With Windows 10 update for May 2020 v2004, Microsoft introduced a new feature in the Settings app, known as the Hardware-Accelerated GPU Scheduling. This feature can be enabled and disabled at will through the Settings app. When enabled, you can refine and enhance your gaming experience on the same hardware. Only NVIDIA GPUs currently support this feature for Windows 10.
Note that this option is only available if both your hardware and driver support it. Let’s see what benefits this feature brings to Windows 10, and how you can enable it.
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What is Hardware-Accelerated GPU Scheduling
This feature allows you to optimize the speed of your dedicated GPU and enhance your overall gaming experience. Enabling it would drastically reduce latency and improve its performance.
Windows will automatically prioritize tasks that require greater performance and resources and execute such tasks on a dedicated GPU that has been set to output its best performance when the hardware acceleration has been enabled. However, Hardware-Accelerated GPU Scheduling allows the GPU to manage its own VRAM, rather than having it managed by the Operating System.
Since the GPU will now manage its own VRAM, it eliminates the overhead time of communication with the OS, resulting in faster response rates from the GPU.
As we mentioned earlier, both the hardware and the drivers need to support the function to use it. Moreover, the Operating System also needs to be Windows 10 v2004 (May 2020 update) or later.
Read Microsoft’s blog post to learn more about the feature.
Tip: You can download the latest Windows 10 v20H2 here.
If you don’t have a high grade GPU, you can still play graphics heavy games using Cloud gaming services.
If you are using NVIDIA dedicated GPU, then you must have a supported driver as well, which is 451.48, or later. Here is a guide on how to download the latest NVIDIA drivers.
If you are using an AMD, you must have Adrenalin 2020 Edition 20.5.1 Beta version of the driver or higher. As the name suggests, AMD is still working on the beta version for its support of the hardware acceleration.
How to enable Hardware-Accelerated GPU Scheduling in Windows 10
Once you have ensured that you have both the supported driver as well as the OS, you can now continue to enable the feature on your Windows 10 device. Here are 2 ways to do so:
Enable Hardware-Accelerated GPU Scheduling through the Settings app
Enabling the feature through the Settings application in Windows 10 is relatively easy, and literally just clicking a button. Follow the steps below:
- Navigate to the following:
Start Menu -> Settings -> System -> Display
- Now scroll down and click on Graphics settings.
- Now click on the slider below Hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling to switch it on.
You can now play games on your PC with optimal performance. However, note that this would consume more power. If you wish to switch it off, click on the slider again.
Enable Hardware-Accelerated GPU Scheduling using Registry Editor
Another way to switch on the feature in Windows 10 is through the System Registries. Note that unnecessary meddling with registry values can become critical for your OS. Therefore, we recommend that you create a restore point before proceeding.
- Launch the Registry Editor by typing in regedit in Run.
- Now navigate to the following location through the left pane:
HKEY_Local_Machine -> System -> CurrentControlSet -> Control -> GraphicsDrivers
- In the right pane, double-click the DWORD HwSchMode.
- Under Value Data, set the value to 2, and click Ok.
- Reboot your PC for the changes to take effect.
After the computer reboots, you will find that Hardware-Accelerated GPU Scheduling has been enabled.
In case you need to turn it off in the future, return to the same location within the Registry Editor and change the Value Data of HwSchMode to 1. This, too, will require a reboot.
Hardware acceleration is a neat trick to increase the performance of your PC. Since Microsoft has introduced it as a built-in feature in Windows 10, it does not require you to overclock your hardware. Thus, the GPU is not overburdened with the added load.
Unlike overclocking, your hardware is safe from over-utilization and unnecessary heat dissipation while using the Hardware-Accelerated GPU Scheduling feature.