- 1 What Is Hardware-Accelerated GPU Scheduling?
- 2 How to Enable Hardware-accelerated GPU Scheduling in Windows 11 via the Registry
- 3 How to Disable or Enable Hardware Accelerated GPU Scheduling in Windows 11 Settings
- 4 FAQ – Frequently Asked Qestions About Hardware Accelerated GPU Scheduling
- 5 Extra: How to Enable or Disable Hardware Acceleration in Chrome
- 6 Extra: How to Restart, Reset or Update the Graphics Driver in Windows 11 or Windows 10
- 7 Extra: How to Update and Download Nvidia Drivers without GeForce Experience
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
FAQ – Frequently Asked Qestions About Hardware Accelerated GPU Scheduling
Can enabling hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling improve multitasking performance on my PC?
Yes, by offloading scheduling tasks to the GPU, it can free up CPU resources, potentially improving multitasking performance by allowing the CPU to handle other tasks more efficiently.
Will hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling affect battery life on laptops?
The impact on battery life can vary; in some cases, it may lead to more efficient power usage by the GPU, but in others, especially if the GPU is under heavy load, it could reduce battery life.
How can I verify that hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling is active after enabling it?
While there's no direct indicator, you might notice smoother performance in GPU-intensive tasks. For a technical verification, use GPU monitoring tools that can show scheduling behavior, though these are typically advanced tools used for diagnostics.
Is there a way to automate the toggling of hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling based on the applications I use?
No, Windows does not currently support automatic toggling of this feature based on specific applications. You need to manually enable or disable it based on your usage and performance experience.
Does hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling work with all types of graphics-intensive applications?
It's designed to improve performance across a wide range of GPU-intensive applications, including games, video playback, and creative software, but the extent of improvement can vary depending on the application and your hardware.
Can hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling be enabled on systems with multiple GPUs, such as a dedicated GPU and an integrated one?
Yes, it can be enabled on such systems, but the feature primarily benefits the primary GPU used for intensive tasks. Ensure that your dedicated GPU supports this feature.
What should I do if I encounter graphical glitches or instability after enabling hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling?
If you experience issues, try updating your graphics drivers to the latest version. If problems persist, consider disabling hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling to see if it resolves the issues.
Are there any known conflicts between hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling and specific graphics driver versions?
While not common, some driver versions may have bugs that affect this feature. Always ensure you have the latest drivers from your GPU manufacturer, and check their forums or support sites for known issues.
Can enabling hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling help with video streaming and playback?
It may improve video playback smoothness and reduce latency, particularly in high-resolution streaming, but the benefits can vary depending on the player software and the video source.
Is it necessary to adjust any other system settings when enabling hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling to ensure optimal performance?
Generally, no additional adjustments are needed. However, ensuring your system is optimized for performance, such as keeping drivers up-to-date and managing background applications, can enhance the benefits.
Does hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling impact the thermal performance of my system?
The impact on thermal performance is minimal since it mainly changes how tasks are scheduled, not the intensity or amount of processing. However, efficient task scheduling can sometimes lead to more consistent GPU usage, which might affect thermal readings slightly.
How does hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling interact with game mode or other Windows performance settings?
Hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling is independent of game mode and other performance settings, but using them in conjunction can potentially provide a smoother gaming experience.
If I use an external GPU (eGPU) with my laptop, will enabling hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling affect its performance?
Yes, if your eGPU supports this feature, enabling it can improve performance, especially in reducing latency over the connection between the laptop and the eGPU.
Can hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling improve performance in virtual reality (VR) applications?
It has the potential to reduce latency in VR applications, which is crucial for a smooth VR experience, but the impact can vary depending on the specific hardware and software setup.
Should I expect immediate performance improvements after enabling hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling, or does it require some time to adapt?
Any performance improvements should be noticeable immediately after enabling the feature and restarting your system, as it changes how the GPU schedules tasks without a “learning” period.
Extra: How to Enable or Disable Hardware Acceleration in Chrome
Hardware acceleration makes use of your computer's graphics card to speed up the browser and free up your CPU. As your GPU is designed to perform video-based calculations, it's often better suited for tasks like watching videos or playing browser games. In our other guide, we explain what hardware acceleration is, when you should turn it off, and how you can enable or disable it in Google Chrome.How to Enable or Disable Hardware Acceleration in Chrome.
Extra: How to Restart, Reset or Update the Graphics Driver in Windows 11 or Windows 10
Restarting a graphics driver in Windows involves sending a special signal to the graphics hardware, which causes it to stop processing any commands and release any resources it is currently using. Then, Windows unloads the driver software from memory and reloads it again. You can also uninstall a graphics driver in Windows 11/Windows 10 to reset it to its original version. In our other guide, we show you how to restart the graphics driver in Windows without rebooting and how to reset or upgrade the graphics driver if it does not work properly.
Extra: How to Update and Download Nvidia Drivers without GeForce Experience
though Nvidia strongly pushes GeForce Experience on its GPU owners, it's possible to update them without it. The process is a bit more involved, but GTX drivers can be found on its official website for installation. Doing so will still net you the use Nvidia Control Panel, but won't come with extra fluff like desktop overlays, settings optimizers, and game recording. In our other guide, we show you how to download Nvidia drivers without GeForce Experience and help you check your hardware.