Integrated vs Dedicated Graphics

If you want to buy a new personal computer, one of the questions that you should ask yourself is whether you need integrated or dedicated graphics. Integrated and dedicated graphics each has advantages and disadvantages. So, what are actually integrated and dedicated graphics? What are the differences between the two? Is it integrated or dedicated graphics that is more suitable for you? Find out below.

Integrated Graphics
An integrated graphics processing unit (GPU) is installed on the motherboard. It does not have its own memory; so, it utilizes the system’s RAM instead. How much memory that the integrated graphics use depends on the task at hand. If you are multitasking, using a graphic design application, or playing a graphic-intensive game, it will eat quite a lot of RAM. Hence, integrated graphics’ performance is not always great, especially if you have very limited RAM. Some apps and games can’t run on integrated graphics. In general, an integrated GPU is more suitable for casual users for watching videos and movies or playing casual, non-demanding games.

However, a PC with an integrated GPU is usually cheaper. So, it can be a more sensible approach if you are on a tight budget. An integrated GPU also offers the advantages of producing less heat and consuming less power. If you are going to bring your laptop along to places and you often worry about running out of battery, an integrated GPU ensures that the laptop’s battery will last longer.

Dedicated Graphics
A dedicated graphics processing unit (sometimes also called as a discrete GPU) is more expensive, so prepare your budget. In addition, a dedicated GPU tends to consume significantly more power. This is not a big problem for a desktop PC. But a laptop may run out of battery more quickly. Also, a dedicated GPU tends to produce more heat. Make sure that your PC gets enough cooling and air circulation to prevent overheating.

Nevertheless, a dedicated GPU should be the way to go for graphics-intensive apps and those demanding games. The latest games nowadays usually require a dedicated GPU to run. The performance of dedicated GPUs is better because they have their own memory to for graphics processing.

Integrated GraphicsDedicated Graphics
- Cheaper- More expensive
- Consumes less power- Consumes more power
- Produces less heat- Produces more heat
- Uses the system’s RAM- Has its own memory
- Generally lower performance, suitable for just casual purposes- Better performance, suitable for graphic design and gaming

For casual and non-graphics-intensive purposes, an integrated graphics makes a more efficient choice. It is cheaper, consumes less power, and doesn’t get too hot. However, for graphic design purposes and gaming, you need a dedicated graphics for the best performance.

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