Integrated vs Dedicated Graphics Card

Getting confused about Integrated vs Dedicated Graphics Cards? Can’t decide Which one to Use Integrated vs. Dedicated Graphics Card and Why? Here this post we discuss What is the difference between an Integrated and Dedicated Graphics cards. I hope you all know very well about Graphic cards/drivers.  For those who don’t know about this, A graphics card, also known as a graphics processing unit (GPU), is responsible for rendering an image to your monitor, it does this by converting data into a signal your monitor can understand. The graphics components are the part of your computer that controls and enhance how graphics (pictures, videos, programs, animation, 3D ) are displayed on your computer screen.

Integrated vs Dedicated Graphics Card

Normally there are two different types of GPUs available: Dedicated Graphics Cards and Integrated Graphics Card. Integrated Graphics are built into the motherboard where no add-in card is used. Integrated graphics use a portion of a computer’s system RAM instead of their own dedicated memory. Integrated graphics are less powerful than discrete graphics, but conserve energy. You’ll find these built into most ‘standard’ laptops and computers, they are a cost-effective model but cannot be easily upgraded.

Dedicated graphics An add-in graphics card that is installed onto the motherboard as an extra component. which delivers more processing power and a higher quality visual experience compared to integrated graphics, for use in applications that require a lot of computing power such as HD video content and 3D games.

Integrated Graphics Card

The combination of CPU and GPU is called integrated graphics. Nowadays each processor from Intel (i.e. Core i3, i5, and i7) has integrated GPU, so it is only the matter of motherboard if this feature is supported.

Integrated Graphics Card

Integrated graphics is basically a graphics processing unit that does not have its own memory but uses a little amount of the system memory. So, if you have a computer with 4GB of RAM, the video card can use anywhere between one and five percent of the available memory for graphics processing. Of course, the amount of consumed RAM by the integrated graphics card is dynamic and it depends on the GPU load.

The benefit of an integrated unit is that it is cheaper, which in turn a less expensive while purchasing a Laptop or computer. An integrated graphics card also generates much less heat than a dedicated video card and uses drastically less power, which improves the overall battery life. Integrated graphics cards are perfect for people doing everyday graphics processing. This includes watching or editing videos, 2D gaming, and general word processing. Such activities aren’t graphics intensive, so a low-end video card is ideal.

Integrated Graphics Card:

  • Uses RAM on your device
  • Performs everyday tasks easily. Gaming is a problem only when intense graphics are required
  •  Heats up less
  • Uses less battery/power
  • Cheaper

On The other hand, Dedicated graphics cards have their own memory and leave the RAM your system uses untouched. For example, if you have a GeForce GTX 550 Ti with 8GB of memory. It’ll utilize that and not use the system memory. Dedicated cards are perfect if you are into serious gaming or are a professional graphic designer.

Dedicated Graphics CardDedicated cards also allow for customization. If you want to overclock your graphics card, you’ll need to increase your cooling power. Add-on water cooling blocks or more powerful fan assemblies make this possible.

When you watch a high-definition movie or play a graphic-heavy game, the card then powers up and works as a dedicated card, improving the overall performance but lowering the battery life.

Again If you are a serious gamer or if you run a dual-monitor system, the GPU will have to work harder and will heat up quickly. These cards are also power-hungry, so using a laptop with a dedicated graphics card will decrease battery life.

By removing these limitations, dedicated cards can be significantly more powerful than integrated graphics. Dedicated video cards are perfect for those who want the best visual experience, whether you are gaming or designing graphics. Remember, games’ visual designs will continue to improve. You should plan ahead and find a card that will hold up for at least a few years before you need to upgrade.

Dedicated Graphics Card:

  • Has dedicated RAM. The device’s RAM stays untouched
  • Better handling of graphics-intensive tasks. e.g. Designing, Gaming etc.
  • Heats up more
  • Uses more power
  • Costlier

Final Comparison between Dedicated and Integrated Graphics Card

Description Is an external attachment that is connected to the motherboard Is in an internal attachment that is integrated into the motherboard or the CPU.
Also known as Discrete GPU or discrete graphics card On-board video
GPU has its own graphics processing unit (GPU)
RAM Has its own RAM Uses the system’s RAM
Power Consumption Higher Lower
Processing power Usually higher Usually lower

Which should you use?

It depends on how much power you need from your graphics card. Most people using a modern computer for standard tasks like surfing the internet, creating documents or watching movies will be fine using integrated graphics. If you want to do any gaming, 3D rendering or video editing, you’ll want the most powerful graphics card you can afford and your system can handle.

Video explains, dedicated vs integrated Graphics cards – which should you choose

I hope this helps you to compare and decide between the Integrated vs Dedicated Graphics Card that is suitable for you. Still have any queries, suggestion feel free to discuss in the comments below. Also, Read

Steve Ballmer
With over 7 years of experience in the IT industry, I have experience in IT support, helpdesk, sysadmin, network admin, and cloud computing. Certified in Microsoft Technologies (MCTS and MCSA) and also Cisco Certified Professional in Routing and Switching.


    • you will get smooth experience if you have additional graphics card installed on your computer.
      Ya, you have high end PC i7 and 32GB of RAM but graphics card play a different role while run heavy graphics applications like video editing software, photoshoot or Games.