Integrated & Dedicated Graphics Card: 5 Differences

Differences Between Integrated and Dedicated Graphics Card

Apart from the design, there are several of differences between a dedicated and an integrated graphics card. If you do not know these differences you will not be able to make the right choice for your computer.

If you read this article in entirety you will come to know about those basic differences and also be able to determine which among the two is more suitable for your kind of computing tasks.


  • The dedicated graphics cards will offer images of much higher quality because they have separate memory and cooling.
  • A dedicated graphics card will need a high-end processor of 8th generation preferably to offer images of really high quality. Integrated graphics cards can be used in low-end processors.
  • The design and features of the dedicated graphics cards make them a bit more expensive than the integrated graphics cards.
  • The built-in fan of the dedicated graphics card consumes more power than an integrated graphics card which does not come with its own cooling system.

5 Differences Between Integrated and Dedicated Graphics Card

Integrated vs Dedicated Graphics Card

1. Quality of Graphics

Typically, using a dedicated graphics cards means you will get high quality graphics and higher performance as to that of an integrated system.

You will not get such a high-quality graphics and performance from an integrated graphics card because it shares the memory of the system to perform.

2. Range of Processors

The integrated graphics cards are supported by low range processors such as the Intel Core i7 and i5 and other lower processors.

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However, the dedicated graphics card will need a processor of the 8th generation and above to provide images that are truly of high quality.

3. Cost

For a higher graphics performance and better-quality images, you will need to spend a few dollars more on a dedicated graphics card.

The integrated graphics cards are much cheaper as compared to the dedicated graphics cards.

4. Power

The dedicated graphics cards are known to consume more power than the integrated graphics cards. This is because these cards have a built-in fan that not only consumes more power but also produces more heat.

The integrated graphics in comparison will consume much less power for that reason as compared to a dedicated graphics card since it will share the resources.

It will also generate much less heat while processing than a discrete graphics card keeping the computer system cooler for a longer time.

5. Options

If you look for a laptop that comes with dedicated graphics cards, you will find that your options are really restricted. It comes with specific tradeoffs such as higher price and larger size.

The integrated graphics laptops, on the other hand, will be widely available at a relatively affordable price and at the same time it will be less thick, often less than half an inch.

Which is Better – Integrated or Dedicated Graphics Card?

Differences Between Integrated and Dedicated Graphics Card

Generally, both these types of graphics cards will have pretty similar type of graphics performance if you use your computer for performing simple day-to-day tasks such as using Microsoft Office.

However, if you really want to make a choice between the two, you will first need to know how you are going to use your it and your system.

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An integrated graphics card will work perfectly as desired if you use your computer to:

  • Do some simple jobs
  • Watch a few movies on YouTube
  • Listen to music and
  • Browse different websites on the internet.

Apart from casual gaming and simple jobs, the integrated graphics card is more than enough to support most of the Adobe programs as well.

Moreover, if you have a fairly modern and well-performing processor in your system, the integrated graphics card will also help you in handling 4K videos.

One the other hand, it is the discrete graphics card that will be a better option to choose by the professional and creative developers and designers.

This is mostly preferred by them because these graphics cards ensure a smooth, seamless and uninterrupted gaming experience as well as a more productive image processing and better user experience.

This is because the dedicated graphics cards come with CUDA cores that support high-end VR and gaming. This model is created and released by Nvidia.

The Compute Unified Device Architecture or CUDA cores act as a corresponding platform for computing and API or Application Programming Interface.

This structure of the modern dedicated graphics cards supports programs like Lightroom and Photoshop, both of which are essential for 3D work and other complex tasks. It will also help in expediting RAW photo editing.

A dedicated graphics card will be the best to use when it comes to:

  • High-end gaming
  • 3D designing
  • Video editing
  • Rendering
  • Animation and
  • CAD and
  • All professional jobs that needs a graphics software.

What is even more interesting is the fact that if you use a powerful and discrete graphics card, you can even use it for mining several cryptocurrencies, including bitcoins.

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When you choose the right type of graphics card for your computer system, you should also make sure that you plan ahead.

This is an important aspect because you will need your graphics card to hold up and do your job even when the design of the gaming software seems to change constantly and typically become more and more resource intensive.

Therefore, you can now see that unless you use it for your specific needs, the integrated graphics cards are good enough to use.

If you use it properly then the benefits provided by it may even outweigh that of a discrete graphics card, provided that the battery life is better and the device size is suitable.

To Wrap up

Now that you know the difference in the structure and functionality of integrated and dedicated graphics card, you can see that for any average computer user and for performing average tasks, the integrated graphics is more than enough.

On the other hand, if you want more accurate visualization, you can choose a dedicated graphics card.

About Taylor

AvatarTaylor S. Irwin is a freelance technology writer with in-depth knowledge about computers. She has an understanding of hardware and technology gained through over 10 years of experience.

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