Dedicated Graphics Card vs Integrated: Which One is Better in 2022

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Smriti Razdan
Smriti Razdan
Smriti started her journey by attaining a degree in computer applications. She loves to indulge in reading undiscovered stories only to draw profound explanations about life and its existence. She welcomes you aboard on her expedition of finding herself. Smriti writes her content with a smile on her face hoping to transcend it to her readers.

The graphics in a PC is handled by the graphics card. There are two types of graphics card options; integrated and dedicated. Both of them are good, but they are different. If you cannot decide which one you should go for, you have landed on the right article. In this article, I will show you the very popular match, “Dedicated Graphics Card vs Integrated.”

So, what determines what graphics option you should choose? It is your purpose. You should ask yourself what exactly you are going to do on your computer. You should also ask yourself how much expense is a reasonable expense for you. See, dedicated graphics cards are more powerful than integrated ones, and they are naturally more expensive too. The fact that they are more powerful doesn’t mean that they are necessary for you. We’ll see why.

I will tell you what integrated graphics are and what dedicated graphics are. In the section “Dedicated Graphics Card vs Integrated | Difference Between Integrated GPU and Dedicated GPU,” I will compare the two of them in different areas like performance, purpose, price, etc. You will be able to realize which one you want in your system. So, without any waffling, let’s dig in.

Dedicated Graphics Card vs Integrated

I will compare dedicated and integrated graphics in a while. But before that, let me first define them both so that it gets easier for you to understand what I am talking about or what the comparisons are based on.

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What is Integrated Graphics?

Dedicated Graphics Card vs Integrated

Integrated graphics is a graphics processing unit that is built into a CPU chip. It doesn’t have a processor of its own. Integrated graphics processing units use the system’s RAM and CPU to run. It uses up to 5% of a system’s available memory. Thus, if you are doing memory-heavy work like video rendering on a computer, an integrated graphics card can slow the system down.

What is Dedicated Graphics?

Dedicated Graphics Card vs Integrated

The dedicated graphics processing unit comes separately. It has its own memory and CPU. For example, if you have a computer containing 16 GB RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU with 6GB video memory, the NVIDIA graphics card’s memory is independent of the 16GB system memory. So, if you do a lot of resource-heavy work like professional video editing, graphic designing, and high-end gaming, you should consider getting a dedicated GPU. 

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Dedicated Graphics Card vs Integrated | Difference Between Integrated GPU and Dedicated GPU

Dedicated Graphics Card vs Integrated

The first difference would be the fact that integrated graphics processing unit comes with the system’s processor itself, whereas a dedicated GPU comes separately. When two such big responsibilities are integrated into the same chip, one responsibility has to be compromised at a time. What happens is that, as discussed earlier, the integrated graphics feeds on the system’s ram and processing power. And the dedicated graphics card has something called VRAM (Video Random Access Memory), because of which the GPU can quickly access relevant image data.

To keep the processing power intact, most of the modern processors that have integrated graphics are made with weaker GPUs. While a dedicated GPU needs no compromising as it has a dedicated processor and a set of memory to perform graphics-related tasks.

The second difference between dedicated and integrated graphics is that the former has its own PCB, VRAM, and cooling system. At the same time, an integrated graphics card does not have these components. Basically, a dedicated GPU is like a PC on its own. It has mini versions of all the components that make up a PC. This is the reason its productivity cannot be compared with that of an integrated GPU.

Dedicated Graphics Card vs Integrated

The third difference is price. It goes without saying that in “Dedicated Graphics Card vs Integrated”, an integrated graphics card wins in price. A dedicated graphics card comes with multiple components and has a slot of its own on the motherboard; it has to be expensive.

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Is a Dedicated Graphics Card Better Than Integrated?

Dedicated GPUs have their own game going on. They don’t depend on the CPU’s processing power and system RAM for their performance. Performance-wise, they are way more powerful than integrated GPUs. But that doesn’t mean that they are better than integrated graphics in all scenarios. 

If you want a PC for browsing, operating MS Office, watching movies, etc., you don’t really require a dedicated graphics card. There is no point in spending more money if you cannot utilize the resources you are paying for. Integrated graphics is way cheaper than dedicated. Even if you are a gamer who plays light games or 2D games, you don’t necessarily need a dedicated graphics card. It is all dedicated graphics card vs integrated has to it.

When do I Need Dedicated Graphics?

Before answering this question, I would like you to ask yourself if you at all need a dedicated GPU. The factors that you need to take into consideration are: 

  1. Your budget.
  2. The purpose of your PC: the kind of programs you are going to run.

Even if your budget can cover the price of a dedicated GPU, you should go for a dedicated GPU only when:

  1. You are a serious gamer who plays a lot of high-end 3D games like Cyberpunk 2077, Far Cry 6, Metro Exodus, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, etc.
  2. You are a professional who does intensive graphics-related work like animation, graphics designing, video editing, etc.

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Dedicated Graphics Card vs Integrated

Wrapping Up

Dedicated graphics card vs integrated is a tricky comparison. Firstly, a graphics card is not just for gaming. It is also one of the most important hardware for video production and animation. Secondly, dedicated graphics are not essential. A computer can run fine without it. You need it only when you perform graphics-heavy tasks on the PC, tasks that need the GPU to pull a lot of image data continuously and quickly. I hope my write-up could answer all your queries regarding dedicated graphics card vs integrated graphics. Until next time, Ciao!

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