn back clock on a quantum computer

Physicists have demonstrated that they can wind back the clock on a quantum computer a fraction of a second. Don't get too excited about the prospect of human time travel any time soon, though.

Western Digital’s $55 solid-state drive gives new life to your aging PC

Western Digital is hoping that you'll pick up one of its affordable WD Blue SN500 solid-state drives to give your aging PC more storage and a speed boost. WD's NVMe-based drives are up to three times faster than older SATA SSDs.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Give your discs some extra life by watching DVDs and Blu-rays on Windows 10

Popped a disc into your Windows machine but feel lost without Media Center? You're not alone. But don't fret, with just a few tips you can learn how to watch DVDs and Blu-rays for free in Windows 10 in no time.

Walmart slices price on Canon ImageClass MF232W Wi-Fi laser printer

If you don’t need color printing, a monochrome laser printer like the Canon ImageClass MF232W can save you a lot of time and money. This beefy all-in-one Wi-Fi printer is on sale from Walmart for almost half off, letting you score it for…

Is 14 inches the perfect size for a laptop? These 4 laptops might convince you

If you're looking for the best 14-inch laptops, there are a number of factors to consider. You want good battery life, an attractive screen, solid performance, and a good build. Our favorites that do all that and more.

Get Corsair’s best mechanical keyboard at a decent discount

From March 17 to 23, you can get one of the best mechanical keyboards around at a great price. The Corsair K95 RGB Platinum is normally $200, but this week you can pick one up from Amazon for $160.

Need more from your conference white board? The Surface Hub 2 should have it

The Surface Hub 2 could be the most expensive whiteboard ever made, but it should be a powerful and capable one. With the ability to connect several of the 50-inch displays together, the picture at least, should be gorgeous.

Teens using Google Docs as the modern version of passing notes in class

Google Docs is reportedly being used by teens as a secret communications app. Instead of passing notes, students are now using the software's live chat function or comment boxes to talk with their friends while in the middle of classes.
Emerging Tech

A.I.-generated text is supercharging fake news. This is how we fight back

A new A.I. tool is reportedly able to spot passages of text written by algorithm. Here's why similar systems might prove essential in a world of fake news created by smart machines.