Dedicated Vs Integrated Graphics Card

Computing is all about rich graphics. Be it the eye-catching windows, your favorite game, or 3D CAD software that you use for your profession, without a high-end graphics card, it is tough.

The graphics card in computers comes in two configurations. Either integrated with the processor or a dedicated card ported into a PCI slot. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

What Is An Integrated Graphics Card?

The integrated graphics card comes integrated with the processor itself. It uses system memory to do GPU-related functions. Both CPU and GPU come integrated into the same chip.

Since both CPU and GPU come in a single chip, it has been noticed that both suffer when it comes to performance. All system resources that the CPU uses are shared with the integrated GPU as well.

Dedicated Graphics Card Vs Integrated Graphics Card

Most of the low-end Intel processors come integrated with a GPU. If the CPU performs better, then the GPU suffers, and when the GPU performs better, the CPU suffers.

What Is A Dedicated Graphics Card?

Unlike an integrated graphics card, a dedicated graphics card comes with its own set of resources.

It has to be ported in a separate PCI slot in the motherboard. So normal motherboard without a PCI slot can not be used for a dedicated graphics card.

The dedicated graphics card has a memory unit called VRAM ( Video Random Access Memory). It does not interfere with the CPU functions and does not share the CPU resources.

Dedicated Graphics Card Vs Integrated Graphics Card
Dedicated Graphics Card

Dedicated graphics cards are more powerful than integrated graphics cards because it come with a separate graphics proceeding unit, a dedicated memory module, and a cooling mechanism to make them work smoothly.

The power of a dedicated graphics card can be further enhanced by allowing a portion of system memory called virtual memory. Once coupled with virtual memory, a dedicated graphics card offers the best performance.

Differences Between Dedicated Vs Integrated Graphics

Integrated Graphics CardDedicated Graphics Card
No separate memory moduleDedicated memory module
Use CPU resourcesDoes not interfere with CPU resources
No dedicated cooling unitA dedicated cooling mechanism is available
Very poor graphics performanceUsually offers high-end graphic performance
It’s cheap to ownUsually, costs are way higher than an Integrated graphics card

Who should use an integrated graphics card?

An Integrated Graphics card is enough for day-to-day computing. Unless you use graphic-hungry applications, integrated graphics solve all purposes. Considering this, a user should opt for an integrated graphics card in the following scenarios.


There is no point in investing in a dedicated graphics card if you are not a Gamer. 3D games consume more GPU resources. So if you are not a game addict, those resources will be unutilized.

Casual computer users

Many users use the computer to check emails or do basic office jobs like Microsoft Word or Excel. There is no point in using a dedicated graphics card for such basic jobs.

Budget is a concern

Integrated Graphics comes a lot cheaper than dedicated ones. So if budget is a concern for you, there is no other option except to choose an integrated graphics card.

Who should choose a dedicated graphics card?

Some applications or games won’t work if you don’t use a high-end dedicated graphics card. You might see frequent crashes if you use those applications with an integrated graphics card.

3D CAD users

3D CAD software is the most graphics-hungry software. Those software are used to create 3-dimensional engineering designs, simulations, etc. Such 3D software won’t even open if the graphic card requirements are not met.

Video Editing

If you are a YouTuber or work as a video editor, you need a high-end graphics card. Or else it will be impossible to work. Even basic video editing software needs a dedicated GPU

Game Addicted Users

Though I am not one of them, the crowd is not too lean and addicted to gaming. For them, the dedicated graphics card is the best bet. Integrated graphic cards will only frustrate them.

Can I live with an integrated graphics card?

The answer is YES. If you know how to optimize your computer operating system, you can share more resources for the integrated GPU to perform better. Here is one guide on how to speed up windows.

The other best bet would be to use Linux. Linux is a very lightweight operating system and usually consumes fewer computer resources. This in turn helps integrated GPU to work better.

Conclusion: Integrated Vs Dedicated Graphics Card

Which one is better? Integrated graphics or dedicated graphics?

It depends on you. Yes, it depends on you. I have used a laptop with an integrated GPU for the last 5 years without any issues. I do video editing and use 3D CAD software on that laptop. But how do I manage with an integrated GPU?

I managed to optimize my laptop to perform better than expected. I have chosen to use Linux over Windows for over a decade. That’s how I manage to get the best from an old laptop.

So if you are a computer shopper with a basic knowledge of computing, go for an integrated graphics card.

Suppose you are a professional and involved in video editing, 3D gaming, and 3D CAD software, better to invest in a dedicated graphics card. I promise that will be your best bet.

That’s all I have in this article. I hope you have a fair amount of knowledge to choose between the dedicated and integrated graphics card. Do write in the comment section if you have any questions.

Rajib Is The Founder And The Key Brain Behind RiansDeal. A NIT 2004 Graduate In Mechanical Engineering With Close To Two Decades Of Experience In Designing Large Appliances And Consumer Electronics Products.


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