If you’re looking to build a new computer, you may be confused about all the different components and moving parts. In fact, you’ll need either an integrated graphics chip or a dedicated GPU in order to use your computer in the first place.
Although it was common a few decades ago, modern motherboards DO NOT have integrated graphics. Instead, integrated graphics are found in Intel and AMD CPUs. However, not all CPUs have integrated graphics. So, you’ll either need a dedicated GPU or a CPU with an integrated graphics chip to boost your computer’s visual output.
Using a CPU with integrated graphics prevents the need for using a dedicated GPU and saves you money on your computer build. However, integrated graphics have less visual capability than dedicated video cards. So, the best choice for you depends on how you use your computer.
Gamers intending to use their computer for modern AAA titles will need a dedicated GPU. The latest games won’t be able to run using only integrated graphics.
To answer the question “do motherboards have integrated graphics?”, it’s important to remember that motherboards do not have integrated graphics.
This in-depth guide will discuss everything you need to know about integrated graphics and external GPUs.
Let’s jump right in.
How Does a GPU Work?
A GPU is also known as a graphics card or video card. GPUs allow your computer to render images processed by your CPU. Although GPUs and CPUs are extremely similar, GPUs specialize in graphically intensive processes, such as video editing, gaming, or 3D rendering.
Furthermore, GPUs dictate what resolution monitor you’re able to use with your computer. For example, you need a higher-end GPU to use a 4K display.
How Do GPUs Work in Gaming?
Most modern games use a computer’s GPU to render geometry, textures, shading, and color. The better the video card you have, the better in-game graphics and FPS you will receive.
As you’re playing video games on your computer, your CPU continuously performs complex mathematical equations. These equations are then sent to the GPU, allowing the visuals to be outputted.
Having an iGPU or GPU allows you to take off processing power from your CPU so that your computer runs more efficiently.
Two Types of GPUs
GPUs come integrated into your processor or as a dedicated GPU you install into your motherboard. Dedicated GPUs are also called discrete graphics cards or external GPUs.
Let’s discuss what both of these types are.
What Is an Integrated Graphics Card?
As you know by now, integrated graphics cards are integrated into a processor. Integrated graphics shares power between your CPU and GPU since the graphics chip is built directly into the CPU.
Integrated GPUs, or iGPUs, are most suited for day-to-day PC tasks, such as internet browsing, social media, and low capacity work with spreadsheets and documents.
If you’re a gamer, you may be wondering if integrated graphics allow you to play your favorite games. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll easily be able to play games with lower resolution graphics and pixels. These games include Minecraft, Borderlands, and League of Legends.
However, if you’re looking to play the latest games like Red Dead Redemption 2 or GTA V, you’ll need a dedicated graphics card.
Which CPUs Include an Integrated Graphics Card?
There are two manufacturers that produce CPUs: Intel and AMD. Both Intel and AMD have certain CPU models that feature an integrated graphics chip.
It’s important to remember that your computer will need either an iGPU or dedicated GPU for the video output ports on your motherboard to work.
Intel CPUs with Integrated Graphics
With Intel CPUs, most of them have an integrated graphics card.
The only Intel CPU models without an iGPU are donated with the suffix ‘F’. For instance, Intel Core i7-11700KF and Intel Core i5-10400F CPUs do not come with an integrated graphics card.
If the CPU model doesn’t have an ‘F’ suffix, it will come with an integrated graphics card.
Furthermore, modern Intel CPUs include the Intel UHD 610, 620, 630, and 750 iGPUs.
However, the Iris Pro 580 is the most powerful Intel iGPU and is most commonly found on premium notebooks.
AMD CPUs with Integrated Graphics
On the other hand, AMD CPUs usually don’t feature an integrated graphics card. The AMD CPUs that include an iGPU are called APUs or accelerated processing units.
AMD CPUs with integrated graphics will have the letter ‘G’ in the suffix of their names. For instance, the AMD Athlon 3000G and AMD Ryzen 3 3200G will have integrated graphics cards.
The G-series processors feature the Vega series iGPUs, which typically perform better than their Intel counterparts.
However, it’s essential to know that the G-series AMD CPUs usually have weaker performance than their non ‘G’ counterparts.
What Is a Dedicated Graphics Card?
A dedicated graphics card is a standalone unit that plugs directly into your computer’s motherboard. The GPU has its own dedicated memory and delivers more performance than integrated graphics cards.
Discrete GPUs also have their own cooling solution since they require more computational resources to run and are at risk of overheating.
Using a dedicated GPU frees up the processing power required from your CPU and helps avoid frame rate issues when playing video games, editing videos, and rendering 3D models.
Choosing the Right Graphics Card
When it comes to choosing either an integrated or dedicated graphics card, it depends on how you’ll be using your computer.
Here are a few fundamental guidelines that will aid you in your decision.
1. What Programs and Applications Will You Use?
The main determining factor on which GPU you should get depends on what applications and programs you’ll use.
You’ll need a dedicated graphics card for graphically intensive video games, video editing, and mining Bitcoin.
However, you’ll only need an iGPU for general purpose use, such as internet browsing, office work, and basic gaming.
Depending on which programs or video games you’ll be running, the best thing you can do is research the PC requirements for your specific program.
For example, if you plan on playing Call of Duty: Warzone, you can Google “Call of Duty: Warzone PC requirements”.
Then you’ll see a list of system requirements. You’ll need at least a GeForce GTX 670 or 1650 if you want to play Warzone at the lowest settings. However, the recommended dedicated graphics cards are at least a GeForce GTX 970 or 1660.
2. What’s Your Budget?
Another important determining factor is how much your budget is. Dedicated graphics cards will most likely be the most expensive component of your entire computer. So, you’ll be able to save a substantial amount of your budget by using a CPU with integrated graphics.
3. How Important Are Graphics to You?
Lastly, you’ll have to determine how important graphics are to you as you’re playing video games. You may not need a dedicated one since you can run many games on low settings using an integrated graphics card.
However, your FPS will be low, and the graphics won’t look visually appealing. So, if your preferred gaming experience requires more intensive visuals, you’re much better getting a dedicated video card.
In summary, integrated graphics allow you to perform general tasks on your computer efficiently. However, your computer’s visual potential and output will be lower when compared with a dedicated graphics card.
Furthermore, motherboards don’t have integrated graphics. Integrated graphics are found on CPUs.
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