Graphics cards are essential to get a good gaming experience. They can impact your system’s visuals and its ability to run high-end games and perform heavy editing. But which one you should opt for? An integrated graphics card or a dedicated one?
Though both have their own pros and cons, you should have proper knowledge about their capabilities to choose a suitable one for your needs. Here we have given an in-depth comparison between Integrated and dedicated graphics cards. So if you are curious to learn more, stick to the very end.
About Integrated graphics cards
Integrated graphics cards are generally combined with the CPU and they function by utilizing the system’s memory instead of using their own. They are built to consume less energy and handle basic tasks and programs more efficiently.
In simple terms, you can say that integrated graphics are a blend of both GPU and CPU as they rely on the system’s RAM. Nowadays, most tech companies provide integrated graphics in their laptops as they are small, affordable, and more energy-efficient.
Though they are great for daily use, they will put extra load on the CPU if you perform heavy graphic designing and play high-end games. This might reduce the speed of your system and cause low-performance issues. One great advantage of an integrated graphics card is that it produces less heat and minimizes energy consumption, which increases your battery life to a great extent.
About Dedicated graphics cards
Dedicated graphics cards are an individual piece of hardware that comes with their own memory. This means they will utilize their own RAM to handle your system’s graphic performance, leaving the in-built memory untouched. Dedicated graphics cards are perfect for hardcore gaming and heavy rendering tasks. They are also customizable, so you just need to increase your system’s cooling efficiency if you want to overclock your GPU.
GPU is the brain of the dedicated graphics card and since it has its own memory, it doesn’t interfere or affects your system’s CPU time. That’s the reason why a system with a dedicated graphics card will always outperform a system with an integrated graphics card.
Integrated GPU vs Dedicated GPU
Now when you are familiar with the basic functionalities of both cards, it’s time to talk about some other important things. So let’s compare integrated graphics and dedicated graphics card in terms of:
As mentioned above, integrated graphics cards can’t compete with dedicated graphics cards when it comes to performance. But the interesting point is that your needs and requirements also play a major role. For example- the 8th gen i7 processors provide the best dedicated graphic performance. On the flip side, other i5 or i7 processors come with integrated Intel graphics.
Now if you are a regular user, then you won’t notice any major performance difference in both systems. Because a dedicated graphics card will only reach its maximum performance if you give it a chance to do so. If you won’t perform heavy tasks, then it will perform just like an integrated graphics card. However, if you look from a technical point of view, dedicated graphics will always provide better performance.
Power usage is also a great factor that differentiates a dedicated graphics card from an integrated graphics card. A dedicated graphics card surely provides better performance but it also consumes multiple times more power than an integrated graphics card.
That’s why these cards are equipped with in-built fans, so they can stay cool. According to several tests, under a heavy load, a general dedicated graphics card can reach more than 170 degrees Fahrenheit. And if you don’t take the necessary measures to prevent other parts such as the CPU from getting hot, then it can create severe overheating issues.
The story is slightly different with integrated graphics cards. They produce a lot less heat and you don’t need any peripherals to keep using them for longer hours. An integrated graphics card will consume 50% less power than a dedicated graphics card. This makes it very easy to upgrade a system that features an integrated graphics card. You won’t have to upgrade your PSU, and you can do your work without worrying about air circulation.
Some of you might be thinking if dedicated graphics cards are so powerful, then why everyone doesn’t use them. Well, they are extremely expensive as compared to the integrated graphics cards and everyone can’t afford them.
Integrated cards are on the economical side, and they are also equipped with a motherboard. Now, this doesn’t mean that they can’t provide decent performance. However, in recent years, AMD and Intel have launched great systems with incredibly powerful IGPUs.
For example- the Ryzen 7 processor from AMD is considered a portable powerhouse when it comes to performing heavy tasks. It is available at an affordable price and gives tough competition to many popular discrete GPUs.
Who Should Get A Dedicated Graphics Card?
One should not buy a graphic card just by looking at its features and functions. You have to understand that not everyone needs a dedicated graphics card. It’s only a good option for people who perform extremely heavy, memory-eating tasks on their systems.
For example- if you love playing high-end games and you want to play them in the highest resolution and frame rate, then only you should opt for a dedicated graphics card. For people who are okay with playing the same high-end games at medium or low graphics, an Integrated card is also a good option.
Hardcore gamers should consider adding dedicated graphic cards while building their custom gaming system. Nowadays, most companies also offer laptops with dedicated graphics. So if you are a laptop person and enjoy playing high-end games, you can easily find a laptop with dedicated graphics under $1000. Another category of people that should get a dedicated graphics card is professional designers. Whether you are into graphic designing or 3d modeling, a system with a dedicated graphics card can help you create mockups and designs faster and easier.
Who Should Use Integrated Graphics?
On the other hand, if you are a regular user that uses their laptop for sending emails, spreadsheet work, or just movies and entertainment, then integrated graphics are good for you. This will save you a lot of money and you will be able to perform your daily life tasks without any issues.
Integrated graphics cards are also ideal for people who have financial constraints but still want to enjoy their favorite games in good graphics and resolution. You can either build a customized desktop and add integrated graphics. But if you also want portability, then a mid-range laptop with an integrated graphics card would be the ideal option.