Paul Alcorn over at Tom’s Hardware had a very interesting story up today. The driver update for Kaby Lake G – something that has been in limbo for 14 months, is finally out but with a twist: it came not from Intel but from AMD. The partnership between the two companies for the Hades Canyon iGPU was revolutionary and unexpected, but when Intel started to pursue its own Xe ambitions – what little amicability there was between the two rivals quickly evaporated. Intel stopped issuing graphics updates for the Hades Canyon NUC in February 2019, and after 14 months, it seems users finally have a GPU driver to upgrade to – and it comes from AMD.
Intel releases driver update to Kaby Lake G: PDF instructions to head over to AMD’s portal and download the latest Adrenaline 2020 drivers
Intel’s Kaby Lake G, the processor inside Intel’s NUC 8 series (informally known as Hades Canyon) was quite a success as far as reception goes. Combining an Intel CPU with an AMD GPU (the RX Vega M), it went on to win awards and the partnership appeared to be successful; maybe too successful because just a few months later, Intel would go on to announce its own GPU ambitions and put the Kaby Lake G partnership with AMD beyond recovery. Kaby Lake G, as the child of this divorce, appears to have been neglected when Intel decided to focus entirely on its Xe side of things during February 2019.
The result? Intel NUC 8 owners no longer received any game support or day zero updates. Fast forward 14 months, Intel appears to have finally released an update – which is a PDF that points users to head on over to AMD’s website and download the latest Adrenaline 2020 drivers for the Vega 64 (which I assume are entirely compatible with the RX Vega M).
It is worth adding that Intel still requires its HD Graphics driver to be installed alongside Adrenaline 2020 for the setup to work – and this workaround likely would have worked before they released this PDF as well. I am also fairly certain the enthusiast community and the modding crowd would have figured this out a long time ago and it’s only the layman that will truly benefit from this notification. AMD usually finds itself on the right side of community affairs and has an almost unshakeable knack for perfect PR – and this seems to be one of the biggest wins I have seen.
Of course, I can’t really fault Intel here either as it makes sense for AMD to be the one providing the GPU driver update considering the RX Vega M utilizes GCN and is completely compatible with their Adrenaline drivers but the irony isn’t lost on us enthusiasts. The good news is, with Adrenaline compatibility, Intel’s NUC will probably get the latest driver updates consistently for quite a few years now because if there is one thing AMD is known for, its driver fine wine.