Many years ago, making an Integrated Graphics Card vs dedicated graphics card will be a no brainer because of the not so good reputation that integrated graphics card had. However, things have changed over the years so much that they have found their way to be a part of the conversation.
Generally, for graphics solution, the choice that you have are two; to either go with a dedicated graphics card or with the integrated one. Both of these cards have their pros and cons, but it will all come to what you want on a computer as well as the needs of the graphics card that you have.
The most popular graphics card come from AMD and Nvidia, both of them offer great performance depending on what you want to achieve.
Integrated Graphics Card vs Dedicated
Before making a run on which is better between the two cards, here is a quick look at what they are:
Integrated Graphics Card
As the name will rightly suggest, the integrated graphics has to do with a computer which has the graphics processing unit (GPU) built with the CPU on the same die. It comes as already made on your motherboard chipset. This comes along without any additional card for graphics solution.
This does not come with its own resources but rather shares from that of the computer. Because of this, the RAM also becomes important when graphics are accessed. Based on the memory that you have on your system some parts of it is shared with the graphics card so that when you have 4GB RAM and 1GB is shared, it means that your computer will only have 3GB memory to take care of other computing activities.
What is a Dedicated Graphics Card?
On the other hand, a dedicated graphics card or GPU comes as separate hardware that serves for the simple purpose of rendering graphics display. Also referred to as discrete graphics or video cards, they are more powerful than the integrated cards for any graphics task you throw at them.
These graphics cards come with their own memory which makes them more effective and puts less stress on the resources of your computer.
Which is better between the two graphics card
As stated, the integrated graphics card has evolved through the years and is now very powerful that one can use it for certain games. However, it still finds itself behind the other.
In terms of graphics performance, the dedicated card is much better than the integrated card. The higher the dedicated graphic card, the better it is in comparison to the integrated. These cards are able to run almost any type of graphics including 3D and 4K.
More so, because of the edge, you get with the graphics, dedicated cards are the best for people who are into intense graphical related works such as video editing, animation, graphic design, as well as gaming. With the integrated card, you will also get to play some games that are not demanding and also carry out some graphics-related tasks that are not very demanding
One of the most serious drawbacks of the integrated graphics card has to do with resources. Both the GPU and the CPU of the card are made on the same chip. What this means is that there will be some limitation to the function of the processors.
A dedicated graphics card comes with its own memory (Video RAM- VRAM) which gives it an edge over the integrated card. With this memory, it doesn’t get to sap any resources from the system memory, allowing the processor to be more efficient.
3. Power Consumption
In the integrated graphics card vs dedicated card comparison, it is clear that a dedicated card consumes more power than the other because of its power requirements which is caused by the fact that it has its own VRAM and it handles complex tasks. What this means is that a computer running on a dedicated card will get heated more than one that has an integrated card, requiring for a superior cooling system.
A serious gamer or someone who has a need for graphical intense work will always go with a dedicated card over the integrated because of the customization options it has. This customization will be of immense benefit to a gamer who wants to overclock.
When compared to machines that are kitted with dedicated cards, the integrated cards are a whole lot cheaper. However, you will still have cheap options for the dedicated cards and expensive systems that come with a dedicated card. There are some dedicated graphics card that may be more expensive than even a high-end computer although such cards may only be needed for complex industrial computation and mining of cryptocurrency.
It is also more cost-efficient when you look at things like power management, cooling system, and other components that may go with the dedicated card you get which may include the entire motherboard.
On a laptop, an integrated card delivers a better battery life since it is much less demanding than the dedicated card.
At the end of the day, it is clear that the dedicated graphics card has bragging rights over the other in almost every right. It is the better of the two for anyone who is looking for a serious gaming computer as well as professionals who need a good system for their graphics related work. In the same way, the integrated graphics card is still not one to be thrown in the gutters because it also has its own importance most especially for people looking for computers for everyday computing and casual gaming.
Beyond the comparison on which of the two cards is better, the one best for you will all depend on your need because if you are only a casual gamer who is not interested in playing any complex games, it will be needless for you to get a dedicated graphics card since it will only be a waste. More so, if you need a GPU for cryptocurrency mining, gaming, or other complex graphics related works, the choice will have to be a dedicated card over an integrated card.