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Intro

Most of the seventh-gen Core i CPUs from Intel come with the Intel HD Graphics 630 integrated GPU (iGPU), and the recently launched eighth-generation processors come with the same graphics engine. But is this iGPU powerful enough to run recent games? Or do you need to disable it and install a real video card if you want to play? That’s what we will answer today.

One of the most important technological evolutions seen in CPUs concerns integrated video. Since manufacturers started including the GPU inside the processors, its performance advanced faster than the processors’.

Most Intel seventh generation (Kaby Lake) and eighth generation (Coffee Lake) Core i processors use the HD Graphics 630 iGPU (renamed to UHD Graphics 630 on the Coffee Lake CPUs), which has 24 execution units, 350 MHz base clock, and turbo clock up to 1,150 MHz (the exact clock depends on the CPU model). Simpler models like the Pentium G4560 and the Celeron G3930 use the HD Graphics 610 iGPU, which has only half the execution units, while some mobile CPUs use the more powerful Iris Plus Graphics 640 and 650, that have 48 execution units and 64 MiB of dedicated memory.

Today, we want to see if the Intel HD 630 iGPU, present in CPUs like the Core i3-7100, Core i5-7600K, and Core i7-7700K, is powerful enough to run recent games, or whether an independent video card is necessary, even if it is a value model, like the GeForce GT 1030.

In order to answer this question, we ran benchmarks with some recent games, using the integrated video on the Core i7-7700K, and also using the GeForce GT 1030. We included the GeForce GTX 1050 in this test, to get an idea of the performance difference. We used one of the most powerful CPUs available with this iGPU, in order to be sure that we haven’t a CPU bottleneck.

In the table below, we compare the main specs from the video engines we included in this review.

Video card

Core clock

Turbo clock

Effective memory clock

Memory bus

Memory bandwidth

Memory

Processing cores

TDP

DirectX

Price

Intel HD Graphics 630

300 MHz

1,150* MHz

**

**

**

**

24

12.1

Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030 (GV-N1030D5-2GL)

1,227 MHz

1,468 MHz

6.0 GHz

64 bit

48 GB/s

2 GiB GDDR5

384

30 W

12.1

USD 70

Zotac GeForce GTX 1050 Mini

1,354 MHz

1,455 MHz

7.0 GHz

128 bit

112 GB/s

2 GiB GDDR5

640

75 W

12.1

USD 110

* Depends on the CPU model.

** Depends on the memory installed.