MSI Problems With HDMI

By Ruri Ranbe

High-definition multimedia interface outputs both digital video and digital audio, making it superior to digital video interface -- the other standardized digital port -- which is unable to output audio signals. Some MSI motherboards come with an HDMI socket embedded into the board itself, while others require an expansion card to use HDMI. While problems with HDMI output on an MSI can occur if the graphics card or chip begins to fail, hardware and software settings can also affect video performance.

System Setup

The basic input/output system is responsible for testing and loading the hardware connected to the MSI motherboard. The complementary metal-oxide semiconductor -- named after the material of which its made -- holds the data the basic input/output system needs to configure the computer hardware at startup. You can change the data stored to the CMOS via the CMOS Setup Utility, accessible from the boot screen. On the Integrated Graphics Configuration screen is the option to change the graphics adapter to integrated mode or peripheral component interconnect express mode. If the MSI has a built-in HDMI socket, confirm "IGD" is selected; otherwise, select "PEG." Since the BIOS varies from model to model, you may find this option on the Advanced or Integrated Peripherals screen instead.

OS Setup

Microsoft Windows detects and communicates with devices using special software called software drivers. Conflicts can occur when installing a dedicated graphics card -- a card that's installed to the PCIe slot and not built into the MSI motherboard -- to a computer before first removing the software for the integrated graphics chip. Problems with the HDMI can also occur if the driver assigned to the associated card is disabled, forcing Windows to use generic video drivers. Before installing a dedicated graphics card with HDMI support to the MSI motherboard, uninstall the existing graphics driver from Device Manager, found in Control Panel. Install the driver for the new card before adding the card itself to the board. If no recent hardware changes to the motherboard were made, check the graphics adapter in Device Manager to see if the driver is disabled.

Hardware Conflict

Hardware conflicts occur when two or more devices attempt to use the same resources. MSI motherboards using 32-bit processors are more likely to experience issues with hardware conflicts than boards that use 64-bit processors. These conflicts occur when a dedicated graphics card is using a resource that another device is using at the same time. PCI and PCIe devices can share certain resources with one another, but problems abound when a PCIe component -- like the HDMI graphics card -- attempts to use the same resources as a non-PCI device. Check the Resources tab for the graphics adapter in Device Manager and confirm that "Use Automatic Settings" is selected. Check the BIOS as well for an option to enable the motherboard to automatically control resources.

Device Failure

While unfortunate, hardware failure can also cause problems with the HDMI socket on an MSI motherboard. Since some graphics cards are just as expensive as the motherboard itself, if either component fails, the replacement costs can be steep. If the MSI motherboard uses HDMI via a dedicated graphics card, confirm that the card is installed to the board correctly and that the appropriate power cables are connected to the card before assuming that the card itself is at fault. If the motherboard uses a built-in HDMI socket, check the area around the graphics chip for burnt, chipped or cracked areas, which indicate hardware damage.