So you’re looking for a new PC or laptop and you’re wondering what graphics card to get. Is it better to buy an integrated or dedicated graphics card? Here we’ll do some math and break down the pros and cons of each option.
Graphics cards are a vital component of any gaming PC. They help computers render images on the screen for you to see, without a graphics card the only thing you would see is a blank screen.
When buying a new computer, there are two types of graphics cards you can choose from. Integrated and dedicated. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks. In this blog post, we’ll talk about the differences between dedicated graphics cards Vs integrated graphics cards, and which is best for you.
In a nutshell
It’s actually pretty simple–if you are using your computer for gaming, video editing, or other heavy graphical tasks then you should invest in a good quality dedicated graphics card. If you are not doing these types of tasks (or if the ones that you do are very light) then an integrated graphics card will be just fine.
However, a dedicated graphics card will be better if you want to play games with high-end graphical requirements that need lots of processing power from your computer’s processor, while an integrated graphics card can handle most tasks when it comes to everyday use such as web browsing and watching videos.
What is Integrated GPU?
Integrated graphics or integrated GPU (also known as iGPU) are graphics processors that are embedded on the same chip as the CPU. They are built directly into the CPU chip and they share the same hardware resources like the CPU such as cache, memory, and I/O.
Since integrated graphics is built into the processor, it typically uses less power and as a result creates less heat, which can result in longer battery life.
Integrated GPUs are much cheaper than dedicated GPUs, but they also offer a lot less in terms of graphical performance when compared to dedicated graphics cards.
Benefits of integrated GPU
- Lower power consumption
- Can be made very small (laptops, tablets)
- Less demanding of resources (CPU and RAM)
Drawbacks of integrated GPU
- Less powerful than dedicated GPUs (gaming, video editing)
- Not upgradeable to a better one later on if you feel the need.
What Are Dedicated Graphics Cards?
Dedicated GPUs are graphics cards with their own RAM and processing units. This means that they can work independently of the CPU, allowing them to work faster and more efficiently.
They are designed to process high-quality graphics quickly, allowing them to be used for gaming or video editing.
Since dedicated GPUs are capable of utilizing high-quality graphics, they often require more power. This could mean that you will need to upgrade your computer’s power supply to use a dedicated GPU.
To use a dedicated graphics card, you’ll need to have a PCI-express slot on your motherboard or an external PCI-express adapter.
If the computer that you are buying already has one of these slots available then it can support using an external graphics card.
Beneﬁts of dedicated GPU
- More powerful than integrated GPUs (gaming, video editing)
- Can be easily upgraded to a better one later on if you feel the need.
Drawbacks of Dedicated GPU
- Typically more expensive than integrated graphics cards (gaming only)
- Requires power supply upgrade for use in some cases (higher-end cards).
- Requires a PCI-express slot or an external PCI express adapter.
Integrated Vs Dedicated GPU
Now let’s compare the two types of graphics cards based on a few key factors.
When it comes to performance, dedicated graphics cards will typically perform better than integrated GPUs. This is because a dedicated GPU has its RAM and processing unit which allows the card to run independently of your CPU.
This gives you more power when playing intensive games or editing videos with high-resolution footage.
Integrated GPUs will typically use less power since they are built into the CPU itself. Dedicated GPUs will require more power and may even need a separate connection from your computer’s PSU (power supply unit).
However, for laptops, integrated graphics cards are preferred since they require less power. This is because using dedicated GPUs will drain the battery faster due to their high processing power.
This can make a huge difference when you’re away from your computer and there’s no outlet for miles!
Integrated GPUs are not upgradable since they are built into the CPU itself. Dedicated GPUs can be easily upgraded to a better one in case you feel like it’s time for an upgrade. You may even want to upgrade to a newer dedicated graphics card if your current one isn’t powerful enough for you.
This means that if you decide to play more intensive games, later on, you can simply replace your current dedicated GPU with a newer one.
As mentioned earlier, dedicated GPUs are more expensive than integrated GPUs. The price difference can range from $30 up to hundreds of dollars, depending on what type you get
If budget is not an issue then it’s worth investing in a dedicated graphics card since they’re far superior when compared to integrated GPUs. If your computer has PCI-express (or if you plan on getting one soon) then it’s also a good idea to get a dedicated GPU since they’ll last you longer and provide more performance than an integrated one.
Who Should Get a Dedicated GPU?
1. Intensive gamers
If you’re looking to play intensive high-end games then it’s probably best to get a dedicated graphics card. This is because dedicated cards are designed to process high-quality graphics quickly.
Since you’re playing games that require a lot of power, your computer needs to have its processing unit so the CPU doesn’t get overloaded with data requests.
If this sounds like something you would be interested in then check out our article on how to choose the best graphics cards for gaming.
This article covers all of the basics you need to know about GPUs and what makes them different from one another. It also provides some helpful tips on how to pick out a GPU that will suit your needs, no matter if it’s for work, school or simply just entertainment purposes at home!
2. Video editors
If you’re a video editor, then it’s also best to get dedicated graphics cards. This is because they are designed specifically for rendering videos quickly and smoothly.
Since the footage that you need to edit can be high-resolution with multiple layers of effects, editing will require more power especially if your computer doesn’t have enough RAM to handle the data.
If you’re looking for a GPU that’s best suited for video editing, then check out our article on how to choose the best graphics cards for video editing. This covers even more in-depth information about GPUs and what makes them different from one another depending on their specs!
3. Gamers and video editors who want to play high-end games or edit videos on a budget
If you’re looking for an affordable solution that still provides outstanding performance then it’s worth getting a dedicated graphics card. Dedicated GPUs are far more superior to integrated cards, but they can be pricey if you’re not willing to pay extra money.
4. People who need a replacement for their integrated graphics card
If you have an old computer then it’s worth getting a dedicated GPU since it’ll give your older machine more speed and power. However, before you do this make sure that the PCIe slot on your motherboard is working properly and supports PCI-express cards!
5. People who want to upgrade their computers
If you’re looking for a way to make your computer faster and stronger without having to buy a new one then it’s worth investing in a dedicated graphics card. This is because they can easily be installed into an empty PCIe slot on your motherboard,
For those of you with older machines that have integrated graphics cards, you can upgrade your current GPU so it’ll function with newer games.
Who Should Use Integrated Graphics?
1. Casual gamers who play less intensive games
If you’re a casual gamer and don’t mind playing less intensive games, then integrated GPUs are definitely for you. Integrated cards provide adequate performance but at a much cheaper price than dedicated graphics cards.
They also use up less power which is beneficial if your computer is low on wattage or has no separate power source (such as a power supply unit).
2. Casual video editors who are just starting out
Although integrated GPUs can be great for casual editing, it’s best to get dedicated graphics cards if you’re planning on editing videos for more than an hour or two at a time.
This is because integrated GPUs are designed to handle casual tasks like web browsing and watching Netflix, not intensive ones like video editing where you need hundreds of layers in your footage.
3. Those who want to upgrade their graphics card in the future
If you’re looking for a GPU that can be used for both casual gaming and editing, but you don’t want to spend too much money on it right away, then an integrated GPU is the best choice for you.
This way, you can save some money to put towards buying a dedicated graphic card once that becomes necessary.
4. Gamers who are on a tight budget
If you’re on a tight budget and still want to play games without compromising quality, then integrated GPUs are probably your best bet. Since integrated GPUs are the most common type, they also have a larger availability – making it easier for you to find one that has the specs you need for a good price.
However, it’s important to note that integrated cards are only designed for casual gaming. If you’re looking for an option with more power, then it might be worth getting a dedicated graphics card instead.
5. Non-gamers who use their computer for basic computing
If you’re not a gamer and just want to use your computer for everyday tasks like web browsing, word processing, watching movies and so on then integrated GPUs are the best option for you.
They are capable of running the most common programs with ease while saving you both money and power at the same time. making them more than enough for casual users.
There are specifically designed for low-intensity tasks that require less power. This way, you won’t have to worry about spending too much money on a more expensive dedicated card.
An Integrated Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) is a graphics processing unit that is part of the processor (CPU). It shares memory with the CPU and other components in a computer. Integrated graphics cards are not meant for high-end graphical usage, they’re more suited to tasks that don’t require a lot of graphics processing power.
Dedicated graphics cards are separate from the other components in your computer (CPU, RAM etc). They have their memory and shared less of the PC’s resources. They are designed to be used with PCs that can handle much higher graphics requirements than a standard laptop or desktop computer.
Integrated GPUs will typically use less power since they are built into the CPU itself, but dedicated graphics cards require more power and may even need a separate connection from the computer’s PSU.
In addition, dedicated GPUs are more expensive than integrated graphics cards and can cost anywhere from $30 up to hundreds of dollars depending on what type you get.
People who should usually invest in a dedicated graphics card are those who play intensive games, video editors or people with high-end graphic design work.
People who should usually invest in an integrated graphics card are those on a tight budget, casual gamers and people who don’t need their computer for intensive tasks. By investing in an iGPU, you’ll save money by using less power while still being able to play games at 720p or 1080p with medium settings.
Dedicated graphics cards will give you the best performance, but they cost more and may require a connection from your computer’s PSU. Integrated GPUs are not as powerful as dedicated GPUs, but their price is much lower and power consumption is less than that of both GPUs and GPUs. That said, if money isn’t an issue and you want the best performance possible, then a dedicated graphics card would be your best bet.
If money is a concern and you’re looking for great gaming performance at an affordable price, then integrated GPUs are most likely going to give you what you need without breaking the bank.
However, they aren’t meant to be used with high-end games so if you plan on playing newer, more intensive titles then it may be worth investing in a dedicated graphics card instead.