Hardware-accelerated scheduling support for GPU was recently
added to Windows 10 with May 2020 Update and Windows Display
Driver Model (WDDM 2.7).
Hardware acceleration is a technical term used to describe
tasks being offloaded to specific hardware. As the name
suggests, Windows 10’s new feature allows both integrated and
dedicated GPUs to more directly manage their VRAM (Video RAM),
which holds pixels and other information on a monitor.
Windows 10 already passes most of the graphical intensive tasks
within the apps such as Google Chrome to the GPU.
On the other hand, hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling (HAGS)
will pass memory management control from the software to the
GPU, which in turn should allow the GPUs to better manage their
VRAM and free up the CPU a little to improve graphics
responsiveness and performance.
Earlier this month, Nvidia released new
drivers adding support for hardware-accelerated GPU
scheduling Microsoft introduced with the Windows 10 May 2020
update. Following last week’s Nvidia driver release, AMD and
Intel have shared more details.
Over the weekend, AMD published its driver version 20.5.1 Beta
with Graphics Hardware Scheduling. For now, the driver offers
support for Windows 10’s new feature on two products—Radeon
5700 series and 5600 series. Support for Ryzen, Vega and even
Navi 14 5500 series is currently absent.
If you have the supported version of the driver installed, you
should be able to enable the feature by heading to Settings
> System > Display > Graphics settings.
On the other hand, Intel has quietly published new
documentation to confirm that support for hardware-accelerated
GPU scheduling (HAGS) will be included in a future release of
their WDDM 2.7-based drivers.
“At the same time, WDDM 2.7 introduced a new feature named
Hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling. This feature is currently
not supported by the latest Intel DCH drivers [but] Intel is
looking to include support for this feature in future driver
releases,” the chipmaker noted.
It’s likely that most of the Intel’s integrated GPUs will
support the feature, but don’t expect anything too significant
here and some users have also discovered that game performance
can be negatively impacted when the feature is enabled.