Updated at: 18-04-2022 - By: Leo Hall

Dedicated or discrete graphics cards are definitely something you’ve heard of whether you’re constructing a computer or looking for a nice laptop. Both of these phrases are frequently used interchangeably, and they are used to denote the same thing.

What a separate graphics card is and how it varies from a built-in graphics card will be explained in this article.

A computer’s graphics card is an essential component. To gather information, it communicates with the processor and the RAM. Data is subsequently transformed into a signal, and the computer displays images on the monitor in real time.

Graphics cards come in two flavors: integrated and discrete.

Definition Of A Discrete Graphics Card

Your computer’s discrete graphics card is a stand-alone processing unit. This piece of hardware can either be a separate unit attached to your motherboard via a particular port or it can be a separate piece of the motherboard itself. Laptops tend to fall under this category.

A PCIe slot on the motherboard is used to install the discrete graphics card. This computer component is responsible for all graphics processing. For those of you who are studying the lingo of the PC world, this is an essential term to know.

In the graphics card market, AMD and NVIDIA are two of the most prominent players. Hardware manufacturers like as ASUS, MSI and Gigabyte partner with them. These firms build their own separate graphics cards using their own processors and architecture.

Which Is Better – Discrete VS Integrated Graphics

Integrated graphics, which are often built into the CPU chip, are an alternative to discrete graphics cards. It’s worth noting the significant disparities between the two. Since there are fewer options available, we will begin with integrated graphics cards.

Integrated Graphics

Integrated GPUs have been around for a while, but not in the same manner that laptops have discrete graphics cards. Data is converted to a signal that can be displayed on a monitor using integrated graphics cards, which are part of the processor and utilise RAM for processing power.

As a result, they are substantially less capable of generating images than discrete graphics cards.

As a result, there are several issues with image rendering and display. Firstly, it takes up a portion of your RAM. A computer with 8GB of RAM and 1GB of shared memory, for example, will reserve 1GB of RAM for graphics, leaving the user with 7GB of RAM available for other tasks and applications.

It’s important to note that this higher processing cost does not correspond to the clock speed of the CPU. This can cause a modest slowdown in processing speed because the CPU and integrated graphics are sharing a common RAM space.

When it comes to power consumption, integrated graphics will save you money in the long run. In addition, buying an AMD Ryzen APU or an Intel processor with integrated Intel HD 600 series graphics is less expensive than buying a processor and a separate graphics card.

Discrete Graphics

Discrete graphics cards, on the other hand, are substantially more expensive. You’ll need more power from your PSU because they are distinct hardware devices. Despite this, there are a slew of additional benefits.

When it comes to producing complicated visuals and sceneries, discrete graphics cards are significantly more effective.

Because they’re built to last, they don’t put a lot of strain on the CPU and RAM, which means they’re more efficient. An 8GB RAM option would be available to the user from our previous example if their machine included discrete graphics.

Direct-attached graphics cards (DAGs) have their own dedicated memory, called VRAM. A unique sort of memory is required for graphics performance.

VRAM on newer graphics cards ranges from 6GB to 8GB. The 10GB on the RTX 3080 from NVIDIA is astounding. RTX 3090 cards, on the other hand, have a mind-blowing 24GB of VRAM, resulting in even better performance.

The number of cooling fans on a discrete graphics card ranges from two to three. When opposed to an integrated GPU that uses the CPU’s heatsink, they have a more effective cooling mechanism. Lower temperatures, as a result of better cooling, lengthen the useful life of a GPU.

Individual aspects of gaming systems can also be found in NVIDIA and AMD’s discrete graphics cards. Users may tailor their experience and give their games a more polished and realistic look thanks to these new features.


First and foremost, consider the cost. It’s not cheap to build a PC, despite what you’ve been told. Even if you know what you need to buy and where to get it, there are offers and tricks that can help you create a powerful build.

Because you’re just paying for one heavy-duty processor, the integrated graphics card is obviously less expensive. For as little as $50, you can get it. The more advanced and powerful ones can cost up to $200, although a dedicated graphics card is an option if you want to spend that much.

You can save money by purchasing an integrated graphics card before purchasing a discrete graphics card if you plan on using the computer for gaming. In addition, several integrated graphics cards are of excellent quality and performance.

Memory and Performance

Whenever two items share a storage area, the performance of both is adversely affected. A comparison of two types of graphics cards will reveal this. As a result of having its own storage, discrete graphics cards are more powerful. The frame rate and resolution are also higher, so you can play your game with ease.

Do you play video games on your computer? If this is the case, you should be aware that today’s popular games will not run smoothly with an integrated graphics card. If you’re going to be doing a lot of gaming or creating a lot of visual content, a dedicated graphics card is a no-brainer.


One other thing: energy. The focus and storage of your graphics card determine its power, just as they do for your computer’s overall performance. A person can do better if they only focus on one item than if they focus on two things, according to logic. Graphics cards follow the same rule. Because the standalone graphics card concentrates just on graphics, it has a lot more power to work with.


What do you intend to do with your computer when you get it? Are you going to play games on it or just browse the web? It’s a must to use a discrete graphics card if the first is true. For most games, an integrated graphics card can serve as a good substitute for a dedicated graphics card. Then again, why settle for less?

Video and picture creation might also benefit from having a dedicated graphics card on your system. With a dedicated graphics card, your computer can handle all the procedures involved in creating and processing your multimedia files.

But a graphics card isn’t necessary if you’re merely using your computer for web browsing and basic MS Office operations. It’s fine to use a computer with an integrated graphics card.


Who Should Use Discrete Graphics Cards?

Recent years have seen an increase in the development of integrated graphics processors. According to an ExtremeTech study from 2016, Intel even claimed that its Intel HD units have caught up to the capacity of discrete graphics cards.

In spite of the fact that integrated graphics have improved and are more robust, there is still a long way to go. As a result, they are capable of streaming 4K videos and playing more demanding games.

However, they fall short of AMD’s specialized GPUs in terms of rendering capabilities and Ray Tracing technology. Discrete cards are best suited for jobs that need a high degree of visual complexity, such as those listed below.

What Is A Discrete Graphics Card?

Firstly, what is a discrete graphics card, and why is it important?

To put it simply, a discrete graphics card is a separate graphics card that is inserted in a PCIe slot on the motherboard. This can range from low-cost options like the GTX 1650 to high-end monsters like the RTX 2080 Ti.

As a result, the term “discrete” in this context merely refers to a separate graphics card that is not part of an integrated graphics system.

Discrete Graphics vs. Integrated Graphics – What Is The Difference?

PCIe slots on the motherboard allow discrete graphics cards to connect to the system’s graphics processing unit (GPU). However, integrated graphics are now a common feature on many CPUs. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this?

One of the most obvious advantages of integrated graphics cards is that they are more cost effective. This means that you can save money on a separate graphics card by purchasing a CPU that includes built-in graphics, such as a Ryzen model with a “G” suffix or an Intel Core CPU without a “F” suffix at the end of the model number.

For the most part, though, discrete GPUs remain the only real option when it comes to gaming because integrated graphics just cannot compete with discrete GPUs in terms of performance.

As a result, discrete GPUs may run at faster clock speeds, have their own active cooling system, and have their own supply of fast video RAM, whereas integrated graphics must share the system RAM with the CPU. They are also more technologically sophisticated.

Aside from the Vega-integrated AMD Ryzen APUs that can be used for entry-level gaming if you’re really strapped for cash, Intel still has the best integrated graphics available. However, even the cheapest budget GPUs can’t match their performance.

Are discrete graphics good?

More Dedicated Graphics Result in Better Graphics

The most recent dedicated graphics cards will outperform integrated systems in terms of graphics performance…. Dedicated graphics performance is at its peak in Intel Core i7 processors of the 8th generation.


The next logical issue is whether or not you should invest in a discrete graphics card now that you know what it is. Consider the cost, memory and performance, power, and consumption while selecting on a discrete or integrated graphics card. Using these characteristics will assist you in determining what your top priorities are and what you need to obtain.