Graphics
Graphics
Windows Vista* Support FAQ

What is WDDM?
How do I get Intel® Graphics Drivers for Windows Vista* that support WDDM?
Does Intel offer WDDM graphics drivers for the Intel® 910 and 915 Express Chipset families?
Why is Windows Aero* not working?
What does “Windows Vista Capable PC” mean?
Which Intel integrated graphics support Microsoft Windows Vista Capable PCs?
What does “Windows Vista Premium Ready” mean?
Which Intel integrated graphics support Microsoft Windows Vista Premium Ready PCs?

What is WDDM?
WDDM is an acronym for the Microsoft Windows* Display Driver Model. The Microsoft Windows Vista operating system supports two driver models: WDDM and the XP Display Driver Model (XPDM or XDDM). Drivers based on WDDM provide the 3D graphical Windows Aero* user interface experience. XPDM drivers supply a user interface that visually resembles the Windows XP/2000* user interface, but they do not support the Windows Aero desktop theme or user interface.

Related topics
Microsoft Information: Windows Display Driver Model
Windows Aero* FAQ

How do I get Intel Graphics Drivers for Windows Vista that support WDDM?
Starting with the Intel® 945 Express Chipset Families, graphics drivers are available for Windows Vista and support WDDM.

The best resource for the latest graphics driver is your computer or motherboard manufacturer. Generic versions of the Intel Graphics Drivers are available to you. But, your computer or motherboard manufacturer could have altered the features, incorporated customizations, or made other changes to the graphics driver software or software packaging to support your computer. Intel recommends downloading the latest driver from your computer or motherboard manufacturer to avoid potential problems. Some computer manufacturers offer latest graphics drivers through Microsoft's Windows Update.

If you choose not to use your computer manufacturer's validated driver and want to try the Intel generic driver, use the Intel® Driver Update Utility to find the latest driver available for your computer. If available, this utility offers a download link to install the new driver. If the utility detects a customized computer or motherboard manufacturer graphics driver is installed, see Customized computer manufacturer graphics driver is detected.

If you experience an issue while using the generic driver, Intel recommends uninstalling the generic driver and reinstalling the validated driver from your computer or motherboard manufacturer.

If you have the older Intel® 810, 815, 845, 852, 855, or 865 Chipset or Intel® 910 or 915 Express Chipset, your integrated graphics controller may support Windows Vista by using XPDM drivers. See Older Intel Graphics Controllers and Windows Vista FAQ.

Related topic
How to identify your Intel® Graphics Controller?

Does Intel offer the WDDM graphics driver for the Intel® 910 and 915 Express Chipset Families?

The graphics architecture and design of the Intel® 910 and 915 Express Chipset Families with the Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 900 or Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 900 (Intel® GMA 900) graphics engine was finalized before Microsoft released the WDDM specifications. These hardware limitations in the Intel® GMA 900 architecture constrained the graphics performance and memory capabilities when attempting to run WDDM on Windows Vista.

Hardware limitations of Intel® GMA 900 include the lack of a large enough memory table to support a Windows Aero user interface. This interface is a key feature that is part of WDDM driver support. The result is the graphics memory usage is not optimized for Windows Aero performance. Also, the lack of native hardware support in the Intel® GMA 900 for Windows Vista dynamic memory management results in slower graphics performance and a suboptimal user experience with Windows Aero.

With these identified limitations, Intel® GMA 900-based graphics systems do not meet the performance requirements for Windows Aero user interface of Windows Vista. Intel addressed these hardware limitations with the Desktop and Mobile Intel® 945 Express Chipset Families.

Starting with the Intel 945 Express Chipset Families (Intel GMA 950), Intel Graphics Drivers for Windows Vista fully support WDDM and the Windows Aero user interface.

Why is Windows Aero* not working?
For troubleshooting help, see Windows Aero FAQ

What does “Windows Vista Capable PC” mean?
Microsoft defines a Windows Vista Capable PC as:
“A new PC that carries the Windows Vista Capable PC logo can run Windows Vista. Some features available in the premium editions of Windows Vista—like the new Windows Aero user experience—may require advanced or added hardware.”

For information on the Windows Vista Capable PC program, contact Microsoft or visit the Microsoft News Center.

Which Intel integrated graphics support Microsoft Windows Vista Capable PCs?
Microsoft lists the following three criteria for the Windows Vista Capable PC program:

  • System must use a "modern CPU" with a footnote: “Processor speed is specified as the nominal operational processor frequency for the device. Some processors have power management that allows the processor to run at a lower rate to save power.”
  • 512 MB of system memory.
  • The graphics processing unit (GPU) supporting Microsoft DirectX* 9.

Following the criteria below, computers, running the following Intel integrated graphics and at least 512 MB of system memory, meet the requirements for the Microsoft Windows Vista Capable PC program:

  • Intel® 915G Express Chipset
  • Mobile Intel® 915GM Express Chipset
  • Intel® 945 Express Chipset
  • Mobile Intel® 945 Express Chipset
  • Intel® 946GZ Express Chipsets
  • Intel® 965 Express Chipset
  • Mobile Intel® 965 Express Chipset
  • Intel® G31, G33, G35, Q33, and Q35 Express Chipsets
  • Intel® G41, G43, G45, Q43, and Q45 Express Chipsets
  • Mobile Intel® 4 Series Express Chipset
  • Intel® HD Graphics

What does “Windows Vista Premium Ready PC” mean?
For information on the Windows Vista Premium Ready PC program, contact Microsoft or visit the Microsoft News Center.

Which Intel integrated graphics support Microsoft Windows Vista Premium Ready PCs?
Microsoft lists the following criteria must be met for the Microsoft Windows Vista Premium Ready PC program:

  • 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor (processor speed is specified as the nominal operational processor frequency for the device. Some processors have power management which allows the processor to run at lower rate to save power).
  • 1 GB of system memory.
  • Support for DirectX* 9 graphics with a WDDM driver, minimum 128 MB of graphics memory (if the GPU uses shared memory, then no additional graphics memory is required beyond the 1 GB system memory requirement), Pixel Shader 2.0 and 32 bits per pixel.
  • 40 GB of hard drive capacity with 15 GB free space.
  • DVD-ROM Drive (DVD-ROM may be external).
  • Audio output capability.
  • Internet access capability.

Following the criteria below, computers that use the following Intel integrated graphics, when configured with memory devices of adequate amount and speed, meet the graphics requirements for the Microsoft Windows Vista Premium Ready PC program:

  • Intel® 945 Express Chipset Family
  • Mobile Intel® 945 Express Chipset Family
  • Intel® 946GZ Express Chipsets
  • Intel® 965 Express Chipset Family
  • Mobile Intel® 965 Express Chipset Family
  • Intel® G31, G33, G35, Q33, and Q35 Express Chipsets
  • Intel® G41, G43, G45, Q43, and Q45 Express Chipsets
  • Mobile Intel® 4 Series Express Chipset Family
  • Intel® HD Graphics

This applies to:

2nd Generation Intel® Core™ Processors with Intel® HD Graphics 3000/2000
Intel® 82915G/82910GL Express Chipset Family
Intel® 82945G Express Chipset
Intel® 82946GZ Graphics Controller
Intel® 82G965 Graphics and Memory Controller Hub (GMCH)
Intel® 82Q963 Graphics and Memory Controller Hub (GMCH)
Intel® 82Q965 Graphics and Memory Controller Hub (GMCH)
Intel® B43 Express Chipset
Intel® Celeron® Processors with Intel® HD Graphics
Intel® Core™ Processors with Intel® HD Graphics
Intel® G33 Express Chipset
Intel® G35 Express Chipset
Intel® G41 Express Chipset
Intel® G43 Express Chipset
Intel® G45 Express Chipset
Intel® Pentium® Processors with Intel® HD Graphics
Intel® Q33 Express Chipset
Intel® Q35 Express Chipset
Intel® Q43 Express Chipset
Intel® Q45 Express Chipset
Mobile Intel® 4 Series Express Chipset Family
Mobile Intel® 915GM/GMS, 910GML Express Chipset Family
Mobile Intel® 945GM Express Chipset Family
Mobile Intel® 965 Express Chipset Family

Solution ID: CS-023606
Last Modified: 31-Jan-2014
Date Created: 02-Nov-2006