When you have a dedicated graphics card in your system as well as integrated graphics, the motherboard will disable the integrated graphics making the motherboard HDMI port useless.
This is generally a problem for people looking to run multiple monitors, but their graphics card does not have enough HDMI ports to do so.
But there is a solution which is typically done through the BIOS, it involves re-enabling the integrated graphics display adapter, and making it the primary output.
Ensure You Have Integrated Graphics To Use Motherboard HDMI
The motherboard HDMI port is reserved only for integrated graphics, so this means your graphics card will not work through your motherboard HDMI port.
Integrated graphics are onboard graphics located on the processor, so you need to ensure that your CPU actually has onboard graphics to be able to use the motherboard HDMI.
To know if your CPU has integrated graphics, first find out who your CPU manufacturer is, it can either be Intel or AMD.
Intel CPU & Integrated Graphics
If it’s Intel, well you’re in good luck because most Intel processors come with integrated graphics except for a few processors with the ‘F’ suffix.
If your Intel CPU has the ‘F’ suffix such as the Intel I7 12700KF, then you’re out of luck because the F suffix means the onboard graphics on the CPU have been disabled.
This means, if you were to build a PC with the I7 12700KF, or the I5 12400F, you will NEED a dedicated graphics card or your computer will have no possible way to output a signal. Here’s an example of an Intel IGPU:
Intel UHD 770 – The Intel UHD 770 integrated GPU is present in most of Intel’s 12th generation processors except for the ‘F’ variants and it’s pretty strong for an integrated GPU.
Ryzen CPU & Integrated Graphics
If you have an AMD Ryzen processor, then most of them do not come with integrated graphics, however some APUs will have onboard graphics, for example, the Ryzen 5 5600G.
The ‘G’ suffix at the end of Ryzen processors means graphics, and it’s used to signify that it’s an APU, and it’s capable of sending an output through the motherboard’s HDMI port.
Ryzen APUs are usually slightly weaker than their CPU counterparts which means you’re sacrificing CPU performance for integrated graphics performance. Here’s an example of a Ryzen IGPU:
Vega 8 – The Vega 8 graphics contained within the 5700G falls slightly behind in performance to the GTX 1050 so it’s quite good for an integrated GPU, currently it’s the best IGPU.
How To Check If I Have Integrated Graphics
It’s pretty easy to find out if you have integrated graphics, and there are two ways you can use to figure out if you do.
The first way is to check the manufacturers website, and list the specifications for the processor you have.
For example, if you have the I5 12600K, you can visit: Here to list the full specifications.
Click “Processor Graphics” at ark.intel.com, and to the right, it says “Intel UHD Graphics 770” which is the integrated graphics.
This is an example of checking the manufacturer for the specs, but you can also find out through Device manager.
Device manager is built into Windows, and its purpose is to display all the drivers ranging from display adapters, to sound controllers.
Check Device Manager
- Press win+r simultaneously
- Enter “devmgmt.msc”
- Navigate to display adapters
In this case, I have the Intel HD Graphics 620 which is an integrated graphics adapter which is common in laptops and mobile devices.
If you have a Ryzen APU, then it should say something like “AMD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics”, this is an IGPU common in ‘G’ type processors.
If you don’t see either Intel HD Graphics, or AMD Radeon Vega Graphics, then you do not have an integrated GPU, you most likely have a dedicated GPU.
This means you won’t be able to use the motherboard HDMI port, and there’s no way to repurpose it as it’s only made to serve integrated graphics.
How Can I Use Motherboard HDMI And Graphics Card?
If you’ve successfully confirmed you have integrated graphics, we can now configure your system to enable both the dedicated GPU, and the integrated GPU at the same time.
We do this by entering the motherboard’s BIOS, and each motherboard is different, but the steps should be similar.
1. Entering The BIOS
Entering the BIOS is pretty simple, but the buttons to press varies on the type of motherboard you have. For example, you may have a Gigabyte motherboard that functions differently to an ASUS motherboard.
In general, to enter the BIOS you must restart the system, when it restarts press “del”, this should open the BIOS for most motherboards.
Gigabyte motherboards prioritize the DEL key or the delete key, and you press “F8” to enter the dual-BIOS.
ASUS motherboards also prioritize the DEL key to enter the BIOS, you must press the delete key right when you see the “ASUS” logo.
EVGA motherboards are a little different, they prioritize the F2 key in most cases, but it can also be the DEL key.
MSI motherboards will prioritize the DEL key to enter the BIOS, you should see “press del to enter setup” in most cases.
2. Enabling Finding Internal Graphics Settings
Finding the internal graphics settings is a little different on a motherboard basis, but once you find it, enabling it should be difficult.
Usually, motherboards will set the integrated graphics to auto which causes it to get disabled once a dedicated graphics card is detected.
On a Gigabyte motherboard, after entering the BIOS, the integrated graphics settings should be within the CHIPSET section. Once you’re there, set the option to ENABLED; by default, it will be set to AUTO.
On an ASUS motherboard, the steps are a little different. After entering the BIOS, head over to ADVANCED, and from there you will find a setting called GRAPHICS CONFIGURATION.
Enter graphics configuration, and you will see an option called CPU GRAPHICS MULTI-MONITOR, set the option to enabled. By default it may be set to AUTO, you don’t want this.
On an MSI motherboard, to enable the integrated graphics, enter the BIOS, and press SETTINGS, it should be big and obvious.
Then enter the ADVANCED tab, and through here, you should see something called INTEGRATED GRAPHICS CONFIGURATION. Through there, you should see IGD MULTI-MONITOR.
IGD multi-monitor should be set to DISABLED by default, you don’t want this because it will disable the integrated graphics when you have an external GPU. So set the setting to ENABLED.
3. Save & Exit
After you’ve configured the integrated graphics display to be enabled when a dedicated GPU is present in the system, just save and reset the system.
Once you reset the system, ensure you have the HDMI cable inserted into your motherboard HDMI port for your secondary display, and from here, everything should work as expected.
4. Configure Display Settings Through Windows
Once everything has been configured through the BIOS, you can set how you want your secondary display to look through Windows.
You should be able to set up the orientation, resolution, and other settings. You can usually configure the display settings by right clicking on the desktop and pressing “Display Settings”.
Now there are scenarios where your motherboard HDMI will still not work even if you’ve enabled everything through the BIOS.
In this case, things can be either software related or hardware related, so it’s possible you have a faulty HDMI cable/port, or corrupted drivers.
Corrupted drivers, or other software issues will often cause a “no-signal” issue even when all the settings are configured properly.
In this case, you will need to enter “Device Manager” like was explained previously, to do this, follow these steps.
- Press win+r simultaneously
- Enter “devmgmt.msc”
- Navigate to display adapters
- Right click your integrated graphics driver, and press properties
- Navigate to the driver tab and press update
- Then select “search automatically for drivers”
Your integrated display drivers may be corrupted, so re-installing them, or updating the driver can solve the issue.
If you cannot find the graphics driver through Device manager, then you will need to visit the CPU manufacturer’s website to update the drivers manually.
Bad BIOS Config
If you’ve previously been through the BIOS, but your motherboard HDMI doesn’t seem to be working, then you’ve likely messed up a setting through the BIOS.
Luckily, resetting the BIOS is quite simple, and there’s a few steps you can follow to do this.
After entering the BIOS using the appropriate method for your motherboard, you should be able to reset the BIOS by pressing either F9 or F5 will usually open the “Load Default Options” section.
Press yes, and restart the computer, this should load the optimal settings for your BIOS.
Or if you rather not go through the BIOS, you can reset it manually by resetting the CMOS. You can do this by locating the CMOS battery which is usually located on the right side of the motherboard.
Remove the CMOS battery, wait 60 seconds, then reinsert it. This should reset the motherboard to its default settings.
In conclusion, you can use the motherboard HDMI port, and your dedicated graphics HDMI port at the same time if you configure your system to work this way.
Although the steps to do this depend on your motherboard, it should be pretty easy and simple to follow for everyone. The goal is to enable the integrated graphics which is usually disabled when you have a dedicated GPU.