HDMI is an audio/video interface used by many devices such as the motherboard, graphics card, laptops, and monitors.
Most people will use the HDMI port on their graphics card to get a signal, but the motherboard also has an HDMI port for reasons many people don’t know.
Well, the motherboard has an HDMI port for integrated graphics, this is so you can get an output to a display without the need for a dedicated graphics card.
Why Does The Motherboard Have HDMI?
The primary purpose of the motherboard’s HDMI port is to use the integrated graphics which are present on the processor to output a display.
There’s really no reason to use the motherboard’s HDMI port unless you do not have a dedicated GPU. So it’s reserved for iGPUs only which can be helpful if your dedicated GPU doesn’t work.
If the only option you have is to output from the motherboard, then it isn’t bad, it should allow you to complete basic tasks such as browsing, using word documents, or watching YouTube videos.
However, if you intend on playing heavy video games, and performing other graphically intensive tasks, then you may require a dedicated GPU instead of using the motherboard HDMI port.
Integrated graphics which the motherboard HDMI port uses are inherently weaker than dedicated graphics cards, this is because a lot of the resources are shared with the CPU.
So, the integrated graphics share system memory with the CPU, a dedicated graphics card has its own VRAM which is significantly faster than system memory(RAM).
How To Enable Motherboard HDMI?
The first step to enabling your motherboards HDMI is to check whether your processor has integrated graphics or not.
The easiest way to do this is to look at your processor’s suffix, with Ryzen, it should say ‘G’ for integrated graphics.
With Intel, most processors will come with integrated graphics except for the processors with the ‘F’ suffix, for example, the I7 12700KF.
Once you’ve confirmed that your processor has integrated graphics, you may need to enable it within the BIOS, to do this, restart your PC and press F1, F2, F8, F12, Escape, and Delete.
Doing this will activate the BIOS, and from there you should be able to navigate to the Advanced tab where they show display and integrated GPU settings.
Ensure that the setting is enabled, once it’s enabled just restart your PC with the HDMI cable inserted in the motherboard HDMI port.
Finally, ensure that the drivers for the onboard graphics are working, to do this, navigate to display manager and check the “Other Devices” section and look for an unidentified device.
If you see this, you may need to update your onboard graphics drivers, you can do this by visiting the CPU manufacturers website.
Can I Use Motherboard HDMI Without Integrated Graphics?
No, the motherboard HDMI port is reserved only for the integrated graphics, it will not work if your CPU does not have on board graphics.
The motherboard’s HDMI port was made for only integrated graphics, you cannot change the functionality because the headers for the motherboard are made for CPUs.
So if you’re going to build a PC with a Ryzen CPU which typically does not have integrated graphics, you will need a dedicated GPU to output a signal..
Why Do Ryzen Motherboards Have HDMI?
If you’ve ever used a typical Ryzen processor, you’ve probably noticed that they do not come with integrated graphics, you’re required to have a dedicated GPU to output a signal.
So that leads to the question of why do Ryzen motherboards have HDMI if Ryzen processors do not have integrated graphics.
The answer is that Ryzen motherboards are made with the intention of APUs using the same socket, an APU in AMD terms is a CPU with integrated graphics.
APUs are kind of a buzzword, they’re basically normal CPUs with integrated graphics, an example of an APU would be the Ryzen 5 5600G.
The ‘G’ suffix at the end of a Ryzen processor signifies that it has integrated graphics capabilities, and through this, you will be able to use the motherboard HDMI port.
Can I Use Motherboard HDMI and Graphics Card HDMI Together?
If you have both integrated and dedicated graphics, you may want to use both output ports, the one on your graphics card and the HDMI port on your motherboard.
Most people would just hook everything up to the ports on their graphics cards, but there are scenarios where you will want to use the motherboard HDMI port.
With most motherboards, they will disable the integrated graphics once it detects a dedicated GPU, but this is usually changeable within the BIOS.
Using the integrated graphics whilst you have a graphics card can present some issues, the most notable one is that you’ll receive a huge dip in frame rate.
Also, it can cause graphics conflicts, usually a dedicated GPU and an integrated GPU vary which can cause huge frame rate loss, and crashing.
Pros And Cons Of Motherboard HDMI
- Motherboard HDMI is practically free, if you’re not going to play heavy games, then you can do just fine with an integrated GPU.
- Integrate graphics can serve as a backup option in case your dedicated GPU dies.
- Consumes a lot less power than a dedicated GPU
- Perfect for building budget gaming machines, some IGPUs are pretty strong, notably the Vega 11 IGPU.
- Suitable for lightweight and portable computers.
- They aren’t as powerful as dedicated GPUs, so there’s little chance you can play any triple-A video games.
In conclusion, the primary reason for a motherboard’s HDMI port is to output a signal from the integrated graphics.
So if you have a typical non ‘F’ variant Intel CPU, or a Ryzen APU with a ‘G’ suffix, you’ll most likely be able to use the HDMI port on the motherboard.
If you have a dedicated GPU there’s really no reason to use the HDMI port on the motherboard as it will cause a massive loss in performance.