[SOLVED] Can the CPU's integrated graphics be used through PCIe card?

Nov 26, 2020
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Hello. I have an Intel i7-6700 which has the integrated Intel-HD-Graphics-530 and as the motherboard I have a Gigabyte ga-z170-hd3p.
The integrated graphics on the CPU supports 4k60Hz but my motherboard only has a HDMI1.4 output at best so all I can run is 4k30Hz.
I was wondering if I could somehow use CPU's graphics processor through a PCIe card with an HDMI2.0 port or DP1.2.
I never heard of such thing and by searching online I'm starting to think it might only be possible in my immagination.
Is this the case?

I'll leave a couple useful links:
CPU: https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/88196/intel-core-i7-6700-processor-8m-cache-up-to-4-00-ghz.html
MB: https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/GA-Z170-HD3P-rev-10/sp#sp

I understand that probably the best option would be to change motherboard but I can't help but wonder if what I described above would be a possible solution too.

Thank you in advance,
Francesco
 

Math Geek

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the igp gets directly connected to the motherboard outputs much the same way that they are on a discrete card. so the data path goes from the cpu to the gpu to be processed and then out the outputs to your monitor.

the pci lanes are just fast connections from the cpu to your graphics card so they can be fed data as fast as possible when needed. they do not come into play for an integrated graphics since they get their own direct path inside the cpu itself and then dedicated paths to the mobo outputs as well.

it is important to note that the super fast pcie lanes are really not needed for a gpu anyway. the speed is really only used when working with super fast ssd's. the 16 lanes usually given to the graphics card is way more than needed. 8 lanes is more than ample but people have it stuck in their heads that you need 16 since it used to be that way a long time ago when pcie 1.0 was a thing!! things have changed though and 8 is enough for now, especially with the 4.0 standard which is 2x as fast as 3.0 lanes.

i guess it could be possible to send the iGP signal through the discrete card. would probably have to be done with the chipset driver level as it would have to change the way the data gets processed and send it out the normal cpu pcie lanes to the card.

then the card itself would have to know and understand that it does not have to do anything with what it is getting and only pass it to the outputs. this would be a pass-through mode which is common enough on other audio-video devices.

you seem to want a card dedicated to simply passing the signal on, which if you think about it does not really make sense. the mobo already does that with the build in outputs and there is really no need in the grand scheme of things to make such a card. the iGP can't handle any 4k@60 hz processing anyway really. even just playing a 4k video at that fps would be more than it could handle really.

to do anything at this performance level would take a discrete card much stronger than an iGP which again makes your pass-through card un-needed as well.
 
Nov 26, 2020
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Yes windows 10 allows you to have the monitor connected to one GPU but use a different one to drive it.
https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/103965-set-preferred-gpu-apps-windows-10-a.html
But what pcie card can you get that has hdmi2 but is weaker than the integrated graphics?
Oh, interesting. I never came across that setting. I do have an old external GPU that, although more powerful than my integrated GPU, I do not use since it is loud and runs quite hot even at idle. Do you think that by using this setting in Windows 10 the external GPU would be bypassed in a way that could avoid it running hot (thus possibly avoiding the fans running at all)?

I was thinking of some sort of PCIe card that did not have it's own GPU capabilities but I guess an old used GPU is probably a more viable solution.
 
Do you think that by using this setting in Windows 10 the external GPU would be bypassed in a way that could avoid it running hot (thus possibly avoiding the fans running at all)?
The GPU only has to barely work it will be in idle but it depends on the card if it can completely turn off the fans or if they have to run at some speed.
I was thinking of some sort of PCIe card that did not have it's own GPU capabilities
I don't even know if something like that exists and if it does you would have to find specialised software for it to do any output.
 

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i don't think that setting is what is being asked about.

if i am reading this correctly, you wish to have the integrated graphics from your cpu somehow send it's signal to a discrete card and out that card's output?? am i reading it right?

that is not what that setting is doing. it is allowing you to say what app uses what gpu. but you still are using the appropriate output for each one. so anything you have the iGP using still has to output through the motherboard connections.

i don't think there is any way to do what i believe you are looking to do. the iGP does not work that way and is not designed to send its output back through the pci lanes to a discrete gpu and then have that gpu somehow know what to do with the data as it comes in. gpu's are not designed to work that way in some kind of "pass-through" mode
 
Nov 26, 2020
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The GPU only has to barely work it will be in idle but it depends on the card if it can completely turn off the fans or if they have to run at some speed.

I don't even know if something like that exists and if it does you would have to find specialised software for it to do any output.
Ok. Thank you very much for your help. I really appreciate it.
 
Nov 26, 2020
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i don't think that setting is what is being asked about.

if i am reading this correctly, you wish to have the integrated graphics from your cpu somehow send it's signal to a discrete card and out that card's output?? am i reading it right?

that is not what that setting is doing. it is allowing you to say what app uses what gpu. but you still are using the appropriate output for each one. so anything you have the iGP using still has to output through the motherboard connections.

i don't think there is any way to do what i believe you are looking to do. the iGP does not work that way and is not designed to send its output back through the pci lanes to a discrete gpu and then have that gpu somehow know what to do with the data as it comes in. gpu's are not designed to work that way in some kind of "pass-through" mode
Oh, I understand. I don't really know how the data is transmitted but I thought the video output on the motherboard was connected to the iGP through PCIe. Are you telling me this is not the case or is this true but, since nobody actually needs to send the iGP's output anywhere but to the output of the motherboard, there is no configuration (HW or SW) that enables this?
At this point I understand that the solution I was thinking of is not going to be feasible but I would still like to understand what the actual limitations and possibilities are.
Thank you
 

Math Geek

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the igp gets directly connected to the motherboard outputs much the same way that they are on a discrete card. so the data path goes from the cpu to the gpu to be processed and then out the outputs to your monitor.

the pci lanes are just fast connections from the cpu to your graphics card so they can be fed data as fast as possible when needed. they do not come into play for an integrated graphics since they get their own direct path inside the cpu itself and then dedicated paths to the mobo outputs as well.

it is important to note that the super fast pcie lanes are really not needed for a gpu anyway. the speed is really only used when working with super fast ssd's. the 16 lanes usually given to the graphics card is way more than needed. 8 lanes is more than ample but people have it stuck in their heads that you need 16 since it used to be that way a long time ago when pcie 1.0 was a thing!! things have changed though and 8 is enough for now, especially with the 4.0 standard which is 2x as fast as 3.0 lanes.

i guess it could be possible to send the iGP signal through the discrete card. would probably have to be done with the chipset driver level as it would have to change the way the data gets processed and send it out the normal cpu pcie lanes to the card.

then the card itself would have to know and understand that it does not have to do anything with what it is getting and only pass it to the outputs. this would be a pass-through mode which is common enough on other audio-video devices.

you seem to want a card dedicated to simply passing the signal on, which if you think about it does not really make sense. the mobo already does that with the build in outputs and there is really no need in the grand scheme of things to make such a card. the iGP can't handle any 4k@60 hz processing anyway really. even just playing a 4k video at that fps would be more than it could handle really.

to do anything at this performance level would take a discrete card much stronger than an iGP which again makes your pass-through card un-needed as well.
 

Rookie_MIB

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The thing is - in order to get a HDMI 2.0 output (or DP 1.2) and the circuitry it requires to drive a 4k60hz display, you'd have to add in a graphics card with that capability. Nvidia cards with that capability are the GTX 900 series (starting with the 950) and onwards. So - you could add in a GT 1030 which is a super cheap low powered card, but still outperforms the Intel HD graphics. It wouldn't even need a power connector.

If I was even going to spend the money on a GPU - if it's an HTPC and you need silent, get a GT1030 with a big passive cooling heatsink - about $60-70. If silence is not an requirement, I'd just get a GTX 1060 6GB for about $50 more as it's vastly more powerful - or something newer depending on the budget.
 
Nov 26, 2020
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the igp gets directly connected to the motherboard outputs much the same way that they are on a discrete card. so the data path goes from the cpu to the gpu to be processed and then out the outputs to your monitor.

the pci lanes are just fast connections from the cpu to your graphics card so they can be fed data as fast as possible when needed. they do not come into play for an integrated graphics since they get their own direct path inside the cpu itself and then dedicated paths to the mobo outputs as well.

it is important to note that the super fast pcie lanes are really not needed for a gpu anyway. the speed is really only used when working with super fast ssd's. the 16 lanes usually given to the graphics card is way more than needed. 8 lanes is more than ample but people have it stuck in their heads that you need 16 since it used to be that way a long time ago when pcie 1.0 was a thing!! things have changed though and 8 is enough for now, especially with the 4.0 standard which is 2x as fast as 3.0 lanes.

i guess it could be possible to send the iGP signal through the discrete card. would probably have to be done with the chipset driver level as it would have to change the way the data gets processed and send it out the normal cpu pcie lanes to the card.

then the card itself would have to know and understand that it does not have to do anything with what it is getting and only pass it to the outputs. this would be a pass-through mode which is common enough on other audio-video devices.

you seem to want a card dedicated to simply passing the signal on, which if you think about it does not really make sense. the mobo already does that with the build in outputs and there is really no need in the grand scheme of things to make such a card. the iGP can't handle any 4k@60 hz processing anyway really. even just playing a 4k video at that fps would be more than it could handle really.

to do anything at this performance level would take a discrete card much stronger than an iGP which again makes your pass-through card un-needed as well.
Very thorough explanation. Thank you very much, this I would say is all I needed to know on the inner workings so I can avoid wasting time looking for more solutions!
 
Nov 26, 2020
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The thing is - in order to get a HDMI 2.0 output (or DP 1.2) and the circuitry it requires to drive a 4k60hz display, you'd have to add in a graphics card with that capability. Nvidia cards with that capability are the GTX 900 series (starting with the 950) and onwards. So - you could add in a GT 1030 which is a super cheap low powered card, but still outperforms the Intel HD graphics. It wouldn't even need a power connector.

If I was even going to spend the money on a GPU - if it's an HTPC and you need silent, get a GT1030 with a big passive cooling heatsink - about $60-70. If silence is not an requirement, I'd just get a GTX 1060 6GB for about $50 more as it's vastly more powerful - or something newer depending on the budget.
Yup, I've been out of the PC building game since I bought my last PC (the one in question) in 2015 so I had no idea I would be able to get such capable cards for so cheap! Also, I see you already got to the point at hand that is to be able to get the result I need in a cheap and silent way. The GT1030 with a passive sink will probably be the correct solution.
Thank you for the suggestions
 
i don't think that setting is what is being asked about.

if i am reading this correctly, you wish to have the integrated graphics from your cpu somehow send it's signal to a discrete card and out that card's output?? am i reading it right?
This is exactly what that setting does.
By setting up your main display in the display settings you determine which GPU will be the output device and by setting up the graphics settings you determine which GPU is going to be used to do that.
the iGP can't handle any 4k@60 hz processing anyway really. even just playing a 4k video at that fps would be more than it could handle really.
Have you ever heard of quick sync? 4k@60fps recording is super easy, playback almost doesn't even register as usage.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rxFxdvO3fQ
 

Math Geek

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This is exactly what that setting does.
By setting up your main display in the display settings you determine which GPU will be the output device and by setting up the graphics settings you determine which GPU is going to be used to do that.
right you select the gpu that is used but NOT what output it uses. that's what the op is asking to do. not to select which gpu handles what work but that the iGP specifically is used but outputs through the graphics card. this is just not possible as explained above. the iGP outputs through the motherboard outputs as intended and not through a separate graphics card.
 
Nov 26, 2020
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Instead of replying to both messages I'll just write here for both of you guys.
What @TerryLaze is suggesting seems to be really really close actually to what I thought. The thing is, for my purpose, although apparently possible with that DXGI technology that is shown in Linus's video (given it's SW based and not HW but that makes no difference to my end goal), to achieve the result I would want I would still need a GPU that would end up being more capable than my iGP...and that effectively would make all this quite pointless.

Now, @Matt Geek from what I understand you are right in saying that what is going on in the video isn't exactly what I was thinking about. With the DXGI technology I could be using the iGP to do the actual processing of the frames but the actual video output would still be rendered by the GPU. This though doesn't mean it wouldn't meet my goal. If somehow my iGP were more capable (in processing power) than my GPU but my GPU had a more capable video output than my motherboard then this solution would solve my problem absolutely.
This isn't the case though as the cheapest GPU I can find with the minimum specs I need would still be much better than my iGP.

Am I getting something wrong?
 

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not really. sounds like you got a handle on it now. the iGP is aimed more to the office machine crowd. it's more than ample for an office machine or for basic movie streaming and internet use. but just about any separate card is going to be stronger, which shows how weak the iGP really is. they have come a long way and are capable of a lot. but once you start talking about any kind of gaming load, then anything else is a stronger option. which as you noted makes the whole exercise futile. a basic $50 card is stronger than the intel iGP.

now the amd apu's actually have pretty good iGP's. they match those $50-60 cards and then a bit more. they are a viable option for an entry level gaming machine if you understand you'll be playing at 720p at the average settings. or possibly 1080p at the lowest settings in some games.

intel has come a long way with the iGP and i believe they will be making more gains there but i don't think they are really intending to replace a discrete card with their iGP's. but they are becoming more capable every generation for sure.

in theory there is no reason you can't do what you are thinking, i just don't think there is the market available for someone to bother making a pass-through card like this. it would have to be pretty cheap and be looking for a reason to exist. i guess if you have broken outputs on the motherboard, then such a thing could be needed. but i can't really think of any other reason for it to exist in the bigger picture of pc add-ons
 
Nov 26, 2020
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not really. sounds like you got a handle on it now. the iGP is aimed more to the office machine crowd. it's more than ample for an office machine or for basic movie streaming and internet use. but just about any separate card is going to be stronger, which shows how weak the iGP really is. they have come a long way and are capable of a lot. but once you start talking about any kind of gaming load, then anything else is a stronger option. which as you noted makes the whole exercise futile. a basic $50 card is stronger than the intel iGP.

now the amd apu's actually have pretty good iGP's. they match those $50-60 cards and then a bit more. they are a viable option for an entry level gaming machine if you understand you'll be playing at 720p at the average settings. or possibly 1080p at the lowest settings in some games.

intel has come a long way with the iGP and i believe they will be making more gains there but i don't think they are really intending to replace a discrete card with their iGP's. but they are becoming more capable every generation for sure.

in theory there is no reason you can't do what you are thinking, i just don't think there is the market available for someone to bother making a pass-through card like this. it would have to be pretty cheap and be looking for a reason to exist. i guess if you have broken outputs on the motherboard, then such a thing could be needed. but i can't really think of any other reason for it to exist in the bigger picture of pc add-ons
Ok, I'm happy with all the information we've gathered so far.
To summarize:
YES, it is possible...not with some dedicated PCIe card that does not exist and for which there is no market nor reason to exist but with another GPU (which is a PCIe card in the end).
NO, it does not make any sense to pursue this goal in my case as the needed GPU to achieve this would drastically outperform my iGP.

Thank you to all that dedicated their time helping me out to find the best solution for my situation and gave me more information on the subject. It is really interesting to see what can be done and to try to understand how it works and what the limitations are.
For what concearns the question of this post we have an answer, I doubt that will change. If although anyone has more information on this topic please do share it as it's always good to learn more.
Again, I really appreciate it guys. You have a good community here.
 

Math Geek

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this was a rather interesting question and i enjoyed getting to think about this angle of computing as i had never actually considered such a thing before today. it's always fun to look into something new. just wish there was a better answer though.

sure beats another "amd or intel" thread. lol
 

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