Integrated (iGPU) vs Dedicated Graphics Cards (dGPU) – What Are the Main Differences and Recommendations?
Today, the GPU or graphics processing unit is almost on par with the CPU or the central processing unit. Though they both differ like day and night, they both form vital components for your PC device.
If you are planning to produce a new PC device for yourself or for your commercial business, then knowing which GPU to use inside that would be a crucial factor. That is because users are more particular about the GPU used than the CPU.
You see, the CPU is a crucial component of the PC device. But the GPU decides on the graphics and the overall performance of the PC device. Most laptop manufacturers have embedded some of the latest CPUs in their machines.
Some makers swear by Intel, while others like Asus prefer to opt for AMD. These two manufacturers hold the key to the market as of now in 2022. Having said that, we will read to find out which GPU is suitable for you and why.
After all, you need to know the GPU that can meet your requirements, preferences, and budget. The GPU can be used to perform a million things on your PC device, which is quite exciting.
But the core purpose of them is the same, is it not? Giving a video to the PC device or your laptop does not necessarily have to be a major development for any maker. If your device or machine has the weakest integrated graphics cards, the job can get done.
The main reason to have the iGPU on your device is that the processor and the GPU are on a single die. So, why do you want to do such a thing? Most of the users today really do not require a dedicated GPU.
The significance of the GPU
The GPU does not partake in any intensive graphically work or task that requires the dedicated GPU. Some of you are satisfied with the traditional GPU that can help you perform the tasks effortlessly.
You use the machine for browsing, writing, reading, music, and watching videos. However, some of you can also play some games if you want to. The integrated GPU, on the other hand, is more than enough.
But when you are a coder, graphics designer, or professional gamer, then your expectations would be more than those of normal people. You would want to use something that can get the job done effortlessly.
You would prefer to use the dedicated graphics card over the integrated graphics card. That is why we have this post so that you would understand the strengths and weaknesses and garner essential differences between both of the GPUs.
What are integrated graphics?
As you know by now, the GPU or the graphics processing unit handles all the graphics-related material for your device. The device could either be your laptop or PC device. The integrated graphics is when you have the GPU as well as the CPU in the same device.
When you choose a processor that has integrated graphics, it can effortlessly handle both the normal CPU processes and GPU processes. Hence the name integrated GPUs. The main issue here is that they are not as powerful compared to the dedicated graphics cards.
What is a dedicated graphics card?
A dedicated graphics card is not part of the CPU package. That is because it is provided to you separately from your CPU. The graphics card has the GPU that is mainly used to manage the graphics-related instructions done independently from the CPU.
That is why it is known as the dedicated GPU. It comes separately and has no connection with the CPU present inside the machine. The main benefit here is that they come with their own VRAM (video RAM or video random access memory).
It provides you with fantastic image clarity and amazing details to the pictures that you watch. The integrated graphics don’t come with a dedicated set of memory. They make use of the system’s memory to get the image data from.
What is the difference between the integrated GPU vs dedicated GPU?
The main issue with the integrated GPU is that having the GPU and CPU in the same chip causes a dip in performance. That means you cannot get what you want. The GPU and the CPU cannot be present in the same chip without limitation on either one of the processing power.
Most of the modern processors have integrated graphics in them. But the integrated GPU gets minimalized so that the CPU performance is not affected at all. This means that your images and picture quality are slightly compromised upon.
Unlike in there, the dedicated graphics card comes with its own PCB, cooling solution, and memory (VRAM). It is not limited to power. Now, we will talk about the computing graphics-related data that comes from the integrated graphics on your processor.
When you want the dedicated GPU, it can free some of the resources for your CPU to use. However, the dedicated GPU offers more power and reduces the primary workload on the processor; this helps your machine to work smoother.
Despite that, you would be amazed to know that the integrated graphics on the machine is quite popular among most of users globally. That is because they come cheaper and consume lesser power.
Why to get a dedicated graphics card?
In other words, for whom the dedicated graphics card would be helpful to? Yes or no. You need first to know whether the dedicated graphics card would be beneficial for your cause or not. Otherwise, why bother even getting it?
There are two main determining factors that can decide whether you would want to purchase the dedicated GPU as follows:
- Your total budget on the system that you are planning to design for yourself.
- The kind of programs that you would want to run your system on.
A professional gamer
You might want to get the dedicated GPU when you are a professional gamer with the necessary budget for the game. Besides, this one is for you when you want to play top-end games requiring high-end specifications.
You have two choices here you can purchase a pre-built gaming desktop having a dedicated graphics card or design a new machine. In the new device, you can infuse it having a dedicated graphics card.
You would be glad to know that for 1080P gaming, you can design a PC device that will cost you less than $500. In this budget, you can get a dedicated graphics card that can do better than the machine that works on integrated graphics.
Besides, you can also purchase a pre-built gaming PC for around $600 that provides you with similar performance. At the end of the day, when you are only concerned about the gaming aspect of things, then you would want to make use of a $500 machine.
A professional gamer who wants to own a gaming laptop with a low budget
The second situation is that you are a professional gamer who has a low budget and is looking to design a machine for yourself. In this case, then you would immensely benefit from the integrated GPU.
They come cheap and do not consume more power as well. Besides, they can help you perform a ton of tasks efficiently. Most of the affordable gaming laptops have integrated graphics embedded in them.
You can think of getting one for yourself that comes priced under $800 or even $1000 at the most. You do not have to spend a dime more on the machine because everything is sorted out for you.
They are pretty decent models out there for you in the market that come with integrated GPUs that provide exceptional performance. But you may not be able to play some top-end games with ease.
You are a graphics or video rendering professional
Finally, when you are somebody who is graphics designing or who is into rendering, then you would want to consider choosing the integrated GPU. If you’re going to do these things for fun and some excitement, you make sure that you get the dedicated graphics card.
These types of programs and tasks are easy to perform and do.
Who should use integrated graphics?
If you want to do basic work on your machine
When you are somebody who wants to do essential computing work on your machine, then you may consider using the integrated GPU. Some of them include browsing, reading, writing, listening to music, sending emails, watching videos, etc.
As you can see, you do not need more than that. You do not have to spend more money than required because you may end up giving more money than you actually need by using a machine that already has a dedicated graphics card in it.
If you are a gamer who is on a tight budget
When you are a gamer but have a tight budget, then you would want to make use of a system that does not cause a dent in your pocket. For that, you would like to design a system that can make use of the integrated graphics card.
You can design a system that does not cost more than $500 for you. It comes with a processor powerful enough for entry-level gaming. You can play some basic-level games that don’t require a massive frame rate with no problems.
When you are a gamer who requires a laptop with a mid-range performance
When you are a gamer who requires a gaming laptop but has a medium budget, like under $1000, then you can choose the integrated GPUs. You can go for the dedicated GPUs if you can stretch your budget more up to $2000.
But when that is not the case, and you are happy & satisfied with the performance you are getting on the laptop, then integrated graphics is your only option. You may not be able to expect stunning performance from a laptop that comes with integrated graphics.
When you really want to play games that do not require too many features, including the League of Legends, Rocket League, and Dota 2, then you can do so. You may want to get a laptop that comes for an extreme budget having integrated graphics on it.
Things to know
Do all CPUs have integrated graphics?
All the CPUs do not come with integrated graphics cards on them. That is not a must or a necessity, you see. But most of the CPUs produced by Intel over the last 10 years have integrated GPU in them.
However, they tend to have different power consumption and ability. Besides, they come in a built-in design. They are ideal for most of the regular tasks that you do and can perform them with ease.
When the iGPU is not installed inside the CPU, but when it has the F on the name like the Intel Core i3-12100F, then the performance is almost the same. Though they come somewhat cheaper, but they are suitable for usage in your CPU.
Likewise, there are also the AMD GPUs that provide you with stunning performance found on them as well. AMD was the first to bring the APU term or what is known as the accelerated processing unit into the market.
They were the makers to have made the iGPUs popular today. It was done during early 2018 itself and has taken over from that time. Today, they have pushed the iGPU gaming segment to another level with the help of their Radeon Vega graphics.
Under new leadership, they have main some decent gains with each new generation. For example, you have their RDNA 2 iGPUs produced for sublime efficiency and power. Though they are present only on the Ryzen 6000 series SKUs, they will be available on the PC models by 2023.
But you can find several AMD processors having built-in graphics with the G suffix on them, like the 2400G, 3400G, and others. However, when you want to design a Ryzen PC device for yourself, then you have to get a dedicated GPU for the device.
Are integrated graphics cards good for gaming?
Yes, they are good for gaming. Of course, it also depends on the kind of games that you prefer. When you want to play some of the games that were present during the 2010 period, then it is okay.
But when you want to play the recent top-end games that require high specifications, then you may want to ensure that you have the latest GPUs installed on your PC device for optimum performance, including the Intel (Iris Xe) and AMD (Vega and RDNA 2).
What can I do with an integrated graphics card?
The integrated graphics cards may not be as powerful as your dedicated graphics card. You may know that by now reading this far. But it can come helpful for several things actually. You can perform regular tasks, watch movies, and do a bit of gaming on it as well.
Can I use an integrated graphics card for creative work?
Yes, you can use the integrated graphics card for creative work also. The top-end GPU models iGPU provide you with the needed video editing work that you require. Besides, you also require the power for photo editing (Photoshop & Lightroom), and results may vary.
Moreover, you can manage to perform the programming work along with the stunning resolutions found on it. You may find others quite difficult to accomplish to do and perform. You do not want to write off the iGPUs because they can be helpful for your needs.
Who has better-integrated graphics cards, Intel or AMD?
It is tough to answer this question because both Intel and AMD have been in this industry for long enough. They have been producing astonishing products for the market. They have been making dedicated GPUs over the years.
But when it comes to gaming, then AMD has the edge over Intel because they are extremely capable of producing amazing models for you. But Intel makes some genuine iGPUs that can be used for laptops, but not like AMD models that are suitable for PC gaming devices.
So, is the integrated (iGPU) graphics cards or the dedicated graphics cards (dGPU) better for you? This is a personal decision at the end of the day. They both come with similar features and more or less the exact specifications.
The dedicated graphics card offers more GPU power than most integrated graphics cards. However, some of you might prefer using integrated graphics cards. That is because they come cheaper and do not consume too much power.
Why do you want to spend too much money when you are satisfied with the performance of the integrated GPU? However, when you are willing to shell out the amount and need more performance, then the dedicated graphics cards are.
This is it. We have come to the end of the discussion between the integrated (iGPU) graphics cards vs dedicated graphics card (dGPU). We hope that you learned and found out more about these graphics cards that are almost the same in features.
But they come with minor performance capability. Besides, they can be used depending on your needs and budget. From the above post, it becomes evident that dedicated graphics cards are best for almost all scenarios.
Having said that, you may not want to look down on the integrated graphics cards. That is because each of the new generation CPUs brings with them several new architectural changes, coupled with sublime advancements that make the iGPU so slightly beneficial.
If AMD and Intel keep pushing hard like this and come up with innovative methods, then there is a massive future ahead of us. When you are finding it difficult to choose between them both, then you can go with the integrated graphics cards (iGPU).
Because it can provide you with what you are looking for at a cheaper price and consumes less power. So, what kind of setup are you planning to go with? Are you already using the integrated or dedicated GPUs for your PC devices?
Please do write to us and tell us all about your experience using AMD’s latest products.
The iGPU means the integrated GPU. It is manufactured by the CPU makers in the market, which happens to be your PC. The model is not as good as the dGPU dedicated that comes with its own hardware and is ideal for gaming and video editing purposes.
The dedicated graphics are able to separate the processor chip; there is more power consumption. Besides, it also generates more heat causing the device to get warmer soon. However, they come with their own memory source and power source.
The dedicated graphics card comes as a wholly separate processor from the CPU. It comes with its own memory and has the ability to deliver higher performance. However, they make use of more power and are expensive. You can find them used on PC devices.
There is no such thing as that. Using the integrated graphics does not slow down your CPU or your PC device at all. But it tends to consume more of your onboard memory. When you make use of the single channel memory, it affects the model, as these graphic-intensive applications require more memory bandwidth.
The dGPU means the discrete graphics processing unit. It is the discrete graphics processing unit that has access to dedicated graphics memory. The hardware in the PC refers to the dedicated graphics processing unit that has access to dedicated graphics memory.
James Smith has always been intrigued by electronic products since his childhood. After his post graduation in electronics from a popular university, he decided to pursue a career in the electronics sector. But his calling for writing about these marvellous pieces of work got the better of him. That is how UBG was started. With a writing career spanning more than 12 years, James has worked on several hundred product reviews. During his free time, he like to spend time with his pet dog and relax in the swimming pool.