While a huge number of netbooks released over the past year are equipped with Intel Atom N270 or N280 processors and integrated GMA 950 graphics, Intel also offers another chipset that shows up in a handful of netbooks and mini-laptops. For instance, the Dell Inspiron Mini and Sony Vaio P both use Intel Atom Z520/530 processors and integrated GMA 500 graphics.

While Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 500 offers hardware video acceleration for decoding a handful of video formats including MPEG-2 and VC-1. But the truth is, most users have noticed they get better graphics and video performance with the Atom N270/GMA 950 chipset than the Atom Z5xx/GMA 500 chipset. And that’s not surprising, since the latter users less power than the former.

But Intel has released an updated driver for computers using the US15 chipset, which seems to cover machines with GMA 500 graphics. And a number of Sony Vaio P users are reporting that the update brings much better video and graphics performance. Windows Vista’s Aero interface appears to be more responsive, videos play back more smoothly, and even the web browsing experience gets a boost.

There is a minor catch. The driver only works under Windows Vista and Windows 7. There’s no support for Windows XP.

In somewhat related news, Asus has posted an updated video driver for Eee PC 1000H series netbooks that increases the amount of available video memory from 128MB to 224MB.

via Portable Monkey

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7 replies on “Updated driver for Intel GMA 500 graphics brings performance boost”

  1. i tried it multiple times, but the driver seemed to already be installed on my computer (acer aspire one 751h). after a while, i found some random forum about the gma 500. somebody in the forum suggested that the driver contained a typo, which made it appear older than the previous driver. i downloaded it, and when the window popped up telling me that it was an older version, i clicked the button to install it anyway. sure enough, it works great. i can now play youtube in high quality on FULL SCREEN, with little to no lag.

      1. the update is in the intel site. try googling “gma 500 update” and click the link to the intel web site. should bring you right to it. if not, go to the intel site directly and try to get it using their way.

  2. I don’t see that driver update. All the drivers I see have a time stamp of 2008.

    Oh wait, I see it. It isn’t a video driver, it’s a BIOS update.

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