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Do All Motherboards Have Integrated Graphics?

Graphics play an important role in bridging the gap between imagination and the actual representation of graphical data. Building a system with high-performance hardware components is cool, but what if the visual rendering of data is not up to the mark? It thereby becomes important to choose a good graphics unit for your PC.

Graphics units were developed to assist in completing and processing graphical data from the CPU. These units became an integral part of the PC system with the evolution of screens and graphical data files. Integrated graphics were first introduced as a part of the processor. With the advancements in computer hardware, dedicated graphics were developed as an alternative.

Both graphics have their own journey of upgrading and being a part of the PC ecosystem for a long time. To help you understand both integrated and dedicated graphics, this article will walk you through some important information.

Introduction to Integrated Graphics

Integrated graphics are the system’s GPU which are integrated with the processor. These units are popularly used for low-end PC systems and laptops. The integrated graphics is ideal for day-to-day tasks like documentation, internet surfing, casual gaming, etc. The users get decent performance without having to pay a lump sum amount of money.

However, integrated graphics do not have a specific memory and share the system’s memory. This helps in reducing the overall power consumption of the system. These graphics are not ideal for intensive applications, including software and games. Due to the absence of components compared to dedicated GPUs, the intrigued graphics are usually priced lower.

Introduction to Dedicated Graphics

A dedicated graphics unit is a separate component for the PC systems. This unit is responsible for processing all the graphical data of a computer system, including video, image, 3D data, etc. The dedicated graphics card comes equipped with dedicated memory. Therefore, the processing power of a dedicated graphics unit is better than an integrated graphics unit.

Being a separate unit, the mounting of a dedicated GPU can be done according to the user’s choice. Due to the higher processing power, dedicated GPUs are known for generating a lot of heat. These units are thereby equipped with external cooling systems. Dedicated graphics units can easily handle the most demanding games or software and are hence preferred by performance enthusiasts.

Importance of Integrated Graphics

Integrated graphics actually play a crucial role in the computer system. This unit is connected to the video output ports of a system which allows connectivity between an external display and the system. The ports include HDMI, VGA, and others that rely on the integrated graphics unit. Connecting an external display to a system without integrated graphics will display nothing but a blank screen.

The current generation of integrated graphics is also evolving into more powerful units. Most of these units paired with the latest CPUs offer a parallel performance to the dedicated graphics unit. This becomes a better alternative for portable units like laptops where bulky dedicated GPUs would consume valuable space. The power saving these units offer adds a plus point to their selection.

Are Integrated Graphics Present on a Motherboard?

Users might be confused about the availability of motherboards for a dedicated graphics unit. The older generations of motherboards were designed by including integrated graphics. However, most of the modern generations of motherboards have started skipping the inclusion of integrated graphics. This is done to reduce the dependency of the integrated GPU on the system’s RAM. This dependency was the major reason why integrated GPUs were not powerful.

As explained earlier, the integrated GPU is a part of the system’s processor. Combining the integrated graphics with the CPU reduces the need to redesign a motherboard. With a suitable CPU socket, the iGPUs easily fit on a motherboard. This also eliminates the need of needing an external video card to display the graphics. In the end, we can safely say that integrated graphics are no longer present on a motherboard.

Checking if a Motherboard has an Integrated Graphics Unit

To check if your motherboard has an integrated graphics unit, certain steps can be followed. The most simple step is to check for the port where the display cable is connected. If the connected port (HDMI, VGA, etc) is fitted on the motherboard, it confirms that the motherboard has an iterated graphics unit. For a dedicated graphics unit, the connection will be different.

Users can also opt for an attentive method without needing physical inspection. The control panel offered by the Windows operating system has a device manager option. All the relevant data on display and graphics card is present here. Users can check if the graphics card has Intel(R) HD/UHD or AMD Radeon (TM) initials which belong to the iGPU segment of the repetitive brands.

Motherboards with Integrated Graphics

We have already discussed how modern motherboards do not include integrated graphics. Somehow old motherboards with integrated graphics are still used. Motherboards developed by AMD were the major units that offered integrated graphics. It used the chipsets developed by ATI Technologies in the Radeon Xpress 200 unit.

Since then, several units have made their way to the market until the AMD 890GX. This unit was the last chipset that had an integrated graphics unit. AMD has now developed new motherboards for integrated graphics in the Ryzen series.

Intel, on the other hand, also offered several motherboards with integrated graphics. The H310 was one of the initial units which became popular for this configuration. With the Z590 chipset, Intel concluded the integrated graphics unit on their motherboards. The current generation of AMD and Intel processors has integrated graphics with several models.

Motherboard Integrated Graphics FAQs-

1. How do integrated graphic units work on a motherboard?

Ans: Integrated graphics use the same memory unit of a system for processing graphical data. It is connected to an external display via several ports. This allows the transfer of processed graphical data to the external display. This is how an integrated graphic unit works on a motherboard, and that too at a lower power consumption.

2. Are integrated graphics suitable for gaming?

Ans: The current generation of integrated graphics embedded into powerful processors offers decent performance. Some applications might not be as smooth as offered by a dedicated graphics unit, but it is still doable. In gaming, users can get a better frame rate even at higher settings. These units also allow good performance in network-connected games.

3. Does integrated graphics support multiple displays?

Ans: Several integrated graphics offer support for multiple display configurations. To enable this, users have to install relevant drivers on their systems. It is also important to check whether the system has compatible output ports to connect external monitors/screens/displays. With proper display calibration, a multiple-display setup will be easily assembled.

4. Can you upgrade integrated graphics on a motherboard?

Ans: Upgrading the integrated graphics on a motherboard, like a dedicated GPU unit, is impossible. These units are built-in motherboard components and hence cannot be tampered with. Users can, however, change the integrated graphics into a discrete unit. The steps involve plugging the card into an empty PCIe slot on the motherboard. The integrated graphics are then disabled by accessing BIOS settings.


With several advantages, motherboard-integrated graphics were one popularly used. Replaced with processor-based integrated graphics, these units might have become obsolete. The current generation of integrated graphics offers performance on par with dedicated graphics. We have already learned about integrated graphics along with its importance in a computer system. With this information, a user can buy a suitable integrated graphics unit for their system.

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