The topic of Intel’s fiery Ivy Bridge CPU is one we’ve raised in the past. Unfortunately, other than buy a cooling pad and performing limited software tweaks, there’s not a lot you can do to keep temperatures under control. Intel, fortunately, is still finding ways to optimise its drivers, with its next update for its graphics hardware packing some impressive improvements.
The update, sporting version number 15.31, is expected to arrive next week, according to this story over at Legit Reviews. Intel made the announcement during a talk at this year’s Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco.
Legit managed to get a snapshot of the slide containing specific details on what the driver improves. It's not a long list, but it is a good one:
Latest driver (15.31) architected [sic] for Low-Power
* Built for HSW [Haswell], but now available of IVB [Ivy Bridge]
* Balances CPU and GPU utilization to improve performance up to 10% and lower power simultaneously
* Support for OpenCL 1.2
Seeing as the GPU is integrated on the die, any heat it produces is going to influence the CPU and vice versa. So getting the balance right between these components would certainly have an impact on temperatures. And you don't have to be playing games to put the GPU under stress -- with hardware-acceleration a part of desktop environments, browsers, video playback and Flash, Ivy Bridge's HD4000 definitely pushes its fair share of vertices and pixels.
Once the drivers are released, I'll try and perform some tests on my UX32VD, both for heat output and performance. It might be the case that they'll show more gains on Haswell, but we're still a few months out from seeing systems based on the chip, so Ivy Bridge will have to do!