Integrated vs. Dedicated Graphics Card



Trying to decide between an integrated and a dedicated graphics card? Here’s all you need to know before making a decision.

Dedicated and integrated graphics cards are the two types of graphics cards available for PCs.

Are Integrated Graphics Good For Gaming

Is that, however, reasonable? Each system has advantages and disadvantages that you should be aware of before deciding which is best for you. Let us investigate. The first is the more serious option because it employs its own hardware. The second uses resources from the rest of the computer and is known for being a good compromise.

1. What Is Integrated Graphics and How Does It Work?

The graphics processing unit (GPU) is built on the same die as the CPU in a computer with integrated graphics.

This has a number of advantages. It’s compact, low-power, and less expensive than a specialised graphics card.

Integrated graphics once had a terrible connotation, but that has changed dramatically in recent years.

It’s now more than capable of general computing, including some light gaming and 4K video viewing, but it still has certain shortcomings. It is incompatible with graphically heavy programs. While playing the latest high-end games is out, there are a few amazing games with integrated graphics that you can play.

Another thing to keep in mind is that integrated graphics share memory with the rest of the system. For this reason, it’s also referred to as shared graphics. Only 3GB of memory is accessible for ordinary computing operations if your machine has 4GB of RAM and 1GB of shared graphics memory.



A GPU is built into most current processors. Software will automatically transition between the two on machines with a dedicated graphics card. It attempts to strike a balance between performance and efficiency.

On devices where portability is a requirement, such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones, shared graphics are frequently utilised as the only choice. It’s also available on low-cost desktop computers.

2. How Does a Dedicated Graphics Card Work?

A dedicated graphics card is a piece of hardware that manages a computer’s graphics performance. They’re also known as discrete graphics or video cards.

Graphics card Nvidia Titan X

Graphics cards come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they all have a GPU, RAM, and a cooling fan.

One of the advantages of graphics cards is that you may select one that is strong enough to handle any task. They don’t share system memory and are simple to upgrade in most systems. On the downside, they’re more expensive, bigger, and produce a lot of heat.

Dedicated graphics cards are commonly found in mid-range and higher-end desktop PCs. They’re also seen on some higher-end laptops.

3. Better Graphics with Dedicated Graphics

The latest dedicated graphics cards will outperform an integrated system in terms of graphics performance. However, that is only half of the story. Which option you should choose is determined by your priorities.

Dedicated hardware is clearly superior to an integrated system, but by how much?

The dedicated graphics performance of the 8th generation Intel Core i7 processors is the best. AMD’s Radeon RX Vega M GPUs are used in these.



According to benchmarking site videobenchmark.net, the Vega M performs similarly to the dedicated RX 570, a mid-range graphics card that costs roughly $199.

Under the mid-range Iris Pro and entry-level Intel HD brands, other i7, i5, and lesser processors have integrated Intel graphics. The best Iris Pro graphics system is less than a third of the Vega M’s performance.

The top specialized graphics cards, such as the Nvidia Titan Xp series, deliver over double the performance. They are also over a thousand dollars.

4. Dedicated graphics use more power as well.

Dedicated graphics cards have built-in fans for a reason: they become quite hot.

Under intense stress, the Titan Xp can reach 185 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, according to tests. This is in addition to the heat created by the CPU and other internal components. It’s critical to keep your computer from overheating.

In comparison, while gaming, an Intel Core M processor with integrated graphics may reach temperatures of around 160 degrees. There is no fan, and it consumes far less electricity.

Benchmarks demonstrate that this setup’s graphics performance is comparable to that of a dedicated card from several years ago. If you’re not a gamer and value energy efficiency, it’s probably the superior option.

5. Laptops with dedicated graphics are available.

Laptops with dedicated graphics cards are available, but your options are restricted. A larger size and a higher price are the trade-offs.

The acer swift 7 is only half an inch thick.

Laptops with integrated graphics, such as the Dell XPS 13 or the Acer Swift 7, are just about half an inch thick. The depth of a comparable Dell machine is increased by around a quarter of an inch. The Asus ZenBook 13 claims to be the thinnest notebook with dedicated graphics at 0.55 inches.

Most discrete graphics laptops are either gaming laptops or high-end professional workstations. Because of the greater footprint, 13-inch devices are uncommon, with 15-inch variants being more frequent.

Want the highest performance but don’t want to compromise on size? An external GPU is a third, lesser-known option.

Selecting the Best Graphics Card

It’s simple to see which solution is best for you when comparing integrated vs. dedicated graphics cards.

For real gaming and VR, you’ll need a dedicated graphics card with CUDA cores, which is even better. One is also required for professional graphics software tasks, including as animation, CAD, and video editing. Modern graphics cards are supported by programs like Photoshop and Lightroom. These are necessary for jobs like as 3D modelling and will speed up RAW photo editing.

A strong dedicated GPU is also used to mine bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which is interesting.

Everyone else can get by with integrated graphics. It’s suitable for casual gameplay. For most Adobe apps, it’s more than adequate. And it will be able to handle 4K video if you have a very current processor.

In fact, unless you have special requirements, the advantages of integrated graphics, such as device size and battery life, are likely to outweigh the advantages of separate graphics.

If you do require more processing power, our guide to the best graphics cards for different budgets might assist you in determining which is ideal for you.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.