Generally, when you install a graphics card on your PC, the HDMI port on the motherboards gets disabled.
This is an issue for users who want to have multiple monitors but do not have sufficient HDMI ports on the graphics card. In situation like this, the motherboard HDMI port becomes important for multiple displays.
Fortunately there is a way to circumvent this issue via BIOS. However, there are few key points and aspects about your system that you need to check before enabling HDMI on motherboard is possible.
In this tutorial, we will have an extensive look at how to use motherboard HDMI with graphics card plugged in.
Your CPU MUST Have an Integrated Graphics Card
So before we even BEGIN talking about enabling the motherboard’s HDMI port, you MUST make sure that your CPU has an integrated graphics card (aka iGPU).
Your motherboard HDMI port will NOT work if your CPU does not have an integrated graphics card.
This is because, motherboards DO NOT have an onboard video processing chip. All the video output ports that are located on the back I/O panel of the motherboard are powered by the CPU’s integrated graphics card.
Unfortunately, certain CPU models lack an iGPU and therefore you must be aware of this. Let us look at which models you should be aware of for Intel and AMD CPUs separately:
Intel CPUs and Intel Integrated Graphics Cards (Beware of “F” CPUs)
Fortunately, if you have an Intel CPU, then there are high chances that it would be featuring an integrated graphics card. Most Intel CPUs have an iGPU.
The only important exceptions are the processors with an “F” Suffix in their model name i.e Intel Core i7-11700F, Intel Core i5 11400F etc. These DO NOT feature an iGPU and therefore, would not have the capacity to power the HDMI port, or any other video output port, on the motherboard.
In other words, if you have an Intel “F” CPU, you will have to have a dedicated graphics card for video output for your PC.
Intel integrated graphics cards models include the popular Intel HD 4000 in very old CPUs, Intel UHD 630 and Intel UHD 750 in the more recent CPU generations.
Also Read: Is Integrated Graphics Card Good?
AMD CPUs and VEGA Series iGPUs (Watch Out for “G” Suffix)
Unlike Intel where most CPUs DO have an iGPU, with AMD, the opposite is the case.
With AMD, only the CPUs having the “G” suffix, i.e AMD Ryzen 5 5600G, feature an integrated graphics card and thus have the capacity to power the motherboard HDMI ports.
If you have any other AMD CPU, your motherboard HDMI port will NOT work.
It should be noted that AMD “G” series CPUs offer powerful Vega series graphics cards. The newer Vega iGPU found on 5000 series AMD Ryzen processors are profoundly more powerful than their Intel counterparts.
How to Check If Your CPU Has an Integrated Graphics Card or Not?
There are two way to check whether your CPU has an iGPU or not:
- Check through the official spechsheet
- Check internally from the Operating System (Device Manager)
1. Checking Through the Official Spechsheet:
This method is quite straightforward. If you know the make and model of your CPU, you can search it up online for its specsheet.
For instance the following excerpt from Intel websites shows the Processor Graphics information about the Intel Core i7-11700K CPU. This CPU has the Intel UHD 750 iGPU.
2. Check Internally from the Operating System (Device Manager)
Another fairly easy method is to check directly through the “Device Manager” tool.
1. Click Search on the Windows Taskbar and search for “Device Manager“. (Alternatively you can access Device Manager through Control Panel).
2. In the window that opens, expand “Display Adapters” and check what GPUs it displays.
In my case, the Device Manager displays the dedicated NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti as well as an iGPU Intel HD 630.
Hence, this goes to confirm that I DO have an integrated graphics card capable of supporting the motherboard HDMI ports.
If your Display Adapters section DOES NOT show an iGPU, then the motherboard HDMI ports WILL NOT work.
Also Read: Where is Motherboard in Device Manager?
So How to Use Motherboard HDMI with Graphics Card
Once you have confirmed that your CPU does have an iGPU, the next is to enable the motherboard HDMI from BIOS.
Depending upon the make and model of your motherboard, the BIOS interface and menus you have may differ.
Step 1: Access BIOS
When the PC starts, press the right key for accessing the BIOS.
The specific key for accessing the BIOS can be different for PCs. Often it is either the “Delete” or the “F12” key.
Step 2: Search for Sections Regarding the Display or the Integrated Graphics Card
Once you are in the BIOS, search for settings that relate to your iGPU. Basically you want to enable the iGPU – which automatically sets itself to off when you insert a dedicated graphics.
The settings for this can be labelled differently depending upon the BIOS you have.
For some it may say “Enable Multi-GPU Support” for others it may say “Enable iGPU” etc.
Step 3: Save and Reset
Save the settings in the BIOS and restart your PC. Your BIOS should have a dedicated KEY for “Save and Restart/Reset”.
Step 4: Plug in Your Monitor to the Motherboard HDMI Port
Now things should be quite smooth going.
Plug in your second monitor into the motherboard HDMI and you should be good to go. Now you should have a working motherboard HDMI port.
Step 5: Go to “Display Settings” on Windows to Customize the Settings for Multi-Monitor Display
You can customize the displays, their resolution, their orientation as well as select your primary display through the Windows “Display Settings”.
This can be accessed by Right Clicking anywhere on the main desktop and then selecting “Display Settings” from the menu that shows up.
Points to Note and FAQ
The Monitor Connected to the Motherboard HDMI Will Have Horrible Performance
This is a VERY important point to note particularly if you are gamer or an enthusiast.
The graphics processing unit for the monitor connected to the motherboard HDMI port would be the integrated graphics card.
Integrated graphics card are stupendously weak compared to a decent dedicated graphics card. Therefore, your frame rates while gaming on the monitor connected to motherboard’s HDMI port will SUFFER greatly.
On the other hand, gaming on your second monitor connected to your dedicated GPU’s HDMI port will work just fine.
Your CPU has an iGPU But Still Can’t Use the Motherboard HDMI – What Could Be the Cause?
There are two possible causes to this
1. The BIOS does not Have the Option to Enable the Motherboard HDMI
Some BIOS versions are very basic and do not provide comprehensive control over your system hardware.
For instance, the following BIOS is a very basic BIOS with very limited hardware control:
You COULD try updating your BIOS to a more robust version, however, that is inadvisable particularly for the uninitiated.
2. You are Missing the Driver for Your Integrated Graphics Card
If your BIOS does have the option to enable the motherboard video ports alongside the dedicated GPU’s HDMI ports, but if the issues persist, then the problem could lie with the drivers.
Basically, you need to check in the Device Manager if the integrated GPU shows in there.
If the integrated GPU is missing or has an error (often a yellow caution sign next to it), that could indicate an issue with the drivers.
My Device Manager shows everything is in order. It detects the iGPU just fine.
All Ports Get Activated NOT Just HDMI
It is also worth noting that when you enable the iGPU to power video ports on the motherboard in BIOS, it doesn’t just enable the HDMI, but also the rest of the ports that your motherboard may have.
So if your motherboard also has a VGA, DVI-D, or a Display Port, those will also get activated.
So as far as the question “how to use motherboard HDMI with graphics card” goes, the answer to this depends on your answers to two subsequent questions:
- Do you have a CPU with an iGPU?
- Does your BIOS have the right settings and control for enabling iGPU?
If the answer to these two question is an affirmative, then the process is only as simple as activating the right setting in your BIOS and then connecting your display to the motherboard’s HDMI port.