Whether installing a graphics card into your computer for an enhanced gaming experience or just wanting to connect your PC’s display to multiple monitors, you will be facing the same problem: using the motherboard HDMI and graphics card simultaneously. But can they somehow work together?
You can use the HDMI port on your computer’s motherboard with a graphics card. Even if your dedicated graphics card disables your motherboard HDMI connection, you can get around this problem by accessing your BIOS settings and enabling your internal or integrated graphics (iGPU).
Any computer, whether a laptop or desktop computer, disables the internal graphics card if it detects a dedicated GPU. It automatically assumes that you do not want to use both. Yet, there are ways to bypass this automatic setting manually.
Can Both Integrated and Dedicated Graphics Cards Be Used At The Same Time?
You cannot combine the powers of both integrated and dedicated graphics cards. For example, different graphic cards can’t communicate and share data while gaming since they feature different architectures and use other memory pools. Therefore your computer will automatically switch between your integrated GPU and dedicated GPU depending on your activity.
One exception is if you own an AMD APU integrated graphics card and an AMD entry-level GPU. You can run these two units together using the hybrid crossfire mode. Most people, however, don’t opt for this method since it is limited to AMD only, a brand that ranks relatively low in consumer popularity.
What you can do, with the correct setup, is use an integrated graphics card and dedicated graphics card at the same time if you are looking to power two different display monitors.
You do this by plugging one monitor into your motherboard HDMI port and the other monitor into the dedicated graphics card. The display you connect to the motherboard will have a poorer performance than the one connected to the dedicated graphics card, so make sure you set it up according to your particular needs.
You will then have to access your BIOS settings and manually enable your integrated graphics card. This setting will allow you to use the integrated GPU and dedicated graphics card simultaneously on multiple displays without having to access additional software or purchase connectors.
Can The Integrated GPU Be Used To Increase The Performance Of The Dedicated GPU?
You cannot combine the output of an integrated GPU and a dedicated GPU to increase performance. A dedicated GPU is faster and more potent than the integrated GPU, so the combination of power would cause a bottleneck effect when processes get delegated to the ‘slower’ card (i.e., your integrated GPU).
Most people rarely need increased performance anyway. Integrated graphics cards are perfectly suitable for casual gaming, 4K video watching, working with simple software programs, etc. Superior performance, and thus a dedicated graphics card, is only required for high-end gaming and VR or if you’re working with video editing or graphics software (like 3D animation or CAD).
The Motherboard HDMI Is Not Working – How To Enable It
If your motherboard HDMI is not working, then you will have to access your BIOS settings and manually enable your integrated graphics card for your motherboard HDMI to work. To do this, you must:
- Restart your computer. When the screen comes on, press the delete button repeatedly until the Bios menu appears.
- Click on the chipset menu in the BIOS and scroll down to the ‘internal’ or ‘integrated’ graphics option, where you will see that the internal graphics is disabled. Hence the reason why a dual monitor output will not work.
- Manually change the setting to enable the internal graphics.
- Save the changes and exit the BIOS.
Suppose your motherboard HDMI is still not working after you have enabled it.
It could be possible that your BIOS options are limited. Some computers have straightforward BIOS menus that lack advanced hardware control options that enable integrated graphics (iGPU). Try to update your BIOS settings on your computer. If the update does not add the iGPU feature, you cannot use your motherboard’s HDMI with a graphics card installed on your computer.
Another problem is you might have no drivers to run the integrated graphics. Drivers are essential to running any hardware component. So, if you have not installed the motherboard drivers associated with the internal graphics, it won’t work. To fix this issue, go to Device Manager and click on your integrated graphics chip’s model. If the drivers are not working, update them or re-install the previous versions.
Should You Plug The HDMI Into GPU Or The Motherboard?
Plugging your HDMI cable into the GPU port or the motherboard will depend on your computer activity.
If, for example, you want enhanced gaming and VR experience or you are a professional working with graphically intensive software (like 3D animation or CAD), then you will have to plug the HDMI into the dedicated graphics card (GPU) to get superior performance.
Remember that a dedicated GPU is relatively expensive and draws much more power, making it heat up slightly when used. Still, modern GPUs come with multiple HDMI ports, making it very convenient if you run numerous displays since you can plug them all into the dedicated graphics card.
If, for example, you use your computer for regular tasks, such as internet browsing, listening to music, watching online video content, or playing relatively simple games, then an integrated graphics card is all you need. Using the motherboard HDMI port to connect your computer will also be a more cost-effective option, offering a surprising amount of power for everyday PC activities.
Integrated GPUs are ideally suited for most everyday functions that you would conduct on your computer. Therefore, you do not always need to install a dedicated GPU unless it is for advanced gaming or other software that uses 3D animation or rendering. With modern technological advances, integrated graphics cards have developed to a decent standard, closing in on dedicated graphics cards.
You do have the option to use both your integrated graphics card and your dedicated graphics card simultaneously if you broadcast the signal onto two screens. Just access your BIOS settings and manually enable your integrated graphics. You will then enjoy using your integrated GPU on one display and your dedicated GPU on another, offering you flexibility and enhanced performance.
As a distinguished Professor of Computer Science, my expertise lies at the intersection of PC hardware, software development, and system troubleshooting. My foray into the realm of computer technology began during my high school years, where I honed my skills in building and repairing PCs. Subsequently, I provided consultancy services to a renowned PC repair establishment, solidifying my reputation in the field. Today, I am the trusted authority among peers and colleagues for insights and solutions related to PC and laptop challenges.