Integrated vs Dedicated Graphics Card

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When it comes to buying a PC, one of the most important hardware components that influence your decision is the graphics card. There are two main types of graphics cards: integrated and discrete or dedicated. Discreet and dedicated are of the same type, so there are only two terms to understand. In this article, we examine the differences between discrete and integrated graphics cards and the advantages and disadvantages of each. With this information, we want to help you determine what you need for your needs.

Once upon a time, each component of a computer was separate. Even rudimentary functions such as audio, video and hard disk storage interfaces had their own physical card connected to a master bus. This “mother-daughter” interface dominated the mainframe systems of the 1980s and allowed system owners to add and subtract functions as needed.

But as miniaturization progressed and part design became more efficient, manufacturers began to combine systems. Motherboards, which were previously only used to connect components, now include dozens of discrete functions. Most of the functions that started on the daughter boards, such as network and audio, are now integrated on the motherboard.

Motherboards can do a lot, but not everything. The same integration trend that has transformed motherboards into versatile machines has also become common in CPUs. Today, many central processing units have integrated graphic processing. This combination of CPU and GPU is called integrated graphics.

What is Integrated Graphics Card?

Intel introduces a new product in the 8th Gen Intel Core processor family that combines a high-performance CPU with discrete graphics and HBM2 for a thin, sleek design. A comparison shows the space these components take on a traditional board (left) and on the new 8th Gen Intel Core processor that combines the components all on one package. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

Integrated graphics refer to a computer whose graphics processing unit (GPU) is built on the same chip as the CPU.

This has several advantages. It is small, energy efficient and less expensive than a dedicated graphics card.

The integrated graphics had a bad reputation, but it has improved considerably in recent years.

It is now more than sufficient for general computer applications, including casual games and 4K video recording, but it still has problems in some areas. It is not suitable for using graphics-intensive programs. While playing the latest high-end games is also outdoors, there are some great games that you can play with built-in graphics.

  • Use RAM on your device
  • Easily performs daily tasks. Gambling is only a problem when intense graphics are required.
  • Slower heating time
  • Consumes less battery/electricity
  • Less expensive

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What is a Dedicated Graphics Card?

A dedicated graphics card is delivered completely separate from your CPU. The graphics card contains the GPU, which allows you to process data and graphics instructions separately from your CPU.

Discrete graphics cards also have their own memory in the form of VRAM (video RAM or video RAM), which allows the dedicated graphics processor to quickly access relevant image data. In comparison, integrated graphics do not have a special memory from which image data can be retrieved, but use the system’s memory to retrieve image data.

  • To its own RAM. The RAM of the device is not affected.
  • Better support for graphically intensive tasks such as design, games, etc.
  • Warming up more
  • Requires more power
  • More expensive


Graphics cards do not age very well.

A CPU that was considered good five years ago can still work well with today’s software and games. However, each generation of GPUs brings great improvements in performance and functionality, and hardware quickly becomes obsolete.

Assessing our needs and establishing a budget before looking for available options can help us avoid unnecessary expenses and pay for features we would never use.

Do you really need a dedicated GPU?

Did you know that there is a difference between a dedicated graphics card and an integrated graphics card? Did our article help you choose the one that best suits your needs? Give us your feedback and ask us your questions about GPUs.

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