Intel Updates Sandy Bridge Graphics Driversby Andrew Cunningham on February 7, 2012 6:15 PM EST
Intel has posted versions 18.104.22.16822 (32-bit) and 22.214.171.124.2622 (64-bit) of its drivers for the Intel HD-series lineup of integrated graphics processors, which includes both Sandy Bridge and older Nehalem-based chips in both desktop and laptop computers. The drivers are available for all editions of Windows Vista and Windows 7.
Of the Big Three players in the graphics market, Intel is the most erratic about its driver releases - their last generic driver was posted way back in September, and while that driver brought a good number of performance improvements and bug fixes, Intel's latest and greatest fixes just three documented issues: a crashing issue with a program called Interstage Studio Standard J-edition, an issue where the driver would change the refresh rate while on battery power, and an issue where content would appear strangely when rewound. Not terribly exciting, given the wait, but I'm sure that the people experiencing those problems are grateful for the fixes.
As always, Intel notes that these are generic drivers which may or may not be missing features present in the drivers provided by OEMs. I've never had issues using generic Intel drivers on any of my machines, from homemade desktops to OEM laptops to Macs running Windows, but your mileage may vary.