Intel HD 520 (Review) – Graphics of 6th Gen Core U-Series CPUs

Intel HD 520 Graphics GPU-Z The Intel HD 520 is a graphics processor you can find integrated in the 6th Generation Intel Core U-series “Skylake” CPUs, such as the popular Core i5-6200U and i7-6500U. These chips are typically used in the mainstream notebooks, ultraportables, and select lower-end gaming laptops.

The GPU brings a slight performance improvement over the previous generation Intel HD 5500, primarily thanks to a bit higher clock speeds of 1,000 or 1050 MHz (depending on CPU model) instead of 900 MHz, as well as doubled number or ROP and TMU units. What’s not visible in graphics rendering benchmarks, such as 3D Mark 11 below, is improved support for 4K content decoding, resulting in lower CPU use when you play these high-resolution videos. As expected, 4K, Full HD, and lower resolution videos run perfectly smooth on the Intel HD 520.

Intel HD 520 3D Mark 11 Benchmark

Intel HD 520 3D Mark 11 Benchmark

Game Benchmarks

For this review, we used an HP Pavilion 15 15.6-inch Full HD laptop with the mid-range Intel Core i5-6200U processor with the Intel HD 520 graphics, 8GB of dual-channel system memory (2 x 4GB modules), and a standard 5,400rpm mechanical hard drive with 1TB capacity. The tested machine had Windows 10 Home operating system and Intel HD 10.18.15.4281 drivers installed. Keep in mind that laptops with single channel memory setups, with one RAM module instead of two or more, won’t have as good integrated graphics performance as the dual-channel ones. Also, different processor models like the i3, i5 and i7, different thermal designs of laptops’ chassis, as well as BIOS settings, can influence performance of the Intel HD 520 and other integrated graphics processors.

Gameplays were recorded with help of a specialized capture card on another computer instead of using software recorders which can degrade system performance.

 

The world’s most popular MMORPG League of Legends on maximal graphics detail settings and 1080p 1920×1080 resolution runs flawlessly, with around 50 frames per second. If you primarily play this hardware non-demanding game, the HD 520 IGP is an almost equally good choice as some high-end dedicated video card.

 

DOTA 2 is another famous MMORPG title. It requires better hardware resources than LoL and you won’t be able to play it on maximal settings and Full HD with the Intel HD 520. Instead an optimal choice appears to be 720p HD-class resolutions like 1280×720 and lower-mid detail settings. Frame rates in this case are around 45. If you increase settings to higher-medium, fps will drop to around 35 mark.

 

The Intel HD 520 can render PC game classic Minecraft effortlessly on the highest settings. Frame rates were somewhere between 60 and 70 fps most of the time.

 

Counter Strike: Global Offensive – the most played first person shooter game, isn’t a graphics-rich title. On the positive side, it doesn’t require gaming-class hardware. On the Intel HD 520 graphics, you can play it on 720p resolution and high settings, with around 65 fps most of the time.

 

The latest iteration of Grand Theft Auto – GTA 5, isn’t so integrated graphics-friendly as the CS:GO. One can say the game is barely playable on the reviewed GPU. With all settings set to minimum and 720p resolution, frame rates vary between 20 and 25 fps.

 

Battlefield 4 works quite smooth, if you’re willing to make a compromise and dial down resolution to 720p and put settings on medium. However, there was a glitch with displaying ground textures, which we weren’t able to fix by changing graphics settings or reinstalling graphics drivers and the game.

 

A similar story is with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Frame rates varied greatly, depending on scene, but generally they were mostly between 30 and 50 fps on minimal settings and 720p resolution. Unfortunately, a serious graphics rendering glitch on a part of the first level was very annoying, as you can see in the first part of the video. Again, we weren’t able to fix it.

 

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim runs very well on low / 720p settings, with mostly 50 – 60 fps.

 

FIFA 2016 is easily playable, but the settings need to be put on minimum to achieve gameplay without stutter. During standard camera shots of the matches, frame rates are around 55 fps, while during zoomed in scenes like goal celebrations, when the objects are bigger, they drop to around 30 fps.

For a list of laptops with the Intel HD 520 click here.

Specifications of the Intel HD 520

Here's the specs sheet of the Intel HD 520:

GPU Name

Intel HD 520 Graphics

GPU Type

Integrated graphics

Number of Execution Units, Cores, Shaders

24

ROPs / TMUs

8 / 16

Core Clock Speed

300 – 1,000 / 1,050 MHz

Memory Bus Width

128-bit

64-bit

Video Memory Size

Shared main memory, depends on system

Memory Type

DDR3 shared system memory

Video Memory Speed

Depends on system

Production Technology

14-nanometer

3D Mark 11 (Performance Mode) Score

1050

Category:

Written by Dan on January 16, 2016

User reviews, Q&A, and videos about the Intel HD 520

Below you can read and submit user reviews, questions, answers, and gameplay videos related to the graphics processor. Thank you for your contribution.

Current rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars

  1. Terminator Resistance on HD 520

    Dan

    I found this video of Terminator Resistance. Looks quite playable on the old Intel HD 520 of the Core i5 CPU at 720p / Low / 60% resolution scale. This means its also playable on the newer Core i3, i5, i7 processors with newer Intel HD and UHD graphics series.

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  2. Md Rakib

    sir, I have Lenovo ideapad 300 with intel hd graphics 520, no dedicated graphics. which game can i run in 45-60 fps?low resolution doesn’t matter .

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  3. SAAD

    can call of duty 4 and pubg mobile be played smoothly on 520 without lag?

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    • Dan

      I would say no, because it’s a very basic graphics processor. You can maybe play them on the lowest graphics settings, but even then they can’t run smoothly.

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  4. Christopher

    I have a Lenovo thinkpad t460s with the intel hd 520 graphics. I noticed you was talking about ddr3, well my thinkpad has 4gb onboard ddr4 and 1x 16gb ddr4 making it 20gb, shouldn’t the memory speed and amount help the hd 520 play games better?

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    • Dan

      Hi, DDR4 RAM doesn’t significantly improve gaming performance over DDR3. What helps a lot is having dual-channel RAM instead of single channel. Now, it is questionable whether having different module sizes of 4GB and 16GB in your case actually allows dual-channel operation and I can’t tell whether that’s the case here. I know that on some older systems different RAM sizes of two used sticks actually cause RAM to operate in a slower single channel mode instead of faster dual-channel. I don’t know whether your notebook’s motherboard supports dual-channel with different-sized RAM modules like 4 and 16GB, but many newer motherboards can do that. They allow for instance 4GB of one RAM module and 4GB of the second module to run in dual-channel, while the rest of the larger RAM runs in single channel.

      I can only suggest you to check if your laptop’s RAM runs in dual-channel by using utilities like CPU-Z app (it has a Channels # info in the Memory section of the app). If it runs in dual-channel then your RAM configuration is the best possible regarding your laptop. If it is single-channel then, matching the built-in 4GB with another 4GB should 99% likely allow dual-channel operation and increased gaming performance in most games.

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  5. Frank King

    I have the HD Graphics 520 on my Lenovo. I can’t run Gopro Quick software to edit my videos. The software does not respond.
    Is there a better driver than my current version 26.20.100.6998

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  6. aldo

    yo tengo un i3 6006u a 2.0 ghz con intel hd 520 12 gb de ram ddr4 1tb disco duro y corro gta 5 en graficos medios altos y wachdogs call of duti ghost y corren perfectos cero lag en todas circuntancias el unico juego viejo que si le subo las texturas y se cuelga un poco es el puto gta4 no entiendo pero e probado mas juegos y tiene un rendimiento perfecto para lo que uso mi laptop que es una dell inspiron 15 series 3000

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  7. JAY PARMAR

    Will it support ddr4 ram ?
    As i have a dell inspiron 15 3567 and it had a 4gb ddr3 ram which i’ll be replacing by 8gb ddr4.
    PLZ reply

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    • Danijel Z

      Hi, you can’t replace DDR3 RAM with DDR4, because they are not compatible. I have made a post about that here: https://laptoping.com/ddr3-and-ddr4-laptop-memory-compatible-no.html
      Regards.

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    • Abeer

      Acer Aspire E 15, 15.6″ Full HD, 8th Gen Intel Core i3-8130U, 6GB RAM Memory, 1TB HDD, 8X DVD, E5-576-392H
      Plz,,,I buy or no

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  8. 5 out of 5

    jorge

    Do you think that the HD 520 can handle gunbound sesson 4?
    I have a problem with this game

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  9. Imbron

    spesifikasi intel memang Lebih baik / FungsioanaL.
    Tidak di peruntukan bagi Gaming,
    Rentan
    Error maLahan..
    Multimedia memang memboroskan
    High Spek,High Risk

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  10. 5 out of 5

    cash

    Hello!

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  11. theo

    Hey I was playing Full HD movie, but it’s blur, it’s like the pixel gone crack,why is that?
    Thank you

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  12. Shrinivas Survase

    Is the intel HD 520 graphics card enough for working with 3D software programs..??

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  13. Shrinivas Survase

    Is the intel HD 520 graphics card enough for working with software programs of Civil Engineering

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    • Maximus

      Yes it is , it will conveniently run PTC creo and other cad softwares

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  14. 1 out of 5

    Anton

    BS.. I run a i5-6200U with the Intel HD 520 card on DOTA 2 with full graphics and 1920-1080 res.

    No problems what so ever… If you want screenshot, then I would be very pleased to contribute.

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  15. aashish

    what is the difference between 520m and. 4gb graphics

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  16. Rick J

    Do you think that the HD 520 will handle the latest world of warcraft legion?

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  17. Kevin Maldonado

    Would you be able to run an oculus rift on a laptop with these exact specifications??

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    • Sam

      Definitely not. The rift requires far, far more GPU power. Laptops that can run a rift today are huge beasts with full-sized discrete GPUs and battery life best measured in minutes.

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  18. Jessi

    Will this graphics card be sufficient for small amounts of solidworks use? I know that things like zebra stripes won’t run perfectly…I have a dedicated PC but need a light, portable laptop for travel which can handle Adobe, solidworks and renderings software such as keyshot.

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  19. Mike

    Does the 520 Rely totally on system ram? Thanks

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    • Danijel Z

      Yes, it does. It doesn’t have its own memory.

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  20. vignesh

    may i know how unrealengine4 fps works in intel hd 520 and also the comparison of intel hd 520 vs nvidia 930m???

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  21. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    I am researching laptop computers and your thorough review helped me understand the specs of the 520 chip. As the first reviewer said the performance of such a tiny integrated chip is impressive. Thanks for the review!
    Scott

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  22. 5 out of 5

    Eomera

    Amazing review, also quite impressed by the performance of such a tiny integrated gpu

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