This guide is for those who want to squeeze every last frame out of your Intel HD Graphics. There are two types of tweaks one which involves simple adjustments without spending anything other than your time, which gives a small performance boost, and the other which involves you digging deeper into your pockets to get 20-30% performance boost.
Also check out the huge list of games that you can run on your Intel HD Graphics here.
Things to do before you begin :
1. Update your graphics drivers through Windows Update or do it manually by going to the manufacturers site.
Desktop users can easily download the graphics driver from Intel site. But laptop users will have to use Windows Update to get the latest drivers from their respective manufacturers.
2. Put the laptop in High Performance mode. Here’s how:
Go Power Options in Control Panel.
Choose High Performance Mode in additional plans.
3. If you are still on Windows 7/8.1, it’s time you upgraded to Windows 10. Microsoft claims 20-30% increased performance on Windows 10.
Method 1: The simple software tweak.
Step 1: Open Graphics Properties by right clicking on the desktop.
Step 2: Choose 3D.
Step 4: Select the settings as shown below.
Step 5: Apply the settings.
Step 6: Go back to main menu and select Power.
Step 7: Under Plugged In Choose Graphics Power Plan as Maximum Performance.
Step 8: Next under On Battery select make sure to keep following settings.
Note: Keeping the settings in maximum performance reduces your battery life significantly while running games on battery. Always plug-in into a power source to ensure maximum performance.
Method 2: Adding another equal amount of RAM in unused slot.
Intel’s Dual Channel Memory is pretty handy feature to get 20-30% performance boost from your Intel HD Graphics. For example if GTA V is running at an average of 25 FPS on single channel increases to around 30FPS by adding another 4GB RAM in Dual Channel configuration, making the game playable. The effect varies depending on the games.
The advantages of adding extra RAM are not only limited just to gaming but also enhances the multitasking capability of your PC. Applications also tend to load faster. All these advantages at a modest price of around ₹1,500-1,800($25-$30) for a 4GB RAM.
There is another factor which needs to be considered here. Integrated Graphics as you know, uses RAM as VRAM to store the game texture and other files. This RAM which is used by the graphics is unavailable to other process. If you have a 4GB PC, around 1-1.5GB of your RAM is used as VRAM leaving you with only 2.5-3GB of RAM of which actually you will get 1-1.5GB to run the game (operating system requires around 1GB of RAM). If you look a minimum specifications of games such as GTA V, they suggest 4GB of RAM which actually means you need 4GB of free RAM available excluding the one consumed by the integrated graphics. Hence you will need 8GB of RAM for the game to run smoothly. Hence, adding extra RAM actually makes sense here.
You can check the details of the RAM using CPU-Z. You can download it here.
While adding a new RAM make sure of following:
- The Timings & Latency match. Download CPU-Z (2MB) from here and install. Head over to the memory section as shown and you can see the timings, which in this case is 11-11-11-28.
- The Frequency is same. In above it’s approx 800 MHz, multiply the value by two which gives you 1600 MHz. This is the frequency of your RAM.
- The amount of RAM is equal. If you have a laptop with 4GB, add another 4GB not 2 or 8 GB.
If you have a laptop, I suggest you to go to Service Centre and ask them to add same RAM module as the one inside the laptop. This will ensure maximum compatibility. If you have a Desktop you can do that same, unless it was assembled in which case open up your PC and check the RAM model.
Before buying a new RAM, make sure to try the 1st method before shelling out money to buy a new RAM.