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Any harm in using the Ivy bridge integrated graphics, in addition to a dedicated Nvidia Card?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 27, 2013 5:00:58 AM

What I mean specifically is, would it be ok to install the driver for my processor's integrated graphics and switch to them occasionally when I need them, and then back to my Nvidia card for more graphically intensive purposes?

Basically, I'm having a compatibility issue with my Nvidia card and a really old online RPG that I play, and since I didn't really want to shell out the money for an ATI card, I figured I'd try using my Ivy bridge IGP whenever I play that particular game (it's a really old game, so it doesn't require much.) The thing is, I had read somewhere that installing the drivers for the IGP could cause problems with dedicated cards, and since I play modern stuff too, I didn't want to mess anything up.

Is there any truth to that, or would it be safe for me to give this a go? And how should I go about doing it exactly? I've never actually used integrated before so I'm not sure what I'd need to download. It also needs to be enabled in the BIOS once the drivers installed, right?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

(I'm using a Gigabyte Intel Z77 LGA 1155 mobo, and a i5 3570K Processor, by the way.)
June 27, 2013 5:09:53 AM

I think the only reason to have the integrated graphics when you already have a dedicated GPU is in case the GPU just pain fails this way you don't lose your image and you can at least still see what you are doing save and quit where you are and either figure out the issue or take on a smaller work load until the dedicated card is replaced or up and running again. Since integrated graphics can't really handle that much. In all honesty I never heard anyone willingly switch from their dedicated card to the ingrated but I don't see a harm in it since technically that stuff is suppose to work together like integrated to back up the dedicated or handle small work loads like in a work environment pc. For gaming ingrated is no where near enough but good enough to stop where you're at and see what you are doing to close and solve your issue afterwards. For personal use like maybe popping up excel or word or something integrated is just fine. Heck I'm on a work computer right now and I'm on tomshardware so I hope that answers your question.

By that I meant these tiny little m-ITX workstations dont have dedicated GPU they use Integrated from the chip because companies are cheap and dont spend the money to have a half decent GPU since most work related programs dont really need much graphic power to function.
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June 27, 2013 5:37:43 AM

Since the video outputs of the integrated graphics (motherboard) and the Nvidia graphics(card) are physically separate, and would require disconnecting your monitor from one to the other in order to swap, I think that it would be a big hassle to make the swap. I don't think that it would cause any harm.
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June 27, 2013 10:05:14 PM

Thanks for the responses guys. Yeah, I'm aware of how badly IGP handles gaming, but the game I wanted to use it for is from 1999 and is mostly CPU intensive anyway. Heck, I've used a Mac Mini to play this particular game before, so it can run on almost anything. It's just that with Nvidia cards, it has a really annoying graphical glitch that drives me nuts. That being the case, I was hoping I could switch to the IGP whenever I wanted to play the game, and then back to the dedicated for other games.

Switching back and forth would be kind of annoying, but I was thinking since my dedicated card is hooked up by HDMI, and the the IGP would be using VGA, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. My biggest fear is that I might run into some driver-side complications with the IGP drivers.

I guess I could always give it a try and if anything screws up, restore the system.
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June 28, 2013 3:53:12 AM

clarkjd said:
Since the video outputs of the integrated graphics (motherboard) and the Nvidia graphics(card) are physically separate, and would require disconnecting your monitor from one to the other in order to swap, I think that it would be a big hassle to make the swap. I don't think that it would cause any harm.


Alacress said:
Thanks for the responses guys. Yeah, I'm aware of how badly IGP handles gaming, but the game I wanted to use it for is from 1999 and is mostly CPU intensive anyway. Heck, I've used a Mac Mini to play this particular game before, so it can run on almost anything. It's just that with Nvidia cards, it has a really annoying graphical glitch that drives me nuts. That being the case, I was hoping I could switch to the IGP whenever I wanted to play the game, and then back to the dedicated for other games.

Switching back and forth would be kind of annoying, but I was thinking since my dedicated card is hooked up by HDMI, and the the IGP would be using VGA, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. My biggest fear is that I might run into some driver-side complications with the IGP drivers.

I guess I could always give it a try and if anything screws up, restore the system.


Ahh the simple old school games LOL! I feel ya sometimes you just got to play the old games sounds good go on forward with it.
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June 28, 2013 5:30:37 AM

Alacress said:
Thanks for the responses guys. Yeah, I'm aware of how badly IGP handles gaming, but the game I wanted to use it for is from 1999 and is mostly CPU intensive anyway. Heck, I've used a Mac Mini to play this particular game before, so it can run on almost anything. It's just that with Nvidia cards, it has a really annoying graphical glitch that drives me nuts. That being the case, I was hoping I could switch to the IGP whenever I wanted to play the game, and then back to the dedicated for other games.

Switching back and forth would be kind of annoying, but I was thinking since my dedicated card is hooked up by HDMI, and the the IGP would be using VGA, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. My biggest fear is that I might run into some driver-side complications with the IGP drivers.

I guess I could always give it a try and if anything screws up, restore the system.

Here's the deal: Usually, the Integrated graphics is automatically disabled whenever you instal a dedicated graphics card, so if the Motherboard senses a card is installed, the IGP is disabled in the BIOS. It is not just a simple matter of hooking up both via different cables, then picking which one to use. You would have to make changes to the BIOS, then re-boot at least. You may even have to remove the Nvidia card to get the IGP to work at all.:( 

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June 29, 2013 1:16:00 AM

The Kasafist said:
clarkjd said:
Since the video outputs of the integrated graphics (motherboard) and the Nvidia graphics(card) are physically separate, and would require disconnecting your monitor from one to the other in order to swap, I think that it would be a big hassle to make the swap. I don't think that it would cause any harm.


Alacress said:
Thanks for the responses guys. Yeah, I'm aware of how badly IGP handles gaming, but the game I wanted to use it for is from 1999 and is mostly CPU intensive anyway. Heck, I've used a Mac Mini to play this particular game before, so it can run on almost anything. It's just that with Nvidia cards, it has a really annoying graphical glitch that drives me nuts. That being the case, I was hoping I could switch to the IGP whenever I wanted to play the game, and then back to the dedicated for other games.

Switching back and forth would be kind of annoying, but I was thinking since my dedicated card is hooked up by HDMI, and the the IGP would be using VGA, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. My biggest fear is that I might run into some driver-side complications with the IGP drivers.

I guess I could always give it a try and if anything screws up, restore the system.


Ahh the simple old school games LOL! I feel ya sometimes you just got to play the old games sounds good go on forward with it.


Yeah, I've got a soft spot for the classics :p 

clarkjd said:
Alacress said:
Thanks for the responses guys. Yeah, I'm aware of how badly IGP handles gaming, but the game I wanted to use it for is from 1999 and is mostly CPU intensive anyway. Heck, I've used a Mac Mini to play this particular game before, so it can run on almost anything. It's just that with Nvidia cards, it has a really annoying graphical glitch that drives me nuts. That being the case, I was hoping I could switch to the IGP whenever I wanted to play the game, and then back to the dedicated for other games.

Switching back and forth would be kind of annoying, but I was thinking since my dedicated card is hooked up by HDMI, and the the IGP would be using VGA, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. My biggest fear is that I might run into some driver-side complications with the IGP drivers.

I guess I could always give it a try and if anything screws up, restore the system.

Here's the deal: Usually, the Integrated graphics is automatically disabled whenever you instal a dedicated graphics card, so if the Motherboard senses a card is installed, the IGP is disabled in the BIOS. It is not just a simple matter of hooking up both via different cables, then picking which one to use. You would have to make changes to the BIOS, then re-boot at least. You may even have to remove the Nvidia card to get the IGP to work at all.:( 



Oh I know it's not as simple as "plug and play". I don't mind switching the setting in the Bios whenever I want to use it, but switching cords manually can be a pita after awhile. I shouldn't have that problem with my setup though.

Really, the only thing I was worried about was the drivers for the IGP possibly causing some kind of issue with my dedicated card when I use it. I've read about complications when using both, but I don't know how much truth there is to it.

For now, I'm not really playing the old game too much anyway, so I'll probably just put this on hold for the time being.

Thanks for the posts guys.
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September 9, 2013 3:09:11 AM

Alacress said:
What I mean specifically is, would it be ok to install the driver for my processor's integrated graphics and switch to them occasionally when I need them, and then back to my Nvidia card for more graphically intensive purposes?

Basically, I'm having a compatibility issue with my Nvidia card and a really old online RPG that I play, and since I didn't really want to shell out the money for an ATI card, I figured I'd try using my Ivy bridge IGP whenever I play that particular game (it's a really old game, so it doesn't require much.) The thing is, I had read somewhere that installing the drivers for the IGP could cause problems with dedicated cards, and since I play modern stuff too, I didn't want to mess anything up.

Is there any truth to that, or would it be safe for me to give this a go? And how should I go about doing it exactly? I've never actually used integrated before so I'm not sure what I'd need to download. It also needs to be enabled in the BIOS once the drivers installed, right?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

(I'm using a Gigabyte Intel Z77 LGA 1155 mobo, and a i5 3570K Processor, by the way.)


Nope u cant do that in one Windows instalation because IGP determines how is MB chipset used with CPU and RAM alocation and PCI express line.
In that case if u have turn on IGP in BIOS, then MB chipset will be set up to use virtual PCI express link
(depends on CPU and MB(in your case PCI Express 3,0 )) + RAM link (VRAM used for IGP is adjust(depending on MB + BIOS version)able in BIOS,
or prefixed amount is used on part of total physical RAM and cant be manualy set up how much RAM for VRAM is used
(example: 8GB total RAM instaled, 6GB usable by windows and 2GB alocated to VRAM GPU or 4GB total RAM instaled, 3.2GB usable by windows
and 780MB alocated to VRAM )) so windows will adapt that configuration. Switching GPU from IGP to "real" PCI express will need
reinstall MB drivers for chipset and windows will adapt to use with ur PCI express GPU. But next switch from PCI express GPU back to IGP
will need to remove MB chipset + GPU, DX drivers and install again drivers spoken for IGP. After installing and deinstalling(switching GPU)
several times windows will become unstable mostly not usable at all with BSOD.

Suggestion 1: try to switch ur PCIe GPU card (NVIDIA version ??) with some other PCIe GPU card
(cheap example: http://www.amazon.com/ATI-Radeon-X300SE-Express-DMS-59/...).
Because switching "real" PCI express GPU will not damage your windows(only requirment is same DX version use by GPU) even if different
manufacters are used (example: switch NVIDIA GPU with ATI GPU)
Suggestion 2: Use different windows for PCI e GPU (ur NVIDIA) and different windows for IGP
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September 9, 2013 5:02:59 AM

Last response on this thread was a bit over 2 months ago Michal Shadowko the OP never selected a best answer perhaps simply forgot or never got the right answer hope yours is th one so this thread can closed up real soon LOL!

Update for the OP: Might be the same deal and less headache to just simple use 2 monitors on the same GPU if you plan to use the second monitor for minimal tasks like browsing or running your benchmarking software while you test your pc while gaming then I dont see the need to even bother with your ingrated graphics! http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2197022
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September 9, 2013 7:39:13 PM

The Kasafist said:
Last response on this thread was a bit over 2 months ago Michal Shadowko the OP never selected a best answer
perhaps simply forgot or never got the right answer hope yours is th one so this thread can closed up real soon LOL!

Update for the OP: Might be the same deal and less headache to just simple use 2 monitors on the same GPU if you plan to use the second
monitor for minimal tasks like browsing or running your benchmarking software while you test your pc while gaming then I dont see the
need to even bother with your ingrated graphics! http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2197022


thanks kasafist ur link is about different problem but helpfull anyway (for me sure) i was long ago in same question of use 2 monitors but
only one VGA connector on GPU (with integrated and PCI e GPU) and it really can work that way if ur integrated GPU is ATI or NVIDIA with
dedicated memmory then some motherboards allows "virtual" crossfire to work together then u can do what hes asking and other solution
is to use extended USB GPU (i have done this with this "i-tec Docking Station Advance LITE Full HD Video USB 2.0" cheap (price was 30eur)
and it is usable for many more things works with Mac OS too :)  http://www.i-tec-europe.eu/?t=3&v=59) and so no intel discrete graphics
(some ATI and Nvidia cant be used as well it depends on precison choice of motherboard) cant be combined with PCI e GPU coz what i wrote above ... if u dont understand me i try to simple it ... windows use different chipset drivers on cpu with activated IGP and different for cpu with not activated IGP (i have not tested yet but maybeee with windows 8 it could be done without so many troubles as it have function of "reset" Restore Factory Settings ... more about it here http://www.redmondpie.com/how-to-restore-and-reset-wind...)
i know my response come late and so for fun it was only coincidence that i found this thread when searching google with exactly same
question as topic maker "Alacress" but i did what he asked and after that i was searching desperate on google for that my windows
become not bootable after several "switching" and some other related instalations and yes i used windows restore points to try reverse
switching install but i lost it and had to reinstall os and tell myself i will use only PCI e GPU and why i did what i did ?
stupidity hmm yes i was curious about performance benchmark and tests of that GPUs with gaming :/ 
... had it with gigabyte h61M-d2-b3 + intel G630 and PCI e GPU ATI HD 5670 ...
and for "Alacress" third solution : use virtual pc with IGP (it will work flawless good for you if using DDR3 1600Mhz RAMs )
virtual pc allows to full independ install of (almost any x86 based) OS in OS which was originaly booted on startup and doesnt
makes changes in it for drivers or any other installation exception is that virtual PC need space on real HDD ...
you may try and go check for more info about that in free ORACLE VirtualBox https://www.virtualbox.org/
or Microsoft VMware http://www.vmware.com/ (i think better but not free)
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