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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.

How do you optimize games to run best on integrated Intel graphics? Easy! Just turn all the detail settings to low. Ba-dum-bum.

That old axiom isn't accurate anymore, though. And a deep, newly announced partnership between Intel and Raptr aims to help gamers with modest PCs squeeze every possible ounce of power out of Intel's better-than-you-think graphics, using Raptr's tried-and-tested optimization technology. The hookup also brings additional headache-relieving, game-enhancing features to the hundreds of millions of people using PCs with Intel integrated graphics.  

More performance from the gear you already own? This Raptr-Intel partnership is already singing my tune. Let's dig in.

Intel Graphics rising

Sure, AMD's Radeon-infused APUs tend to receive the most attention when it comes to integrated graphics, but Intel's been quietly powering-up the visuals in its processors for several years now.

Intel has been devoting more and more space in its Core chips to graphics processors in recent years — especially in high-end models with beefier Iris and Iris Pro graphics capabilities. The net result: It's often possible to play many modern games on Intel integrated graphics these days, from less-beefy titles like DOTA 2 and League of Legends all the way to somewhat heftier games like Skyrim and Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

But doing so requires carefully managing game settings to ensure that your game session doesn't suck, brought low by poor performance or low-res graphics.

"When it comes to things like optimizations and trying to squeeze every bit of performance out of a PC, it's the people who actually have the mid- to low-end systems that actually need the most help," Raptr CEO Dennis Fong told me in a phone interview — but those people are actually less likely to go in and tinker with settings than enthusiasts with more potent firepower available, he says.

That's where Intel's new partnership with Raptr comes in.

Raptr <3 Intel

As of today, Raptr's hardware support is expanding beyond AMD and Nvidia to embrace Intel's technology, as well, letting gamers with integrated graphics automatically optimize game performance with a mere mouse click.

But this is more than gaming software simply enabled with new hardware support: It's a true partnership. Starting today, Intel will start heavily promoting Raptr, even launching a Raptr section on the main Intel website. What's more, Raptr software should start to appear bundled on all new Intel-powered PCs in the coming months, according to Fong — with the caveat that individual hardware makers (like Dell and Lenovo) will have final say on whether or not Raptr winds up preinstalled on PCs.

Raptr's optimization engine leans on data gleaned from Intel and AMD's internal labs and massive performance databases. (Raptr also powers AMD's Gaming Evolved client.) It then augments that data with machine learning and crowdsourced hardware info from its 40 million-plus users to offer more precise — and timely — settings recommendations.


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