If you want to play games on a PC, you will need one that has a GPU. The newer the GPU model, the better your games will run. Some games can run without a GPU, but they’re either very old, very basic, or you get an extremely low FPS when you play them.
On-board Graphics vs Dedicated GPU
Minecraft is an app that can run with just the on-board graphics card. You don’t necessarily need a GPU to play the game but as stated earlier, you’ll get a lesser experience. Common problems you’ll face, aside from a low FPS, is that the game will take longer to render new blocks, your FOV will be much lower, the animations will either be choppy or they won’t work at all. Modding the game will be out of the question.
If you have a GPU, it will help exponentially with the game; it will render better, and run more smoothly. Movement in the game will be more fluid and the look of it will be more real though the level or realism depends on how power the GPU is.
Sometimes, even when a system has a GPU, Minecraft tends to use the on-board graphics instead. In doing so, it basically renders the GPU useless and you may as well not have one at all as far as the game is concerned. Fortunately, on Windows 10, it is really easy to get Minecraft to use the GPU.
Minecraft Not Using GPU [FIX]
This fix works for the Minecraft Java version, and for the UWP/Bedrock/Windows 10 version. It will work regardless if you have an NVIDIA GPU or an AMD GPU.
- Open the Settings app.
- Go to the System group of settings.
- Select the Display tab.
- Scroll to the bottom, and click Graphics settings.
- On the Graphics Settings window, open the ‘Choose an app to set preference‘ dropdown.
- If you have the Java version of Minecraft, select Classic app.
- If you have the Bedrock version of the app, select Univeral app.
- Open the ‘Select App’ dropdown (for UWP apps), or click the Browse button (for Classic apps).
- Select Minecraft and click Add.
- Once Minecraft has been added, select it, and click Options.
- A new window will open within the Settings app with three different options that you can select. Select High Performance.
- Click Save.
- If you have Minecraft open, close it and then open it again. When you run the game, it will now use the dedicated GPU instead of the on-board graphics card.
Check: Is Minecraft using the GPU?
To check if Minecraft is using the GPU or not, use Task Manager.
- Open Minecraft, select a world, and allow it to load. Minimize the game.
- Right-click the Taskbar and select Task Manager from the context menu.
- On the Processes tab, look for Minecraft.
- Select it and check the GPU Engine column. It should read GPU 1 to indicate it is using the GPU and not the on-board graphics card.
What does a GPU do?
GPU or graphics processing unit handles how a game looks. This is a basic explanation but when we’re talking games, we’re not just talking about colors. Instead, we’re dealing with moving images and the images aren’t like those in a video where an app simply has to play through a sequence of them.
In a game, the image that is rendered is changing constantly e.g., when you’re in active combat in an FPS. Not only is the game-world changing as you play, but it is also adapting to the changes that are a result of how you interact with other elements in the game. In a nutshell, there are a lot of moving parts and each part plays a role in how or what is rendered on the screen.
If this rendering takes too long e.g., you shoot an arrow from a bow at a target, then the effect this has e.g., it releases a trap or presses a switch, won’t happen for a while. In some cases, you might not see it happen and will only see the after-effect. Take the example of sand in Minecraft. It’s rather satisfying to allow a chunk of sand suspended in the air to just drop but without a GPU, the drop might be slow or it might just bring the game to a standstill.
Minecraft started out as a basic game but today, it had changed so much that playing it without a GPU is a bad idea. The devs continue to make improvements to it, some of which will only be usable on systems with a GPU or a powerful GPU.
Were you able to fix your problem?
There is an on-going joke in the PC-gamers community where gamers buy or build rigs that cost $2000, and they end up playing Minecraft on it. It’s a harmless joke that console-lovers might enjoy but Minecraft has become quite a powerful game.
Users are able to create complex machines and even computers in it, while still being able to play on their own. It’s an open-world game that features infinite worlds so regardless of how you see it, it does need a GPU to run well.