Hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling is a Windows 11 and 10 feature that first appeared in 2020. You may be wondering what it does, whether you should turn GPU scheduling or off, and how to disable or enable hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling on your PC. We'll be covering all this today, starting with a short explanation of how it works.
What is hardware accelerated GPU scheduling?
Hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling is a feature designed to allow better GPU scheduling between applications, theoretically improving gaming and video performance.
To understand how it works, you first need to know how Windows previously did things. The OS has long offloaded some graphically intensive tasks to the GPU so that games, videos, and photo/video editing apps run smoothly.
The CPU looks at all the frames that need to be rendered by the GPU, orders, and prioritizes them, and sends them off one by one for processing. Tasks like this are why the CPU is often referred to as the “brains” of your computer.
In recent years, however, consumer GPUs have become more and more capable of performing their own tasks.
When you enable hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling in Windows 11, your PC instead uses a GPUs own dedicated scheduling processor and memory (VRAM) to gather and order the data. This both frees the CPU to perform other tasks and reduces latency.
Should I turn hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling on or off?
The simple answer is “it depends”. Currently, testing shows that hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling has little impact on performance on high to medium-end machines. On lower-end machines, however, you may see a reduction in latency and therefore stuttering in games and videos.
Unfortunately, while you'll see improvements (however minor) in most titles, there are some reports that it can negatively impact the experience in others. Ultimately, it's something you will just have to test with the tasks and hardware you have. If it doesn't work out, you can always toggle it again.
Before you do, you should know that hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling in Windows 10 and 11 requires a modern GPU. For Nvidia, that means a GTX 1000 or later card, and for AMD 5600 series or later. If you're set on the requirements front, we'll show you how to turn on or off hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling using two methods below:
How to Enable Hardware-accelerated GPU Scheduling in Windows 11 via the Registry
Though it's not the most intuitive way, turning hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling on or off using the registry is still relatively easy. As a bonus, the steps outlined below will be exactly the same on Windows 10 and Windows 11, so you can follow along easily on either OS. Let's get started:
- Press Start and type “Regedit”, then click the top result
- Browse to the “GraphicsDrivers” registry key and create a new DWORD
You'll find the GraphicsDrivers key in
Computer/HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Control/GraphicsDrivers. To add the DWORD, right-click any blank space in the main pane and choose “DWORD (32-bit) Value”.
- Name the new DWORD “HwSchMode”
- Turn on hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling by changing the value data to “2”
Double-click on its name to modify your DWORD's value data, then press “OK” once you've entered “2” in the value data field.
- Turn off hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling by changing the value data to “1”
To turn the GPU scheduling off, double-click your DWORD and enter “1” in the value data field, then press “OK”.
How to Disable or Enable Hardware Accelerated GPU Scheduling in Windows 11 Settings
The easiest way to turn hardware GPU scheduling on or off is through Windows 11's beautiful new Settings interface. Of course, you can also do this in Windows 10, but your layout and labels may differ.
- Open Settings
Press Start and press the “Settings” icon on your Start menu. Alternatively, press “Windows + I”.
- Click “System” in the settings sidebar, then on “Display” in the main pane
- Click on the “Graphics” heading
- Press “Change Default Graphics Settings”
- Turn hardware GPU schedule on or off via the toggle
How to Check What Graphics Card You Have or Enable/Disable Hardware Acceleration in Chrome
If you don't see a toggle for hardware GPU scheduling, you may want to check what graphics card you have by following our dedicated guide. Meanwhile, to get the most out of your GPU, you might want to enable hardware acceleration in Chrome.