Integrated vs Dedicated Graphics Card: Which One is Better ?- The Ultimate Guide

Graphics cards are a little bit complicated to wrap your head around, not in the sense that they’re too hard to understand but rather in the sense that there is a ton of information out there and it can be difficult to figure out what might work best for you. The key point is going to be understanding yourself and your needs, along with understanding how much money you want or can afford to spend on this purchase.

In this article, we’ll discuss GPU options in more detail. “Dedicated” graphics cards are better for gaming; the integrated graphics on the CPU are much better for everyday computing tasks like web browsing or word processing. So when you’re looking to purchase a new PC or laptop, it’s important that you know which type of graphics performance will best suit your needs!

What is an integrated graphics card?
What is A Dedicated Graphics Card?
What is the difference between an Integrated GPU and a Dedicated GPU?
How Does an Integrated GPU Work With the CPU?
How Does a Dedicated Graphics Processor Work?
Get more performance with a dedicated graphics card
Cases for integrated graphics
1- Casual gamers
2- Budget
3- Kids
What To Do Next

What is an integrated graphics card? 

Integrated graphics is when the GPU (graphics processing unit) and CPU (central processing unit) are in one chip.

When a computer has integrated graphics, it can do graphics-related tasks without using an external source, like a motherboard’s expansion slot.

Intel launched their integrated GPUs in 2009 with Sandy Bridge CPUs in 2011. Integrated GPUs have been a success for Intel, which sells integrated graphics chips in each of its CPUs.

Many people prefer integrated graphics to reduce the number of components in a computer and because integrated GPUs are cheaper than add-on cards.

Integrated GPUs perform below that of add-on video cards, which must be connected to a PCIe slot on the motherboard. it also consumes less power than add-on cards and can be used with smaller cases in laptops and low-profile PCs.

Integrated GPUs include components such as VRMs, memory, and cache for the CPU, and an IGP.

AMD’s Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) combines a CPU with an integrated GPU in a single chip. AMD introduced their APUs in 2011 with Llano and is expected to release Zen-based APUs later this year.

AMD’s APUs have been less successful than Intel’s integrated GPUs, but they are mobile-focused, so that may be the cause of their lack of popularity.

In conclusion, an integrated graphics processor is a GPU that is on the same chip as the CPU. It can handle graphics-related tasks, but it cannot handle them as well as an add-on card.

What is A Dedicated Graphics Card?

A dedicated graphics card is a separate part of your computer that can process information separately from the CPU. This will allow the graphics ‘card’ to have its own memory and maintain its own processing power – without it having to go through any other parts of the computer first.

For example, a graphics card could perform tasks such as converting sound files, rendering images, or displaying your screen.

A dedicated graphics card is more complex than an integrated graphics card on a motherboard or onboard graphics chip – which is not removable and cannot be upgraded. The benefit of a dedicated graphics card is that it gives you better control over the performance, quality, and power consumption of your machine. You can also upgrade a dedicated graphics card to take advantage of new technology.

What is the difference between an Integrated GPU and a Dedicated GPU?  

The primary difference between integrated GPUs and dedicated GPUs is their upgradability. Because a dedicated GPU is removable, you can remove it from your computer and replace it with a higher-performance version at any time. However, because the IGP is built into the motherboard, upgrading your IGP is generally not possible unless you buy a new computer with a more advanced IGP. Many dedicated GPUs are upgradable, but this is not true of all of them.

How Does an Integrated GPU Work With the CPU?

An integrated GPU is connected directly to both your motherboard and to your system’s memory. It works in tandem with a CPU (central processing unit) to handle graphics tasks as well as other computing-intensive processes that may be required by a program. Because these types of GPUs have their own onboard memory, it means they can also often play HD media without needing to rely on the computer’s physical hard drive for assistance. For example, if you’re watching a Netflix movie on your PC via an integrated GPU, you likely won’t experience any lag or interruption as the movie plays.

How Does a Dedicated Graphics Processor Work?

A dedicated GPU is connected to your computer via its own PCI (peripheral component interconnect) Express slot, which can be included in either an expansion board or in the form of a video card. The PCIe slot connects directly to the motherboard, but it’s typically located separately from where the graphics processing unit sits. This helps to improve airflow and cooling by keeping hot air away from sensitive components that can easily be damaged by heat. A dedicated GPU functions independently of other hardware components inside your computer. It requires its own power supply connector, separate from any other necessary connectors for your motherboard, hard drive, or memory chips. Similarly, because it has its own fan for cooling purposes, you’ll find that some dedicated GPUs have their own power connector, while others share the same connector as your monitor.

Get more performance with a dedicated graphics card

Many people have the idea that if you want to play games in the highest settings, you should either buy a pre-built gaming desktop with an integrated graphics card or build your own computer and include a dedicated graphics card.

If you have a budget of $400-500, it is better to buy a system with a graphics card.

While many games can be enjoyed without one, not having one will limit what cards are available for gaming at high settings. While some companies may just give up and recommend integrated graphics cards that cannot handle newer games at all, others try to push forward by selling desktops with no GPU units installed in addition to desktops that come equipped with one. However, both options are expensive compared to CPUs alone.

If you do decide on buying a pre-built desktop that comes equipped with an integrated graphics card, consider looking for options that include at least one of NVIDIA’s 600 series GPUs.

The major difference between Nvidia’s 500 series and its 600 series is the latter’s ability to handle DirectX11 games. However, this GPU is not necessarily better than the more expensive 800 series cards if all your computer does is play older games. As newer titles become available, it would make more sense to upgrade your RAM and hard drive before getting a new GPU if all you want is increased performance in gaming. Also, note that some pre-built desktops only come with 4GB of RAM while 8GB of RAM usually works best for most modern games. You should also look into the processor and motherboard to ensure their capabilities will not bottleneck gameplay.

Some pre-built desktops may have a GPU unit in addition to an integrated graphics card, but the latter is often much weaker than its standalone counterpart. Whether or not that’s a good thing depends on what you play and how old it is. In general, however, users who only want to play games from the past three years should be fine with having both types of GPUs installed in their system if they’re willing to pay slightly more for them.

In contrast, building your own computer and including a dedicated graphics card may seem like the ideal solution, especially since you can choose which one(s) best suit your needs and budget. However, if you only intend to play games from the past three years, including a dedicated GPU may not be worth it.

You may want to get one if your computer is powerful enough (i.e. CPU and RAM) and if you’re willing to spend more on the graphics card itself. Unfortunately, even though prices for pre-built desktops with no dedicated GPU units have dropped significantly over the years, premium models that do come with them still tend to cost about $50 or more than comparable systems without these units installed. If you can find one at a relatively low price, however, there’s no harm in getting an additional GPU unit so long as it has proper ventilation and power supply capabilities.

If you want to avoid having multiple GPUs and integrated graphics cards and do not think you will need to upgrade for at least two or three years, consider buying a pre-built PC with no dedicated GPU unit. If you want the best of both worlds and intend on playing newer titles as they come out, building your own gaming desktop would be worth it as long as there are good ventilation and power supply capabilities in its present configuration.

To sum up: Who should get a dedicated graphics card? People who are willing to pay more for better performance in games Dedicated GPUs are often much more expensive than CPUs alone There are many factors that can affect how well a game runs – pick the right one(s) for your needs!

Cases for integrated graphics

The use cases for integrated graphics are as follows:

1- Casual gamers

If you only need a computer for browsing the internet, sending emails, or watching videos, going with one that has integrated graphics is not a bad idea. For the average user, integrated graphics offer more than enough to complete daily tasks. 

2- Budget

If you are a gamer, but you have a really tight budget to work with to get a new desktop system, then use your processor’s integrated graphics. This way you will be able to save a lot of money so that you can buy other components for your system. Large resolution gaming experiences require a lot of processing power, and gaming means money. If you don’t have a lot to spend in the beginning, then it is recommended that you use integrated graphics.

3- Kids

Most kids are not really into hardcore gaming, and they often play simple games that don’t require a high-end specification computer. Integrated graphics can be good for these types of games. It also provides ease of use as it does not need to be configured for the user’s account. Moreover, the laptop is also lighter and easier to carry, which will be good for the users who are still young. However, if you want your kids to play more complex games that require high graphics performance or you just want them to enjoy these games better, then it’s best not to get an integrated laptop.

A laptop or desktop pc with integrated graphics will not have great gaming performance, but it can play games that are not demanding

Some people are better off with integrated graphics if they don’t have the budget for a dedicated card or will only be using their system to do tasks that don’t require the extra power. If all you do is browse the web, watch videos and play older games, integrated graphics will be fine. But if you plan to do any graphic design or serious gaming on your computer, you’ll want a dedicated card rather than an IGP.

What To Do Next

Some people are better off with integrated graphics if they don’t have the budget for a dedicated card or will only be using their system to do tasks that don’t require the extra power. If all you do is browse the web, watch videos and play older games, integrated graphics will be fine. But if you plan to do any graphic design or serious gaming on your computer, you’ll want a dedicated card rather than an IGP. If you want to know more about how CPUs Cooler impact your PC and what factors to consider when purchasing one, read our next article where we discuss How to Choose A CPU Cooler: 10 Factors to Consider