Intel HD Graphics: The Ultimate Guide to Improve Performance

A couple of years back, gaming on Intel HD Graphics wasn’t a very good experience.

The performance of Intel’s Integrated Graphics was seriously poor back then. Even today, they’re far from the low-end dedicated GPUs, but still good enough for casual gaming.

In this guide, we will discuss and analyze the performance of Intel Graphics Generation by Generation and how the HD, UHD, and the Intel Iris Graphics differ.

I’m also going to reveal some secret methods through which you enhance their performance. This will result in better FPS in gaming and better performance in applications like Solidworks, AutoCAD, Unity and for Video Editing.

In the following table of contents, you can see all the topics that we are going to cover today.

Before moving any further, let’s check out the Pros. and Cons. of Integrated Graphics Cards.

Pros. and Cons. of Using Integrated Graphics

Pros
  • Decent General Performance
  • Can Run most Games at Lowest settings
  • Low Power Consumption
  • Good Enough for General Tasks
Cons
  • Not Good for Gaming
  • Not Good for Video Editing
  • Graphics Quality is Average
  • Uses System’s RAM for Video Memory

Even though they are not exactly made to give excellent performance, they low battery consumption makes them suitable for Laptops.

Also, in case of PCs, you’ll not require a high-end PSU if you’re only planning to stick with an Integrated GPU.

The performance in games is below-average but yes, you can play most of the games at the lowest graphics settings and display resolution. Even if we keep the FPS aside for a moment, the graphics quality isn’t great. If you compare two screens side-by-side, you will clearly see the difference between an Integrated and a Dedicated GPU.

For general usage such as 4K Video Playback, they’re an excellent choice. But for Video Editing and Rendering, they’re way too slow. Lastly, they do not have any Video memory of their own. They use your Computer’s RAM for their Video Memory.

      Can we Run Games on Intel HD Graphics?

Well, see for yourself.

Video Credits: RandomGaminginHD

In this Video, he tested the 6th Generation Intel HD 510 paired up with a Pentium G4400 & 8 GB RAM. In the 6th Gen lineup, it is one of the weakest Integrated GPU and yet it can run GTA V, Skyrim, Dota 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. That sounds awesome, doesn’t it?

But are they good enough?

This is a much better question. You already might be thinking that why do we actually need a Dedicated Graphics when we can already run most of the games. The thing is that the same rules don’t apply to the new and upcoming games that require a much better Graphics Accelerator. Also, these iGPUs aren’t future proof. You can’t expect them to run games that will be launching 2 years later.

And even if you manage to run these new games, you’ll be able to do it only at lowest preset and resolution. And even then, you cannot guarantee more than 30 frames-per-second.

Here’s a gameplay video of Far Cry 5 which I recently tested on my Laptop which has the 7th Generation Intel HD Graphics 620. This game is being played at the lowest settings available and the game is not playable at all.

Well, without screen recording, the FPS was a little higher but still, it was not playable. If you wanted to play Far Cry 5 on Intel’s Integrated GPU, there are a few optimizations that we can do. I’ll show the whole process step by step later in this article.

      Integrated vs Dedicated GPU

An Integrated GPU is the one which is a part of the Processor and shares the System’s Memory with the Processor. It is also referred to as onboard graphics.

The majority of the Computer Processors have an Integrated GPU (Ryzen 1st Gen Processors do not have one). Integrated Graphics Processing Units are a cost-effective solution. They do not consume too much power and yet they can drive your system’s display and all the graphics intensive tasks that you do on your computer. They share your computer’s RAM and use it as a Video Memory. So, it is highly recommended to have at least 8GB RAM if you’re gaming on Integrated Graphics.

The Dedicated Graphics Cards, on the other hand, are not a part of the Processor. They’re inserted on the Motherboard’s PCI-Express Slot. They cost a lot more but the performance of dedicated GPUs is far superior. Also, they have their own Video memory. Hence, they do not consume the RAM. Some of the popular Dedicated Graphics Cards are from the Nvidia GeForce and AMD Radeon series. A dedicated GPU is also called a discrete GPU.

Guess what? One of the cheapest Dedicated GPU the GT 1030 costs less than a hundred dollars and is way more powerful than the Integrated GPUs.

      Intel HD vs UHD vs Iris Graphics

The Intel HD, UHD, and Iris are simply three different series of Integrated Graphics based on their performance.

Intel HD is an Integrated Graphics Card series by Intel which was announced in 2010 with the Intel’s new Core Series of Processors. This was the first generation of Intel HD Graphics. Starting from 2010 to 2017, Intel has relaunched the HD series every year with their new generation of Processors. And with every year, we have seen improvements in their performance.

Intel UHD was first announced in late 2017 with the launch of Intel’s 8th Generation Coffee Lake Processors. This series is the successor to the HD Series. HD and UHD have their usual meanings, i.e. High-Definition and Ultra High-Definition.

Even though only the 8th Generation GPUs come in the category of UHD, even the previous generations Graphics Processors support 4K Displays. So, don’t let the names confuse you. It is better to check the official specification to confirm whether 4K Display is supported or not.

Now coming to Iris Graphics, it is the most powerful series of Integrated Graphics. Intel launched the Iris series for the first time in 2013. Iris Graphics are only limited to a few processors and are generally found in MacBooks. The Iris Graphics are further divided into Iris Plus and Iris Pro. The Iris Pro Graphics deliver better performance than the Iris Plus ones.

      Intel Integrated Graphics Hierarchy

I’ve classified the list of Intel Graphics based on their generations. Thus, it will make it easier to search and find out how it compares with the rest of them.

There are a few things that you should know before moving further.

Architecture: Processors from the same generation can be based on multiple Intel Architectures. For example: In 8th Generation, most of the processors have either the Kaby Lake-R architecture or the Coffee Lake architecture. However, there are also a few Pentium and Celeron chips in 8th Gen based on the Goldmont Plus architecture.

Performance Tier: On the basis of their performance, I’ve divided the GPUs into 3 tiers: Low, Medium, and High. You’ll need at least a Medium Tier iGPU for a decent gaming experience.

Max GFLOPS: GigaFLOPS is a measure of how many billions of floating-point calculations it can perform in a second. Yes, it may contribute to the performance of a GPU is but it doesn’t directly imply how will be the performance in 3D applications and gaming. But the PassMark score may give a better idea of its 3D Performance.

Processor List: There are multiple processors having the same type of GPU. You can look out for your processor in this list to find out which GPU do you have.

8th Generation Intel HD Graphics

In the 8th Generation, instead of using new names for the GPUs, they only replaced HD with UHD. The following eight different GPUs are present in the 8th Generation. The Iris Plus Graphics 655 is most likely to be used in the upcoming MacBook Pro. In popular Processors for PC and Laptop, you’re most likely to see either UHD Graphics 630 and 620. While for the low-end processors, UHD Graphics 610 will be more common.

When compared to the previous generation, there’s not any huge improvement in the performance. There are only a few minor changes that should give you a slight FPS boost in gaming.

ArchitectureNamePerformance TierBase Clock Frequency Max GFLOPSProcessor List
Coffee LakeIris Plus Graphics 655High-End300 MHz921.6i3-8109U, i5-8259U, i5-8269U, i7-8559U
Coffee Lake/Kaby Lake-RefreshUHD Graphics 630Medium350 MHz460.8Pentium Gold G5500, i3-8100, i5-8400, i7-8700, i7-8700k and more
UHD Graphics 620300 MHz441.6 i3-8130U, i5-8250U, i5-8350U, i7-8550U, i7-8650U
UHD Graphics 610Low-End350 MHz201.6Celeron G4900, G4900T, G4920, Pentium Gold G5400 & G5400T
Goldmont PlusUHD Graphics 605 200/250 MHz230.4Pentium Silver J5005 & N5000
UHD Graphics 600 200/250 MHz144.0Celeron J4000, J4005, J4100 & J4105

The UHD 620 and 630 are two of the most powerful Graphics Processors Intel has ever launched (if we keep the Iris series aside). And yes, they definitely can run most of the PC Games at low settings on 720p. You might even succeed in running 2-3-year-old games at 1080p resolution.

First-Person Shooter Games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Overwatch can run without any hiccups. You can even play GTA V with ease. Battle Royale Games like H1Z1, Fortnite, and PUBG will run just fine as well. Here are the PassMark scores of 8th Generation Intel HD Graphics.

PassMark Score

The PassMark is one of the benchmarking tools used to determine how well these GPUs perform. Even this may not accurately reflect the gaming performance, but it can give us a good idea of the performance difference of these GPUs.

FPS in Games

Here is a chart that shows the average Frames-Per-Second in popular Games like CS:GO, Fortnite, Dota 2 and GTA 5.

The Display resolution in Fortnite, Dota 2 and Grand Theft Auto V is 720p while in case of Counter-Strike, it is 1080p. The Graphics Settings are set to Low/Medium. With these results, we can conclude that these 4 games are playable without any issues.

Most of the other games with similar system requirements can be played as well.

Note: We have used 8GB DDR4 RAM for the above benchmarks. If your system has less than 8GB Memory, the FPS might be lower.

7th Generation Intel HD Graphics

With the 7th Generation Kaby Lake Processors, Intel did some significant improvements in the Graphics Department. The HD 630 & 620 can run the majority of the gaming titles if not all. Except for the extreme performance demanding games, you will have a good experience. Again, you cannot go above 720p in most of the games.

ArchitectureNamePerformance TierBase Clock Frequency Max GFLOPSProcessor List
Kaby LakeIris Plus Graphics 650High-End300 MHz883.2i3-7167U, i5-7267U, i5-7287U, i7- 7567U
Iris Plus Graphics 640806.4 i5-7260U, i5-7360U, i7-7560U, i7-7660U
HD Graphics 630Medium350 MHz441.6i5-7300HQ, i7-7700HQ, Pentium G4600, i3-7100, i3-7300, i5-7400, i5-7500, i7-7700, i7-7700K and more
HD Graphics 620300 MHz403.2i3-7100U, i3-7130U, i5-7200U, i5-7300U, i7-7500U, i7-7600U
HD Graphics 615403.2Pentium 4410Y, m3-7Y30, m3-7Y32, i5-7Y54, i5-7Y57, i7-7Y75
HD Graphics 610Low-End211.2Celeron 3865U, 3965U, G3930, G3930T, G3950 & Pentium 4415U, G4560, G4560T

In the 7th Generation, all the Processors are based on the same architecture, i.e. Kaby Lake. Well, the most common ones that we should find are the HD 630 & 620. The HD 620 can be generally found on $500-$800 Laptops. Even the low-end HD Graphics 610 got popular due to the high-sales of Pentium G4560. But it is a lot weaker as compared to the rest of the GPUs in this section.

PassMark Score

If you compare this score with their 6th Generation counterparts, you’ll observe that there is a decent amount of improvement over the last generation.

FPS in Games

Just like the Passmark score, in most of the games, there is a slight improvement of 5-10 FPS on average.

6th Generation Intel HD Graphics

The 6th Generation was again one of those years where we did see some advancements in the Intel’s Integrated Graphics. The 6th Generation is divided into two architectures: Skylake & Goldmont. And the number of iGPUs Intel launched this year was big. The Iris Pro Graphics 580 is one of the best GPUs Intel has launched till date.

ArchitectureNamePerformance TierBase Clock Frequency Max GFLOPSProcessor List
SkylakeIris Pro Graphics 580Extreme High-End350 MHz1152 i5-6350HQ, i7-6770HQ, i7-6870HQ, i7-6970HQ, i5-6585R, i5-6685R, i7-6785R
Iris Graphics 550High-End300 MHz844.8i3-6157U, i3-6167U, i5-6267U, i5-6287U, i7-6567U
Iris Graphics 540806.4i5-6260U, i5-6360U, i7-6560U, i7-6650U, i7-6660U
HD Graphics 530 

Medium

350 MHz441.6i3-6100H, i5-6300HQ, i5-6440HQ, i7-6700HQ, i7-6820HQ, Pentium G4500, i3-6100, i3-6300, i5-6400, i5-6500, i5-6600K, i7-6700K and more
HD Graphics 520300 MHz403.2i3-6006U, i3-6100U, i5-6200U, i5-6300U, i7-6500U, i7-6600U
HD Graphics 515384Pentium 4405Y, m3-6Y30, m5-6Y54, m5-6Y57, m7-6Y75
HD Graphics 510Low-End182.4Celeron 3855U, 3955U, G3900W, G3902E, G3900m G3900T & Pentium 4405U, G4400, G4400T, i3-6098P, i5-6402P
GoldmontHD Graphics 505230.4Pentium N4200, J4205
HD Graphics 500144.0Celeron N3450, N3350, J3455, J3355

Compared to the 7th and 8th Gen, these aren’t too bad either. Most of the popular games like Overwatch, Rocket League, GTA 5, CS: GO, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim can be played without any hassles. However, you’ll need at least HD 515 or any GPU powerful than it. The gaming experience won’t be too good on HD 510 and below.

PassMark Score

Compared to the 5th Generation Broadwell, the performance has significantly improved.

FPS in Games

Even with the 6th Generation CPUs, most of your daily games will work great. The FPS on Tomb Raider (2013) and Skyrim is great. However, as I said earlier, the HD 510 can struggle with some of the games. And this can be clearly be seen with an average FPS of 22 on GTA 5.

      How to Identify which Intel Graphics You Have

There are multiple methods to find out which Integrated Graphics you have.

Method 1

The simplest method is to search for your Processor’s name in the above list. But if you’re not sure which Processor you have, Right Click on This PC/My Computer and Select Properties.

You will see the following screen next.

This PC Properties (CPU Name)

As we can see, this indicates that I have the Intel Core i5-7200U Processor. Now, look up for 7200U in the above hierarchy section to identify which GPU it does have. You don’t actually have to go through this long list. Just press Ctrl+F on your browser and type 7200U. And the result for my query, in this case, will be Intel HD Graphics 620.

Method 2

In this method follow the steps shown in Method 1 to reach to the Properties section of This PC.

1) Now Click on the Device Manager from the Properties of My Computer. It will take you to the Device Manager.

2) Click on the bracket (>) of Display Adapters to expand the list.

Display Adapters in Device Manager

This indicated that there are two Graphics Cards in my system. And the Integrated GPU that we are looking for is the Intel HD Graphics 620.

Method 3

If the other two methods didn’t work out for you due to some reason. Here’s another way to find out the same.

1) Open Run by Pressing Win Key+R.

2) Type dxdiag and Press Enter. This is the DirectX Diagnostic Tool. On this Screen, you’ll be able to see a lot of details of your system.

3) On the top, you should see multiple tabs like System, Display, Sound, etc. Click on the Display Tab.

DirectX Diagnostic Tool GPU Name

Here, you can see that the name of your Integrated Graphics Card is clearly mentioned.

      Performance in Gaming

Let’s have another look at the gaming performance of Intel HD Graphics. Here are two gaming videos. One belongs to the latest Intel UHD Graphics 630 which is used in the 8th Generation Processors. The second video is of Intel HD Graphics 620 and that GPU can be found in the Notebook Processors of 7th Generation. Keep in mind that UHD 630 is one of the best Integrated Graphics Card we have so far. If a game is working on it at 20 FPS, the same game might be unplayable in HD 620, HD 610 or any other lower GPU.

Gaming on UHD 630

Video Credits: Testing Games

As you can see that heavy games Battlefield 1, The Witcher 3 and Mafia 3 are playable at lowest settings. Of course, the FPS will be low but you’ll live with it if you want to play high graphics demanding games. Some other Games like Mass Effect: Andromeda, Fallout 4, Dirt 4 and The Long Dark work fine as well.

Gaming on HD 620

Video Credits: yasin erkan

The Laptop that I’m currently using to write this article has the same GPU as well. I don’t game too often but it is good enough for games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Grand Theft Auto V, Fortnite, Call of Duty Series, and Batman: Arkham Origins. As shown in the video, you’ll be able to run any FIFA Game, Bioshock Infinite, Tomb Raider (2013), and Max Payne 3.

      Performance in Video Editing & Rendering

Yes, you can edit videos on Intel HD Graphics and most Video Editing Software like Adobe Premiere Pro, Wondershare Filmora, Final Cut Pro, Sony Vegas Pro, Apple iMovie, CyberLink PowerDirector, and Pinnacle Studio work very well. However, the time they consume while rendering is huge as compared to the powerful Dedicated Graphics Card from Nvidia and AMD.

Do you Know? Even the low-end Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU is 4 times faster than Intel HD Graphics for Video Editing.

If you edit videos occasionally and can be patient for the time it takes to render videos, the onboard graphics should be enough for you.

However, if Video Editing is one of your primary tasks or if you’re a Youtuber, I’ll highly recommend getting a dedicated Graphics Processor.

If you’re not looking to buy a Dedicated GPU anytime soon, follow the tweaks that I will mention later in this guide to improve the performance of dedicated GPUs.

      Performance in other 3D Applications

A lot of people ask me if they can use Integrated Graphics for Applications such as AutoCAD, SolidWorks, Blender, Unity, Unreal Engine and other types of 3D Modelling and Design Software.

Yes, you can use them for basic work and they will work but the experience will be poor. 3D Designing applications will work almost 3 to 4 times faster on a CUDA Powered Nvidia GPU as compared to an Integrated one. So, for any kind of professional 3D work, I’ll recommend buying a Discrete Graphics Card.

Or if you’re buying a Laptop, make sure that you buy one with Good Dedicated Graphics.

      Intel HD Graphics vs Nvidia GeForce vs AMD Radeon

Let us now compare some of the latest generation low-end Dedicated GPU’s with the similar Integrated Graphics. Some of the popular budget GPUs from Nvidia and AMD that I could think of are  Radeon RX 550, Radeon RX Vega 8, GeForce GT 1030, GeForce MX150, and GeForce 940MX.

Let us compare their average Frames per Second in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. We are using 1080p Resolution and Low Graphics Settings for this test.

First up, let’s compare the Laptop Graphics.

The first difference you might notice that the PassMark score is almost twice on MX 150 and RX Vega 8. And same is true for the FPS in CS:GO as well. Even the 2-year-old GeForce 940MX is getting 1.5X FPS as compared to the latest Integrated Graphics.

Now, here are CS:GO Benchmarks for the Desktop Graphic Cards.

Once again, the difference between dedicated and Integrated GPUs is almost twice. You can easily cross 220 FPS on both the Radeon RX 550 and GT 1030 at 1080p on low Settings. While on the Intel UHD Graphics 630, the average FPS is just around 100.

Don’t forget that we are only comparing it with the cheapest Dedicated Graphics that you can get for less than $100. If we go further and do a comparison with the GTX 1050 Ti or the Radeon RX560, the performance gap will be even more.

    Download and Install Drivers for Intel Graphics

You can download the latest Drivers for your System from the Intel’s Official Website.

If you own a Notebook, I would first recommend looking for the Intel HD Drivers from your OEM’s website. Almost all OEMs like HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, MSI, and Acer provide drivers on their official Website.

Here is the link to Intel’s Official Website from where you can Download the Drivers.

Depending on your Operating System and Processor’s Generation, choose the drivers. If you’re not sure of the Processor’s generation, look at its codename. If your Processor name is Core i5-X200U, the X indicates the generation. So, a 6th Generation Processor will have a codename like Core i5 6400 and an eight generation Processor will have a code like Core i5 8250U.

As you can see from the above link, the drivers for the last three generations are only available for Windows 10 64-bit. So, if you’re using an older version of Windows, I highly recommend you to upgrade to the latest one.

After you download the correct installation file, proceed with the installation.

Intel HD Graphics Installation

Just simply follow the onscreen instructions to proceed further.

Intel (R) Graphics Driver

After the previous step completes, another one will open up. Just follow the simple onscreen instructions once again.

During the Installation Process, your screen may blick and a few Command Prompt windows may open up too. This is the part of the installation and there’s nothing to worry about.

Intel Graphics Installation Finish

When the installation completes, simply restart your computer.

    Improve Performance of Intel HD Graphics

Here’s the most awaited section of this article. By using the methods I’ve mentioned above, the performance of Intel HD Graphics can be boosted by a huge number.

In gaming, you will observe an FPS boost of around 5-15 on average. The difference in FPS could be less or even more depending upon that game, your hardware, and a few other factors.

This is obviously not as easy as pressing a single button. You’ll have to follow multiple steps and the result of those steps collectively will result in a better performance of your graphics card.

Cleaning the System

First of all, we need to make sure that our Computer is working optimally as it should. Before we start the optimization process, make sure to remove all the Dust.

If you have a PC, you can use an Air Blower to remove the dust. If you don’t have one, you can visit the nearest Computer Repair Store and get the dust removed.

For laptops, I’ll recommend using Compressed Air for cleaning. You can easily get one from a local store or from Amazon.

Upgrading to the latest Version of Windows

I’ll highly recommend using the latest version of Windows 10. If you haven’t updated it yet, be sure to do it.

With the Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft announced the Windows Game Mode that can improve the gaming performance of your PC. To make use of that, upgrade to Windows 10 and stay on the latest version.

Upgrading Intel HD Drivers

With every new update, the graphics drivers include bug-fixes and are better optimized for gaming and other stuff. It is always best to stay on the Latest Version of Graphics Driver. I’ve already mentioned the process of upgrading the drivers in the previous section.

Clearing the Temporary Files

Temporary files occupy unnecessary space in your PC and it is a good practice to clean them up occasionally. To do so, press Win key + R to open Run.

Clearing Temporary Files

Just type %temp% and click OK. It will take you to the directory where temporary files are stored.

Now, Press Ctrl + A to select all the files and press Delete on your Keyboard.

If you’re unable to delete some files, simply skip them. This is because these files are currently in use by some program.

Connect Power Adapter in Laptop

If you game on a Laptop, instead of gaming while on Battery, always game after plugging in the Power Adapter.

Optimizing Intel HD Graphics Settings

Right Click on your Desktop and Select Intel® Graphics Settings. This will open up the Intel’s Graphics Control Panel.

Intel HD Graphics Control Panel

This screen might appear different to you but the settings we are going to change will be more or less the same.

Now, Open up the 3D Settings page.

Intel Graphics 3D Settings

Turn Off the Conservative Morphological Anti-Aliasing and for rest of the settings Select “Use Application Default Settings“. You can also turn off Multi-Sample Anti-Aliasing if you wish.

Now, go back and Select Power Settings.

Intel HD Graphics Power Settings

In the Graphics Power Plan, Select Maximum Performance.

Enabling Performance Mode

This section is only for Laptops. On the Windows TaskBar, you should see a Battery Icon. Click on that icon.

Windows Power Mode

Now, switch the Power Mode to Best Performance.

Keeping the Temperature in Check

High Ambient Temperature or poor heat dissipation can also be a reason behind poor performance.

You can monitor the thermals using MSI Afterburner while Gaming and if you find the temperature above its normal range, then its time to get a new CPU cooler or to use a Cooling Pad. If you’re using a Laptop, make sure to keep it on a Desk or a flat surface while gaming so as to ensure proper heat dissipation. Laptops Cooling Pads also play a good role in keeping the system temperatures in check. If you need a Laptop Cooling Pad, check out:

You can also switch on the Air Conditioner while Gaming to keep the Ambient Temperature low.

Using Windows Game Mode

Windows Game Mode is a new feature that was introduced with the Windows 10 Creators Update. Game mode reduces the background processes to improve the gaming experience and FPS

To Enable Game Mode, start the game first.

Now Press Win + G Keys to Open the Game Bar

Windows Game Bar

Now Click on the Gear/Settings Icon.

Windows Game Mode in Fortnite

Tick the “Use Game Mode for this Game“.

Now, close this Menu and restart the Game. Play again and check out how much FPS has improved after enabling this setting.

Using Game Mode/Silent Mode in Anti-Virus

Popular Anti-Virus and Internet Security Software come with a Silent Mode or Game Mode which restricts background scanning, alerts and other Anti-Virus actions that may disrupt your gaming.

Some of the Anti-Viruses that have this feature are Kaspersky, Bitdefender, and Avast. Make sure to enable this feature before you begin your gaming session.

Adjusting Windows Visual Effects

Right click on This PC/My Computer and Open Properties.

On the right side of this Window, Open the Advanced System Settings.

Windows System Properties

In the Advanced tab, you’ll see the Performance. Open the Settings of Performance.

Windows Visual Effects Performance

In the Visual Effects, Select Adjust for Best Performance. Now move to the Advanced Tab.

Windows Programs Processor Scheduling

In the Processor Scheduling, Select Programs in “Adjust for best performance of”.

If the Virtual Memory Size/Paging File is low, increase that number to at least 4GB.

Unparking CPU Cores

Disabling the Core Parking Feature will prevent the CPUs from getting parked and will allow better performance.

To unpark CPU cores, you can use the CPU Core Parking Manager V3. Download and Install this Software on your PC and then follow the following instructions.

CPU Core Parking Manager 3

In the System Power Plan, Select High Performance/Gaming.

For CPU Core Parking Index, take the slider to 100%. Take the Frequency Scaling Index to 100% as well.

Now, click on Apply Button.

Note: I wouldn’t recommend staying on these Performance Modes all the time. It is better to enable them only when you’re going to play a game.

Registry Defragmentation

Registry Defragmentation feature is available via many third-party programs and PC Tuning Software. One such software that I can recommend is Glary Utilities 5 and it is free as well.

Removing Bloatware

Unless you built your PC yourself, it is quite likely that it came with a lot of bloatware. PC Decrapifier is one such free software that can do this job for you. But you can get rid of bloatware manually too.

Uninstalling Unused Programs

Remove the programs that you installed ages ago and are no longer useful to you. It is better to keep a limited number of applications in the system. It not only ensures that fewer programs are running in the background but also makes some disk space free.

To do so, go to Control Panel and Select Programs and Features. From this list, you can remove the programs that you no longer use.

Defragmentation of Hard Drive

Click on the Start Menu and Type Defragment. Open Defragment and Optimize Drives.

Defragment Windows Hard Disk

Analyze Each Disk and if it is Fragmented then Optimize it.

Disabling Startup Apps

Open Task Manager by Pressing Ctrl + Alt + Delete. Now, go to the Startup menu.

Disable Windows Startup Apps

Some of the Programs mentioned here impact my PC’s startup time and some of them are only Update Services. It is better to disable them. But before you disable something, make sure that it won’t cause any problem with the proper startup of Windows. It is better to Disable only the Update Services like Adobe Updater Startup Utility, Google Update Core, Java Update Scheduler, Logitech Download Assistant etc.

Using Metered Connection

Open Windows Settings and then Open Network and Internet Settings. Depending on whether you use a LAN or Wi-Fi connection, select the submenu accordingly. Now select your current Intenet Connection.

Network and Internet Settings Windows

In case of me, I’ll select the Ethernet Connection Xiaomi_3351.

Windows Metered Connection

In this Menu, Turn On the Metered Connection.

Disabling Background Apps

Open Windows Settings like you did in the previous step. Open Privacy. Now Scroll Down from the Left Sidebar to find Background Apps.

Turn Off Background Apps

Turn Off the option “Let Apps run in the background”.

Installing Razer Cortex

The Razer Cortex is an amazing tool that boosts the system’s performance to increase the FPS in games. You can download this tool from the Razer’s Official Website.

After installing this tool, you’ll have to Sign Up for a Razer Account (or Sign-In for existing users) and it will automatically detect the games in your PC and will add them to your Library.

Now, click on the Game Booster Menu.

Razer Cortex for Boosting the FPS

Here you can find three options: Tweak, Boost, and Defrag. Use all three of them to improve the System’s Performance.

When you’re done, simply start the game from the Game Library of Razer Cortex and it will take care of everything automatically. Isn’t that awesome?

It can also be used to Monitor the FPS in games.

Tweaking the Registry

Go to Start Menu and Type regedit. Give it Administrative Access and this will open the Registry Editor.

Windows 10 Registry Editor

Now, Double Click on the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE

In the next list, Double Click on the Software.

Scroll down to the list and Double Click on the Microsoft.

Once again, scroll down and look for Windows NT and double-click on it.

Now, Double Click on the Current Version.

Scroll down one more time and look for Multimedia Folder.

Inside, the Multimedia Folder, you should see SystemProfile. Just Single-click on the System Profile.

Now, you should be on a screen like the one below.

Registry Editor SystemProfile

Now Double Click on the NetworkThrottlingIndex.

Windows Network Throttling Index

Inside the Value date box, remove any value that you have and replace it with 7 times f as shown in the image above. Or just copy fffffff and paste it there. Make sure that Hexadecimal is selected in Base. Now press OK.

Now Double Click on the SystemResponsiveness.

Windows System Responsiveness

Type 0 (zero) in Value Data like shown in the image and make sure that the Base is Hexadecimal. Now Press OK.

Now, double-click on the SystemProfile on the left side menu. Then Double-click on Tasks and finally Double Click on Games.

Now, you’ll arrive on a screen as shown below.

Gaming Settings in Registry Editor

Double Click on GPU Priority and set the Value Data to 8. Go the Priority and set the Value data to 6.

In Scheduling Category, change the value data to High.

Optimizing the In-Game Settings

This is the most important step that will have the most impact on the game’s performance.

First of all, Start the game and Open its Graphics Settings.

1) Change the Display Resolution to 720p (1280×720) or 768p (1366×768). The lower the resolution, the higher will be the FPS.

2) Turn Off V-Sync.

3) Turn Off Motion Blur if available.

4) Change the Graphics Quality To Lowest

5) Turn-Off Anti-Aliasing or Keep it to a Low Value

6) Depending on your Current FPS, increase the Graphics Settings and Anti-Aliasing

7) If you are getting High FPS, you can also change the resolution to 1080p

Closing Windows Explorer During the Game

Well, we don’t actually require the Windows Explorer during while gaming, so let’s close it. Shall we?

After starting the game, press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to open Task Manager.

Closing Windows Explorer in Task Manager

Look for Windows Explorer, right click on it and End Task. Now switch back to the game by searching for your game in the task manager. Then Right Click on the Game’s Process and Press Switch To.

So, how to bring the Windows Explorer back?

After you finish gaming, open the task manager, select File from the Menu of Task Manager and Click on Run New Task.

Starting Windows Explorer

In the Create new task, type “explorer.exe” and Press OK.

Look for a Game Specific Fix

Every game is different and it may require different ways to boost the FPS in each game. It is always a better idea look for how to boost FPS on a particular XYZ game.

The LowSpecGamer is one of my favorite YouTubers who makes game specific guides for low-end PCs. Make sure to check out his channel and search for the game specific guides.

Also, a simple Google search can help you out discover some ways to boost FPS of a particular game. But keep in mind that most of these guides involve editing your game files.

As long as it is an offline game, you’re free to do it. However, I wouldn’t recommend the same for competitive online games like CS:GO, Fortnite, PUBG, etc. because of the following reasons:

  1. After an update, the game files might be restored back to its original content. So, you’ll have to repeat the process again and again.
  2. The Anti-Cheat engine may detect the modified files as a means of cheating and you might get banned.

Upgrading the Computer

So, you tried all the above methods and still, you’re unable to get a good gaming experience?

Don’t forget that the RAM can also play a major role if you have 4GB or less. Upgrading the RAM is the best option so that you can run games like GTA V.

And guess what? You can upgrade RAM not only on PCs but on Notebooks as well. Most Laptops come with an extra RAM slot. Even though we cannot upgrade the Graphics Card in laptops. we can at least upgrade the RAM to 8GB so that games like GTA 5 can be played with ease.

If you feel that your Hard Disk is too slow and it is the cause of bottleneck you can get a cheap 1TB 7200 RPM HDD. If you can spend more, the best option will be to an SSD.

But the Hard Disk is rarely the cause of bottleneck when gaming with Integrated Graphics.

    How much Video Memory do they have?

Most of you probably know that all the Graphics Card out there have a fixed amount of Graphics Memory (also called Video Memory or VRAM). This number is usually like 2GB, 3GB, 4GB and more.

So, how much Video memory does Intel Graphics have?

Well, in case of the Integrated Graphics, they do not have any memory of their own. They use the computer’s RAM as Video Memory. And this memory is allocated dynamically as per the requirement. And you don’t have to worry about it, all this happens automatically.

All you need to do is to have enough RAM that can effectively be shared between both the Game and the GPU.

    How many Monitors can we connect?

Most of the modern Intel Processors support up to 3 external displays. You’ll have to look at the specification of your processor to ensure the same.

Another important thing is the number of display ports on your Motherboard. If your Motherboard has only two external display ports, you’ll not be able to connect more than 2 displays.

    4k Monitor with Intel HD Graphics?

Most of the new generation Intel HD Graphics do support 4K Monitors. Even some older generation probably support it as well. Once again, I’ll recommend you to look at the official specification of your Processor from Intel’s Official Website to confirm the same.

    List of Games for Intel HD Graphics

The following games can be played on the Intel HD Graphics. These games will definitely work with the UHD 630, UHD 620, HD 630, HD 620, and the HD 530. However, we can not guarantee the performance of these games with GPUs weaker than the ones I mentioned. It will be better if you ask me first before purchasing a game for a weaker GPU like HD 610 or HD 510.

Playable at 1080p
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • FIFA 18
  • FIFA 17
  • Team Fortress 2
  • Rocket League
  • World of Warships
  • Dota 2
  • League of Legends
  • Sims 3
  • Sims 4
  • The Sims Medieval
  • FIFA 16
  • Max Payne 3
  • Minecraft
  • Portal 2
  • World of Warships
  • World of Tanks
  • Need for Speed Series
  • Age of Empires Series
  • Left 4 Dead 2
  • Garry’s Mod
  • Tekken 7
Playable at 720p
  • Grand Theft Auto 5
  • Grand Theft Auto 4
  • Call of Duty Series
  • Skyrim
  • World of Warcraft
  • Unravel
  • Fortnite
  • H1Z1
  • Overwatch
  • Mafia 2
  • Fallout 4
  • Dishonored
  • Borderlands 2
  • BioShock Infinite
  • Tomb Raider (2013)
  • Witcher 2
  • Resident Evil 7
  • Dirty Bomb
  • Watch Dogs
  • Watch Dogs 2
  • Battlefield 4
  • Far Cry 3
  • Far Cry 4
  • Batman: Arkham Origins
  • Heroes of the Storm
  • Dirt 4
  • Civilization 6
  • Mirror’s Edge Catalyst
  • Shadow Warrior 2
  • The Long Dark
  • Project Cars
  • Rainbow Six Siege
  • Crysis 2
  • Quantum Break
  • Total War: Warhammer
  • Dark Souls 2
  • Dark Souls 3
  • Doom
  • Final Fantasy XIV
  • Just Cause 3
  • NBA 2k18
  • Destiny 2
  • Payday 2
  • Mortal Combat XL

    Why and How to Upgrade to a Dedicated GPU

The answer to “Why” part should be clear to you by now. Dedicated Graphics are way more powerful than the Intel HD Graphics. The Games on which we are struggling to get 25 FPS at 720p, the same can be played at 60 FPS 1080p with Dedicated Graphics that costs less than $70.

For any professional work such as Video Editing, Machine Learning, and 3D Modeling, a dedicated GPU is a must for optimal performance.

You can anytime buy and add a dedicated GPU on your PC as long as your PSU can handle it. If you’re upgrading to a very powerful GPU, you may need to buy a better Power Supply Unit and a few CPU coolers. But for a budget GPU like the Nvidia GeForce GT 1030, there will be no need of upgrading the Power Supply.
Also, you have to ensure that the rest of the components in your PC won’t bottleneck the system. I’ll highly recommend building a new PC from the scratch if the components are more than 5 years old.

As far as notebooks are concerned, you cannot upgrade the Graphics Card in those. The only option that you have is to use an external GPU. But this option is super-expensive and a better deal would be to buy a new Laptop or assemble a PC instead.

    Final Suggestions

I do hope that this guide helped you to understand the Intel HD Graphics Better.

If you’re a casual gamer, I guess you can definitely live with the games that are playable with Intel HD Graphics. Furthermore, you can improve the FPS with the tweaks I mentioned in this article. Also for occasional video rendering and other similar stuff, Intel HD Graphics aren’t too bad either.

For serious gaming, there’s no other choice but to get a Dedicated GPU.

For Video Editing and 3D Applications, a dedicated GPU is highly recommended as well.

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If you need any suggestions or advice on choosing a GPU/PC/Laptop, do write your queries in the comments section below. I’ll try to answer all your questions as soon as I can.

    References

  1. Intel HD, UHD, and Iris Graphics – Wikipedia
  2. Experience Visual Perfection with Intel® Graphics Technology – Intel
  3. PassMark Video Card Benchmarks – PassMark


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