Intel HD Graphics is getting better with each new generation, but games' graphics is getting better and more demanding with each new generation, too, so has Intel HD Graphics managed to catch up and become good enough for gaming? If that's what you are wondering, read on and you will find the answer.
Each generation of Intel HD Graphics has several members. The weakest ones are those without a model number, i.e. the ones labeled simply "Intel HD Graphics". They are usually integrated into Intel Atom, Celeron and Pentium processors and are much weaker than the Intel HD Graphics with a model number (e.g. "Intel HD Graphics 520"), so if you are wondering whether an Intel HD Graphics without a model number is good for gaming, then wonder no more, the answer is a solid NO!
Intel HD Graphics that have a model number (e.g. "Intel HD Graphics 5500", "Intel HD Graphics 520", etc.) are usually integrated in Intel core i processors like "core i3", "core i5" and "core i7". These integrated graphics are much better than the ones integrated in the Pentium, Celeron and Atom processors of the same generation but still this doesn't mean that they are a perfect choice for gaming. I have done a thorough research and have compiled a list with some of the most popular games and how well they run on different generations and models of Intel HD Graphics in the article Games Playable on Intel HD Graphics.
As you see from the list, even the latest and the greatest models of Intel HD Graphics let you play new games only on low settings and resolutions and older games mostly on medium quality settings. This means that Intel HD Graphics has reached the performance of entry level dedicated video cards from Nvidia and AMD and now lets you play even most of the new games as long as you keep the quality settings and the resolution low.
Intel's integrated graphics has improved a lot during the last few years and its performance has now reached the level of entry level dedicated video cards. Recent generations of Intel HD Graphics can run even most of the latest computer games, but only on low settings and resolutions, so my verdict taking into account the current state of Intel HD Graphics is the following:
- Intel HD Graphics integrated in Atom, Celeron and Pentium processors (i.e. Intel HD Graphics without a model number) is NOT good for gaming.
- Intel HD Graphics integrated in core i3, i5 and i7 processors (i.e. Intel HD Graphics with a model number) can run most games and may suit your gaming needs if you are a casual gamer who rarely plays new games and doesn't mind playing them on low settings and resolutions or you prefer playing older games.
- If you can afford a mid-range dedicated video card or better, it will bring your gaming experience to a whole new level letting you enjoy better graphics quality and smoother gameplay. So if you enjoy fancy graphics or you intend to play games often, investing in a mid-range dedicated video card or better is definitely worth it.