The Integrated Graphics Survival Guide (with a Guest from 32Megabytes)
While usually dismissed by many pc gamers, integrated graphics are some of the most common in the world by sheer force of availability… every computer has one So maybe you are like many on this channel and you game on whatever you have or your GPU went up in flames and you are gaming on integrated until you find a substitute… in any case welcome to “The Integrated Graphics Survivor Guide” where we will share some ways you can increase performance overall on your integrated GPU. Gaming with integrated graphics can be a stuttery choppy mess, but with the correct adjustments applied you might be able to get a somewhat decent experience And that extra voice you listen to is Hayden, the creator of this wonderful guide on Running Single Player Valve games on any computer that I found while browsing reddit and that I highly recommend you watch.
And after hearing that he was working on this idea I just had to help him out in some way. Alex will be covering how to better optimize Intel HD graphics and I will be helping those with AMD APU’s. So without further ado let’s start with the IntelHD GPUS. While intelHD gpus were designed for more of a general purpose rather than gaming there a couple of things you can do to squeeze every drop of performance out of it. First: Something that most people do not know. Many laptops using integrated graphics ship with vendor specific drivers that are very conservative on their power usage as a way for manufacturers to extend the battery life of their products at the cost of performance. If you try to update your intel drivers using the official Intel tool and you get a message that looks like this, or this, then congratulations… you have a crappy driver. One way to solve this is to look up the details of your CPU model and search for the details of the GPU include for it, like in my case where this carries and 3rd generation intelhd 4000 and search for the official intel drivers on the intel download website in the description.
If you download the drivers as a zip you can install them pretty easily by going into your device manager, looking for your intel GPU under display adapters, right click and select update driver software, then Browse my computer for driver software, then let me pick from a list of devices drivers on my computer, then have disk and then browsing to the folder where you extracted the intel driver, looking for a folder inside called graphics and clicking on the .inf file. That was not as simple as I expected. Be sure to check back the instructions to be sure you did not miss anything and reboot your computer once it is installed. Be aware however that this will very likely reduce the battery life of your laptop. Now that you have the official drivers you can get access to this lovely control panel, if you did not have it before, from where you can go to 3D settings and change the settings to Performance rather than quality or you can manually set each element to off or its lowest. Also go to the power panel and make sure it is going for maximum performance at the cost of a lower battery life.
And to make sure these small changes were going to have an effect in performance, I ran some quick benchmarks. Let’s see the results. But that is not all. Some viewers have constantly recommended I try PHDGD, unofficial drivers created with the explicit purpose of getting the best gaming performance out of intelHD gpus. To install it you need to download their “PHDGD NOW” software (linked in the description) that allows you to select your intel HD gpu from a list and download the correct modified drivers, be sure to download the 32 bit version for 32 bit windows and the 64 bit version for 64 bit windows. You will download an .exe that will extract as a folder with setup.exe inside that you can use to install this driver… unless you get this error.
To fix it we need to disable some security features: And that means that I need you to pay attention carefully and understand what you are doing. Open a command prompt as admin and write “bcdedit -set loadoptions DISABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS” and press enter and then “bcdedit -set TESTSIGNING ON”. All right, reboot your computer and then you should be able to run the install without problems. You may get a message trying to make sure that you know that you are installing a modified driver but after you accept it should all be ok. Reboot after installing the driver and re-enable the security checks. Do not ignore this step people. Unless you really know what you are doing it is a really bad idea to leave these settings disabled. Open a command prompt as admin and write “bcdedit -set loadoptions ENABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS” and press enter and then “bcdedit -set TESTSIGNING OFF”. Reboot and done. You have a modded driver. While the result vary from game to game in some cases they might surprise you.
All right. So that is for intelhd. Now, for AMD. With all the people talking about intel HD graphics it’s easy to forget that there are millions of people with AMD integrated graphics as well. Since AMD Integrated graphics aren’t as common as their intel HD counterparts there is very little information available on how to squeeze more performance out of them, SO that’s what i’m here to fix. Some of the changes we’ll be making will be done through the Radeon control panel. To access the Radeon control panel right click your desktop and click AMD Radeon Settings.
This will bring you to a very simplified interface that gives you practically no settings or information, here you can disable GPU scaling for a very tiny amount of performance increase. To get to the actually useful part of the control panel click additional settings. This very dated section of the control panel gives you a ton of options. The first thing you can do is make sure you have your graphics card set to maximum performance. You can do this by going down to powerplay and selecting maximum performance when plugged in. This will essentially make your graphics card work the hardest it can while your computer is plugged in. Now you can- wait… where are the settings? They were here a while ago?. Why did amd- Oh well okay. So apparently AMD moved all of the graphics settings for integrated cards over to another program named raptr. Oh wait, you probably do not even have Raptr installed. As Alex mentioned earlier most computer manufacturers give you a very limited version of your drivers to save on battery all you need to do is to make sure you go online and reinstall your drivers and Raptr should install with your drivers- To improve performance and manage graphics settings go to the library section.
There you can change all the graphics settings for your games with a simple slider. This really helped my performance in all my games. One thing I found that’s not AMD specific that helped out a lot with my low end computer was disabling almost all of the fancy graphical effects that windows always has running in the background. To do this press windows key and r then type sysdm.cpl then go to Advanced and click performance options. Then click adjust for best performance. This alleviates a surprising amount of strain on low end computers and gave me an extra few frames per second in most games. So how did this ultimately benefit performance? Quite significantly, as evident by the benchmarks. As you can see a few tweaks really help the experience. I just really wish that there was more that could have been done. Because all I essentially did was lower a game’s settings with a slider and take the graphics card off power saver mode. There is one more thing you can do that definitively increases performance that I didn’t cover, mostly because it didn’t work.
AMD overdrive is a very easy solution if you want to overclock your CPU or graphics card. The problem is it doesn’t work on most laptops, but if you are comfortable with overclocking I definitively recommend it because from what I have been hearing it does a good job. That is all for this short video. Hopefully you can some use out of these tweaks to get the best out of your current computer. All games were benchmarked using their lowest presets but if you are interested in getting even more performance… why not check some of my videos on forcing these games to their lowest? If you want to see more coverage of low end gaming I recommend you check out my videos. On my channel I do videos about pc gaming, game reviews, performance tweaking and more all focused around low end gaming. An example of PC building would be my $70 gaming pc video and an example of performance tweaking would be to how to run any valve game video. So make sure to check out my channel and a big thanks to alex for having me on his channel.