Intel Releases Production-Ready OpenGL 4.4 Driver, But Only For Windows

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 9 September 2015 at 03:49 PM EDT. 7 Comments
While there's been an Intel OpenGL 4.4 Windows driver available for the latest HD/Iris Graphics hardware since earlier this year, it seems out now is their first production driver release for Windows 7 / 8.1 / 10 that supports OpenGL 4.4 for all their capable hardware that includes Skylake.

A Phoronix reader pointed out today's new release: Intel Iris, Iris Pro, and HD Graphics Production Driver for Windows 7, 8.1, 10. The release notes mention the new features:
- Support for the new 6th Generation Intel Core processors (& related Pentium processors) with Intel HD
Graphics 500 series, including support for Microsoft Windows.

- Support and certification for the OpenGL 4.4 API on 5th and 6th Generation Intel Core processors. 4th Generation Intel Core processors will continue to support the OpenGL 4.3 API
So aside from upping their Skylake driver to a production driver status, there's also the certified OpenGL 4.4 support for Skylake and Broadwell hardware, while the earlier hardware still taps out at OpenGL 4.3.

Meanwhile, over on the Linux side, is OpenGL 3.3 support... With the Mesa 11.0 release due out in the next few days is the first core Mesa support for OpenGL 4.0 through 4.2 and the RadeonSI and Nouveau NVC0 drivers expose OpenGL 4.1 compliance. Sadly, Intel is left at OpenGL 3.3 along with the R600g and Nouveau NV50 drivers. This is a pity with numerous Steam Linux games now making use of OpenGL 4 extensions.

Blocking Intel from OpenGL 4.0 is ARB_gpu_shader_fp64 support and ARB_tessellation_shader support. The only extension blocking Intel from OpenGL 4.1 support is ARB_vertex_attrib_64bit while all the GL 4.2 changes are already done.

So ideally in time for the Mesa 11.0 successor release, which is another three months down the road (December), there will be OpenGL 4.2 for Intel's Linux driver at long last. However, there's still a lot of functionality needed to be implemented in Mesa for OpenGL 4.3 and 4.4 (as well as 4.5) and that won't come until at least sometime in 2016. OpenGL 4.2 was released in August 2011.

Well, at least we're still counting on a same-day Intel Vulkan Linux driver release.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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