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Virtual Background Engine

When selecting to use a Virtual Background,(version under Advanced Settings is a dropdown for the Engine. Options are:

  • Auto
  • WinML GPU
  • OpenVINO CPU
  • WinML CPU
  • OpenVINO Intel GPU

Obviously, choosing Auto is the least user informed route to take, but I am curious about options and performance. I assume that Microsoft’s WinML requires a fairly recent processor with Windows OS. On the other hand, Intel’s OpenVINO would, too, require a recent Intel processor. (I am using a 7th generation, Ivy Bridge, i5-7600K CPU in a Windows 11 Pro environment.) Currently, I have selected to use WinML GPU with my Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card. Thus far, no problems have been encountered using this setting. Nevertheless, inquiring minds want to know! What are the Engine setting differences, and which will provide better performance?


WinML GPU works on many modern GPUs (Intel, NVidia, AMD). Recommended to avoid this option on integrated (non discrete) GPUs. This option is selected on NVidia GPUs in Auto mode.

WinML CPU is not recommended for usage as slowest, kept just in case.

OpenVINO CPU works on CPU (both Intel and AMD). It is recommended option as fastest. In Auto mode it is default unless you have NVidia GPU. Use this option if GPU load is too high and/or if you have multiple cores.

OpenVINO Intel GPU works only on Intel GPUs. It is faster than WinML GPU.

FULL OpenVINO requirements (generally you need 6th gen): System Requirements for the Intel® Distribution of OpenVINO™ Toolkit

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