What is the difference between integrated and dedicated graphics card? (Pros & Cons, Guide)

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When you seek information about new Desktop PC features, the most challenging thing is to determine an integrated or dedicated graphics card. This dilemma can prove a tough choice.

Integrated graphics cards do not run their CPU or processor. Instead, they use system CPU and system RAM. On the contrary, dedicated graphics cards have their CPU known as the GPU and RAM.

What is the difference between integrated and dedicated graphics card?

What is the difference between integrated and dedicated graphics card?

A Graphics card is an important piece of hardware that enables a system to perform intense tasks like high-resolution gaming or complex processes like mining. There are two categories of graphics cards majorly. It is important to understand each type to use them appropriately and in their full capacity.

Integrated Graphics Dedicated Graphics
A Graphics card integrated with the CPU or the motherboard is said to be an integrated graphics card. When there is a separate processing unit and memory for a graphics card it is said to be dedicated graphics.
It uses the cores of the CPU for processing. It has thousands of cores for processing.
Processing power and memory are shared by the CPU. There is a distinct memory and processor known as GPU.
It uses about 1 to 5% of the processor’s RAM. This hinders the user from performing resource-demanding tasks. It has a separate VRAM of its own and it may range from 1 GB to 24 GB according to the model.
There is a possibility for overclocking but it is not recommended because of its dangers. Overclocking can be done easily with the software coming along with the card.
It consumes very little power and releases very less heat. It consumes a lot of power and releases a lot of heat.
It doesn’t require separate cooling systems for heat dissipation. It needs advanced cooling systems, thermal management, and fans to keep the heat away from the processor.
It cannot perform complex tasks such as mining or high-resolution gaming. It can easily handle demanding tasks like 4K gaming or cryptocurrency mining.
It is usually present in compact systems like Laptops. It requires an appropriate desktop setup with a large or medium-sized case.

What are the Pros and Cons of an integrated and dedicated graphics card?

There are some ups and downs for each graphics card that you need to know all the time, We have listed below the main things of both cards.

Pros and Cons Integrated Graphics Card

Pros Cons
First of all, It has no costs to pay compared to a dedicated GPU Low performance due to unavailability of separate GPU and RAM
It doesn’t consume too much space since it is attached to the same chipset as the CPU
It is excellent for tablets, notebooks, and small laptops

Pros and Cons Dedicated Graphics Card

Pros Cons
The presence of separate VRAM enables it to play demanding games and other graphics-related tasks Consumes an enormous amount of power and releases too much heat
For very intense processes, you can overclock the graphics card for increased performance Requires thermal management system and cooling fans
Requires a lot of space in the case

What does a Graphics card do?

A Graphics card is otherwise known as a Graphics Processing Unit, which is a discrete unit for creating and processing images, videos, graphics and animations.

Since it is a separate unit, it doesn’t burden the CPU which can perform other tasks better. That is why a GPU is either integrated or inserted separately into a PC.

How to Choose Graphics Card for my PC?

If you are planning to buy a new PC or wanted to upgrade to a new one, you have to consider the following things for a graphics card:

  • First of all, you need to decide what kind of tasks you are going to perform. Then, find out the specifications of the motherboard, RAM, CPU and PSU of your PC.
  • There are only two manufacturers of GPU in the world and they are AMD’s Radeon and Intel’s Nvidia. Both manufacturers produce equally performing cards for every task and you may choose accordingly.
  • After that, you should decide on whether you need integrated graphics or dedicated graphics. If you are choosing dedicated graphics, primarily you should check for the form factor so that you can fit it into the desktop case.
  • Then look for the amount of RAM and the processing power in terms of clock speed. Now you have the right type of GPU for your PC

Integrated vs Dedicated – Which is best?

It all depends on the type of task you are going to perform with your computer. For intense tasks such as high-resolution gaming, Crypto mining, video editing and rendering you need a dedicated graphics card.

Dedicated Graphics cards have more cores for higher processing power as well as if you choose a higher memory, you can do intense tasks easily.

Integrated graphics use the processing power of the CPU cores and use their memory. Because of this, only low-level gaming and video editing can be done. Since this card doesn’t require more power and produces less heat, it is optimum for programming and computing.

On the other hand, a dedicated card consumes more power and expels enormous heat. So, unless you need to perform resource-demanding tasks, you shouldn’t opt for this. It will be hard on your electricity charges too.

Therefore, Integrated graphics is best for programmers and for productive users. Also, those who perform very light tasks and use them to play normal games should opt for this card.

Dedicated graphics are best for those seeking to play demanding games and full-time video editing and rendering. There are a lot of options in this category and users can choose from them accordingly.

Is a dedicated graphic card better for gaming?

A dedicated graphics card comprises its own memory that’s independent of the system RAM. Conducting intensive research work such as high-end gaming and professional graphic designing would require a dedicated card.

That’s where a dedicated graphics card becomes your savior. There are some downsides to the dedicated cards. That said, they may put out heat when you do not have a solid fan or a compact design.

Also, the GPU may heat up quickly too. These situations get countered by ensuring that you get the laptop with dual or single fans and ample vents.

Are AMD integrated graphics good?

AMD integrated graphics are great. But for a gaming experience, these graphics are only compatible with entry-level PC games. As a matter of fact, they are just entry-level graphics solutions.

In addition, they enable playing of the lighter PC games. However, they are not powerful enough like other gaming-class video cards that handle the most current hardware-demanding titles.

So, it can be concluded that AMD integrated graphics are great for the beginner’s gaming experience. Right after a beginner turns into an intermediate or a connoisseur, an AMD integrated graphic cannot serve its purpose in gaming.

Is RAM important for integrated graphics?

Yes, the RAM frequency happens to be quite significant for the performance of the integrated GPU. In fact, GPUs require a lot of memory bandwidth.

For this reason, a majority of dedicated graphics cards make use of their high-bandwidth memory type. Integrated GPUs happen to be stuck with the lower-bandwidth DDR3.

So, with the higher frequency, there comes better user-friendliness. All in all, it can be stated that RAM is immensely important for integrated graphics.

How much RAM do integrated graphics use?

Unlike the discrete GPU integrated graphics that get forced to rely on the System, RAM does not have adequate bandwidth.

So, considering the question here, a total of 2GB of RAM might get required for integrated graphics to use! Though the specific specifications in bytes or second are not that easy, the integrated graphics’ capacity is another topic.

Conclusion

There are key differences in the usability of integrated and dedicated graphics. Also, their functionality is different which demands the users to choose the appropriate type according to their needs.

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