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Intel, Raptr join forces to give modest PCs a headache-free boost in gaming performance

Brad Chacos | March 6, 2015
How do you optimize games to run best on integrated Intel graphics? Easy! Just turn all the detail settings to low. Ba-dum-bum.

"We use the crowdsourcing and machine learning to make [optimizations] way, way better," says Fong. "As we know from talking to AMD and Intel, they do a lot of work up front with the developers to optimize games for their hardware, but once they move on from that game they never revisit it. So after a length of time, the optimized recommended settings [from Intel and AMD's data] aren't really optimal anymore. We employ crowd sourcing and machine learning to evolve with the times."

Raptr sent an example of what Intel gamers can expect to gain by using its software. On a HP Envy X360 laptop with Intel's Core i5 chipset (presumably packing Intel's integrated HD Graphics 4400), Counter-Strike: Global Offensive averaged 69 frames per second with the default game settings — albeit with some pretty low-res textures and an abysmally low resolution.

Using Raptr's frame-rate focused Performance setting upped the frame rate to 75fps. Utilizing the Quality setting, which maximizes visual fidelity while keeping frame rates above 30fps, gave the game a far smoother look (compare the wood boards of the building with the default setting's jagged edges) at 38fps. Raptr's Balanced setting, well, balanced between fidelity and raw performance, settling in at 53fps while offering fewer jaggies and more defined textures than the default.

Note that the Quality and Balanced settings also use higher resolutions than the default and Performance settings, as well.

But wait, there's more

Beyond optimizations, the software will also help gamers keep their Intel graphics drivers up-to-date. Raptr's also adding support for Intel's Quick Sync technology to help Intel-based gamers record and stream gameplay footage with a minuscule 3 percent average performance hit.

"You're not going to get a better performing experience with video capture and streaming on an Intel platform than with Raptr," Fong says. The hardware-accelerated video encoding will work with all Ivy Bridge or newer chips.

All of this should sound familiar to existing Raptr users, or to people who use AMD's self-branded, but Raptr-powered Gaming Evolved client. What does AMD think about Raptr joining forces with Intel, anyway?

"AMD... isn't unhappy with this relationship, because they see the trickle down effect this could have on the industry and how it could impact AMD," says Fong. "Anything that's good for PC gaming and makes the experience better helps everybody." The idea is that people will catch the hard-to-shake gaming fever after dipping their toes in using Raptr optimization on Intel systems, then eventually invest in additional gaming hardware in the future.

Unlike the Gaming Evolved client bundled with AMD hardware, the Intel partnership lets Raptr stand alone as its own brand.

Want to start using Raptr's software to power-up your Intel-based rig? Head over to Raptr's website and grab the client for free today. The newfound Intel support should already be enabled by the time you read this.

 

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