Is Intel HD Graphics Good for Gaming?

Intel HD Graphics have come a long way in recent years, and most integrated GPUs in Intel chips are now much more compatible with modern games than they were previously. Even so, does Intel HD graphics perform well in games?

An integrated GPU, such as Intel HD graphics, is insufficient for hardcore gaming. Dedicated GPUs from Nvidia or AMD will continue to be a far superior choice for gaming and other 3D applications.

Every time Intel updates its CPUs, the graphics performance also gets better. If you want to buy a CPU with an integrated GPU for gaming, this article will help you decide what to look for.

VRAM Limitations on Intel HD Graphics

Video Memory, or VRAM, is one of the things that makes it hard for these GPUs to play games or do 3D work.

Integrated GPUs don’t have dedicated video memory like their integrated counterparts. They share the system memory with the CPU instead.

It means that the integrated GPU will set aside some RAM space to do 3D tasks. It usually only has between 64 and 256 megabytes of memory, which is a very small amount by today’s standards.

However, the newer Iris Graphics have some RAM built in, such as 64 or 128 megabytes, which improves overall performance. The Intel GPU driver works in tandem with the operating system to allocate the memory required for optimal performance of both the CPU and the integrated GPU.

This limit is determined by a variety of factors, including the operating system, amount of RAM, RAM configuration, and driver configurations.

How to Make Intel HD Graphics Work Better for Gaming

The Intel HD Graphics chips are not intended for intensive gaming. Don’t expect them to blow your mind when you play modern AAA games on them.

Realistically, you need to turn down the graphics options and resolution to be able to play most of the games. Here are some things you can tweak to get the best gaming experience possible.

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Update Your Graphics Drivers

Graphics drivers are essential for gaming performance. Just like Nvidia and AMD, Intel updates its graphics drivers regularly. Every update includes new software tweaks or driver improvements.

To get the best performance from your integrated GPU, make sure the driver software is always up to date.

Tweak Settings in Intel’s Graphics Control Panel

The Intel Graphics Control Pane is an excellent place to fine-tune your graphics settings to improve gaming performance and image quality.

Right-click on the desktop and choose “Graphics Properties” from the drop-down menu to open the control panel. To change the 3D settings, click the 3D icon on the control panel.

Here are the settings you need to change to get the best results.

  • Application Optimal Mode: Enable
  • Multi-Sample Anti-Aliasing: Turn off
  • Conservative Morphological Anti-Aliasing: Override Application Settings
  • General Settings: Performance Mode

Go to Power settings on the Intel HD graphics option and enter the power saving options. From there, turn on Maximum Performance from Graphics Power Plans to get some extra graphical performance on games.

Allocate More System Memory to Integrated Graphics

One of the biggest problems with integrated graphics memory is that it doesn’t have enough space to run 3D programs well. However, this issue can be mitigated to some extent by allocating more system memory to the graphical processing unit.

Here are the steps on how to do this:

  1. Restart your computer
  2. Press DEL, F12, or Escape to get to the BIOS menu.
  3. Once you’re in the BIOS settings, look for the option that says integrated graphics.
  4. Look for the option that allows you to adjust the amount of memory allotted to the integrated GPU. It might be in the Advanced or Chipset configuration section.
  5. Select your desired memory configuration.

However, keep in mind that you’ll need RAM to run your standard application. We don’t recommend this option if your system has less than 8 GB of RAM.

Adjust In-Game Settings

Adjusting in-game settings is the fastest way to get some extra FPS on games. You might have to turn down some of the graphics settings to make the game playable.

Unfortunately, some modern games require a lot of graphical power to run. As a result, you must drastically reduce the graphic options. Otherwise, you won’t be able to play them.

However, you’ll find some game that performs poorly even in the low graphical settings. Apart from upgrading to a more powerful system, there isn’t much else to do.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can Intel HD Graphics Run Games like the Witcher 3, Horizon Zero Dawn, Farcry 6, etc., at 4k?

No, Intel HD graphics aren’t powerful enough to run 4K games like The Witcher 3, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Far Cry 6.

How Much System Memory Does Intel HD Graphics Have?

Depending on the model, Intel HD Graphics has between 64 and 256 megabytes of shared memory.

Do I need Intel HD graphics if I have a GPU?

A dedicated GPU will perform significantly better than an integrated GPU. So there’s no need to buy a processor with built-in graphics.

Can I install Nvidia drivers on Intel HD Graphics?

No, you should install the Nvidia drivers if you have an Nvidia GPU.

How do I update my Intel HD graphics driver?

To keep the graphics driver up to date, use Intel’s Driver Update Utility.

Should You Play Games with Intel HD Graphics?

Intel HD Graphics has come a long way from being a bad option for gaming to be able to run new games at a decent frame rate. You can play many new games pretty well with the integrated GPU.

If you want better performance from an integrated GPU, consider getting a new Intel Core i5 or i7 processor with Intel Iris graphics or the new AMD APUs, which are extremely powerful.

So, Are Intel HD graphics good for playing games?

No, not yet.

If you want to play games on a regular basis, you should invest in a dedicated GPU. However, the difference between the two of them is narrowing every year. So, fingers crossed!

Recommended graphics card list:

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Chris Martin is a professional tech writer. He's been covering tech tutorials, hardware reviews, and more as a professional writer for over seven years now and it doesn't look like he'll be stopping anytime soon! In addition to writing about the latest gadgets on the market, he also covers topics such as how to set up your home network or troubleshoot any computer problems you may have.

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