Ever since HDMI graced the I/O stage, it has pretty much become the standard, gaining more popularity with every new generation.
It’s, therefore, quite natural to see the audio/video interface on a variety of devices, helping connect with other systems. No surprises, your computer’s motherboard is also likely to have the port.
But just because the HDMI port is so ubiquitous, it doesn’t mean it needs to be there on every other device. If it’s on a motherboard, it’s there for a reason.
So you may ask what purpose an HDMI port serves on your device’s motherboard? Can the motherboard do without the I/O port? Read on for the answers to the questions and more.
- Why Does My Motherboard Have an HDMI Port?
- Should I Use Motherboard HDMI?
- How Do I Get My HDMI to Work on My Motherboard?
- Can I Use My Motherboard HDMI Without Integrated Graphics?
Why Does My Motherboard Have an HDMI Port?
Your motherboard has an HDMI port to let you use the onboard video card, which could be integrated into the CPU or the chipset.
The computer cannot do graphics-related tasks without the graphics chip, including using resource-intense programs or playing games.
The HDMI port on your motherboard comes in handy if you don’t have a dedicated GPU lying around and have to use the computer’s onboard graphics, such as multiple monitors.
The dedicated GPU may not always have enough HDMI ports to connect to or have damaged ports. In those scenarios, you may use your motherboard’s HDMI.
For instance, you could plug the primary screen into the dedicated video card. The secondary screen can make use of the HDMI port on the motherboard.
The i-GPU may not be on par with dedicated graphics, but it’s better than having no video processing capabilities at all.
Should I Use Motherboard HDMI?
You may or may not use the motherboard HDMI based on your setup requirements and how many HDMI ports you need handy.
Technically, HDMI is not integral to a motherboard. The HDMI port links to the graphics card hooked to the motherboard.
If the processor comes with an integrated GPU and there’s no apparent need for that graphical power, you should certainly look to use your motherboard HDMI.
To check if your CPU has integrated graphics, head to “Device Manager” in your system and then “Display Adapter.”
You can use the motherboard HDMI only if you don’t have a discrete graphics card. Give your dedicated video card priority. Even if you don’t, your system will default to it when connected.
Use the integrated graphics on the motherboard through the HDMI port only when the ports on the dedicated video card are full.
How Do I Get My HDMI to Work on My Motherboard?
To plug your other display device using your motherboard’s HDMI port and make the two talk with each other, ensure the integrated graphics unit is enabled and up to date.
If it’s not, you can activate it by changing/enabling the setting in the BIOS. To access BIOS, follow these steps:
- Restart your device, and press the F10 key. That should pull up the BIOS page. Based on your motherboard, the BIOS access key could be F1, F2, F12, F8, or Delete if not the F10 key. Check your computer manual to learn more.
- Once you’re on the BIOS page, head to “Advanced” in the menu options using the arrow keys or as directed in the BIOS instructions section.
- In “Advanced”, look for the i-GPU or multi-display-related setting. It should likely be disabled. Please enable it.
- Save the changes and press Enter.
- Restart the device.
If the above seems a bit too technical, here is a video demonstrating the same:
You may now connect the monitor to the HDMI port and use the integrated graphics to transfer video and audio data to the monitor from the motherboard.
Why was integrated graphics on your motherboard disabled? By default, it should not be. If it is, then probably you accidentally disabled it in the BIOS.
A scenario that likely led to that is having connected your system to a dedicated or external GPU. When that happens, your system takes the cue and disables the onboard graphics, and defaults to the more powerful dedicated GPU.
What If the HDMI Connection Still Doesn’t Work?
A few things could have gone wrong if you only hear audio on the secondary display and see no video or vice-versa, or no data transmission at all.
The HDMI may be disabled, or you did not connect the monitor properly. If the cables have been plugged in correctly, maybe the fault lies with the motherboard, HDMI cord/port, and/or the monitor.
If the monitor is working fine, it may display an error message saying what’s wrong with the setup. The BIOS could have issues too.
If it’s the motherboard, you’ll have to replace it. Upgrade to a better board if you can and not the newest version of the same mainboard.
Checking the physical connections and replacing cords if needed will also help. Ensure the drivers are the latest and the firmware is up to date.
Before everything, check if restarting your device clears the error. Most issues tend to disappear with a simple reboot. Therefore, it’s worth giving the system a boot up again.
Can I Use My Motherboard HDMI Without Integrated Graphics?
No, you cannot use motherboard HDMI by skipping the integrated video chip.
If the motherboard has its own graphics chip, it is possible to use the HDMI port without employing integrated graphics. But that’s rarely the case.
The integrated graphics chipset is an integral CPU component and powers the device’s HDMI output or any other I/O port. In other words, HDMI and integrated graphics go hand in hand.
Can you use multiple monitors connected to discrete and integrated graphics separately?
Yes, you can have a multi-display setup with one monitor hooked to your dedicated GPU and another to the graphics unit on the motherboard.
If the dedicated video card has multiple I/O ports, you could use them too to hook up other devices. Because motherboard HDMI tends to disable when used with a dedicated GPU, ensure it’s enabled in the BIOS before proceeding further.
Could the motherboard have two HDMI ports?
No, it usually does not have since the onboard graphics that the HDMI is there to serve requires only a single HDMI port to function.
Even if the motherboard has two HDMI ports, you cannot use those simultaneously, or one would be deactivated when the other one is active.
Why do most motherboards don’t have multiple HDMI ports? That’s because the space available is for a premium or room is needed to accommodate other connector ports such as USB.
Your motherboard has an HDMI port to capitalize on the system’s integrated graphics prowess.
Needless to say, the onboard graphics do not match a discrete or external video card.
While you can use integrated graphics to connect to a secondary display, you cannot carry out hardcore tasks on the other screen.
You’ll need a dedicated video card, which uses HDMI to interface with your device. Not to mention, integrated graphics take up some RAM, which a discrete GPU doesn’t.
Many GPUs now come with more than one HDMI port or one HDMI and one DisplayPort. The port combinations are usually multiple and varied.
In most cases, as a result, you’ll not find the need to use your motherboard’s HDMI port, much less having to worry about whether the port works or why the circuit board has one in the first place.
Catherine Tramell has been covering technology as a freelance writer for over a decade. She has been writing for Pointer Clicker for over a year, further expanding her expertise as a tech columnist. Catherine likes spending time with her family and friends and her pastimes are reading books and news articles.