Overclocking Intel's HD Graphics

The base clock of both Intel's HD Graphics 2000 and 3000 on desktop SKUs is 850MHz. Thankfully, Intel's 32nm process allows for much headroom in both the CPU and GPU for overclocking. There are no clock locks or K-series parts to worry about when it comes to GPU overclocking; everything is unlocked. I started by trying to see how far I could push the Core i3-2100's HD Graphics 2000.

While I could get into Windows and run games at up to 1.6GHz, I needed to back down to 1.4GHz to maintain stability across all of our tests. That's a 64.7% overclock:

In some cases (Civilization V, WoW, Dawn of War II), the overclocked HD Graphics 2000 was enough to bring the 6 EU part close to the performance of the 3000 model. For the most part however the overclock just helped the Core i3-2100 perform halfway between it and the Core i5-2500K.

I tried the same experiment with the Core i5-2500K. While there's no chance it could catch up to a Radeon HD 5570, I managed to overclock my 2500K to 1.55GHz (the GPU clock can be adjusted in 50MHz increments):

Intel HD Graphics 3000 Overclocking: 1550MHz

The 82.4% increase in clock speed resulted in anywhere from a 0.6% to 33.7% increase in performance. While that's not terrible, it's also not that great. It looks like we're fairly memory bandwidth constrained here.

Resolution Scaling with Intel HD Graphics 3000 The Test


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  • 0121birmingham - Saturday, May 12, 2012 - link

    Just to say i wrote a small post on this issue at http://intel23976fpsproblem.blogspot.co.uk/
    It does not look like the problem has been fixed in the new z77 line up. DAM
  • milutzuk - Saturday, July 14, 2012 - link

    Beside VS2008 compiler performance I would like to see growing a database with some Java compiler performance, either under NetBeans or Eclipse. Thank you. Reply
  • britchie - Wednesday, December 26, 2012 - link

    I was wondering how Intel Quick Sync might impact PC Based Security Systems/CCTV like those from Avermedia or Geovision. For the longest time Aver advocated a dedicated graphics card but now says HD2000/3000 CPU is OK.

    I read about limited software support in the article and guess that Aver does not yet take advantage Quick Sync. However, I had to RMA a NV6480 just for compatibility with a Sandy Bridge CPU (even using a dedicated GPU - ATI 5000 for multiple monitors) and wondered why.

    Anyone know why Sandy Bridge might cause compatibility issues with DVR/NVR Cards and what advantages Quick Sync could bring to the IP Security Camera market if top companies like Geovision or Avermedia developed software for it?
  • realflow100 - Sunday, September 06, 2015 - link

    Heh. I can run DiRT 4 at 30FPS+ ABSOLUTELY playable even on a bit higher settings
    With Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail architecture)
    Even GTA 5 plays somewhat reasonably when you disable shadows and run at 640x480 :D
  • IdBuRnS - Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - link

    Who would have thought that 7 years later the 2600k is still relevant and competitive? Reply

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