Integrated vs. Dedicated Graphics Card: Which One To Choose

Integrated vs. Dedicated Graphics Card: Which One To Choose

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Graphics card is a very important part of a gaming PC. There are two kinds of graphics cards available for PC, integrated and dedicated. The former uses resources of rest of your computer and is said to be a trade-off solution and the latter uses its hardware & is considered as a serious alternative. Wondering how to decide which one is better for you? Well, each one has its own advantages and disadvantages.

In this post, we have listed points to help you decide which one is the right choice for you. Check it out!

What Is A Dedicated Graphics Card?

What Is A Dedicated Graphics Card

A dedicated graphics card is a hardware part which is responsible for the graphics performance of a computer. They are also known as video cards. There is a wide variety of graphics cards They all have a RAM, a GPU, and a fan to avoid overheating.

There are a few of benefits of graphics cards, they can perform any task with ease, they are easy to upgrade as they don’t share system memory. However, they are bulkier, expensive and release a lot of heat. A dedicated graphics card can be seen in mid-range or higher end computers and laptops.

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What Is Integrated Graphics Card?

If the GPU or graphics processing unit is built on the same die as your CPU on your PC, then it is recognized as Integrated graphics. Being the part of the same die, the size of the integrated graphics card is small, iris cheap and energy efficient.

What Is Integrated Graphics Card

Earlier, Integrated Graphics was not considered as good. However, with time it has improved. It can be considered good for conventional computing, watching 4K videos and casual gaming can be done on it. Although, it has its weak points as well. You can’t play exclusive games or run graphics intensive programs.

Also, integrated graphics share a memory with central system memory. Therefore, it is called shared graphics. If a computer comes with 4GB RAM, then 1GB is taken by integrated graphics, and only 3 GB memory is left for other computing tasks.

Majority of modern processors comes with shared graphics memory. The computers also come with dedicated graphics card, and to maintain efficiency and performance, the software will switch between them automatically.

Mostly integrated graphics are preferred in devices where size is priority such as tablets, smartphones and tablets. Also, if you are looking for a budget-friendly computer, you have to consider shared graphics as an option

Let’s know more about Dedicated Graphics Card & Integrated Graphics Card.

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Dedicated Graphics Utilizes More Power

The reason behind graphics cards having inbuilt fans is that they get very hot. Some of the tests show, Titan XP can have the temperature up to 185 degrees Fahrenheit, when under heavy load. Also, there is heat generated by CPU and other parts of the computer. Therefore, it is important to stop your PC from getting overheated.

If you compare an Intel Core M processor with integrated graphics, the temperature can rise up to 160 degrees while playing games. There is no fan and less amount of energy is used.

Of course, the graphics performance is better with a dedicated graphics card but if you are not a gamer and looking for an energy efficient machine, then integrated graphics card should be the choice.

You Can Get Laptops With Dedicated Graphics

Laptops with dedicated graphics exist but there are not many options available.  They are usually larger in size or costlier. Integrated graphics laptops such as Acer Swift 7 are quite sleek. However, they are examples of laptops which are available with dedicated graphics are yet claim to the thinnest, one of them is Asus ZenBook 13, a compact laptop with 13 inch and frameless Nanoedge display.

Most laptops come with integrated graphics whether they are for gaming or high-end machines for professionals. If you want the performance but also don’t want a bulkier one, then you can go for an external graphics processing unit.

Integrated Graphics Is Pocket-Friendly

Integrated graphics though share the system memory but are comparatively cheaper if you are considering a pocket-friendly alternative. However, not all the integrated graphics laptop is cheaper, one of the popular examples is Apple’s MacBook Pro’s 15 inches versions.

If you are considering buying a desktop from any other producers, then you are free to configure and upgrade the machine, integrated graphics is the quite budget-friendly option. As dedicated graphics can put a dent in your budget due to the extra bucks you have to pay.

We are not saying that dedicated graphics is a no-no, it is that there are some pretty decent pocket-friendly options of the integrated graphics card.

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Dedicated Graphics = Better Graphics

Latest dedicated graphics cards provide better graphics performance in comparison to an shared graphics system. However, first, you need to set your priorities. Dedicated hardware is better than shared graphics system but what is the parameter and by how much is it?

The 8th gen Intel Core i7 processors comes with best-dedicated graphics functioning. They include Radeon RX Vega M graphics from AMD.
As per a benchmarking site, Vega M provides performance like the dedicated RX 570, a mid-range graphics card which is available for USD199.

I7, i5 or lower processors provide mid ranging integrated Intel graphics Iris Pro and entry-level Intel HD brands.

The best Iris Pro graphics system benchmarks at less than a third of the level of the Vega M. In opposition, the best-dedicated graphics cards such as Nvidia Titan XP range, they surely increase the performance but are costly as well.

Discrete Graphics Card Preferable For Gaming

We never said that integrated graphics could not be used for gaming. A report by Steam suggests that there are a ton of users who play online games using a shared graphics card. One of the popular options is integrated graphics by Intel.

However, if you are a hardcore gamer, then you must go for the shared graphics card as you will not be able to play all the games. Also, 4K gaming becomes out of reach.

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Decision Time

Well after discussing different aspects, we are sure that you may have made up your mind, whether you want to go with the discrete graphics card or prefer shared graphics card. If you are still confused, let us help you decide:

If you are a gaming pro and deal in Virtual Reality, then go for a dedicated graphics card. Also, if you are into graphics software, work professionally with CAD, animation or video editing, then dedicated graphics card should be it.

If you are not into all of these mentioned above, then you will do just fine with the shared graphics card. These graphics card work with Adobe programs, work fine with usual gaming. So, now you can decide which one to go for.

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