A graphics card, also known as a graphics processing unit (GPU), is a card that allows the system or computer to create a series of images or graphics. They are basically required for all tasks that are conducted on the computer, whether that is word processing or intensive gaming.
When buying computers, most especially the high-end ones, the type of Graphics card the laptop uses is one of the major factors considered. Do you need a laptop with an integrated graphics card? In this article, we will discuss it.
Basically, integrated graphics cards use the computer’s Random Access Memory (RAM) and Central Processing Unit (CPU) while dedicated graphics cards have their own CPU, in this case, called Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) and a dedicated RAM. With the basic definitions out of the way now, let’s look it in detail.
What is Integrated Graphics in Laptop?
Integrated graphics is a GPU built into the processor. Integrated graphics hardware doesn't use a separate memory bank for graphics/video. Instead, the GPU uses system memory that is shared with the CPU. The integrated graphics card shares the memory with the CPU. They use between 1% and 5% of the available memory for graphics. This means that the computer system may slow down when performing a resource-intensive task such as playing a video game.
Integrated graphics cards are cheaper and hence making the general price of the computer affordable. They also use less power compared to dedicated graphics cards hence increasing the battery life of the computer. If you are going to use the computer for basic tasks such as general office work, web browsing, and movie streaming, a computer with an integrated graphics card will be the best option for you.
Integrated graphics used to have a bad reputation, but they've improved a lot in recent years. They’re now more than good enough for general computing, including some casual gaming and 4K video watching, but still struggle in some areas. They aren’t suitable for working with graphics-intensive programs. While playing the latest high-end games is also out, there are a few great games you can play with integrated graphics.
Another important note is that integrated graphics share a memory with the main system memory. You'll sometimes see it described as shared graphics for this reason. If your computer has 4GB of RAM and 1GB of shared graphics memory, you'd only have 3GB of memory available for general computing tasks. Most modern processors have an integrated GPU. In computers that also have a dedicated graphics card, the software will switch between the two automatically. It tries to balance performance and efficiency.
Laptops or computer with integrated graphics is cheaper than comparably-spaced machines with dedicated graphics cards. That doesn’t mean they’re the cheap option, though. Since Apple has switched to its own silicon for its laptops and desktops, the company has also switched to integrated graphics at all price points.
In desktop computers from other manufacturers, where you have much more freedom to configure and upgrade the machine, shared graphics is definitely the budget option. Adding a solid mid-range card like Radeon RX580 will add an extra few hundred dollars to the price.
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Best Integrated Graphics for Laptops/PC
Let’s take a look at the best options.
1. Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics
Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics is hands down the most powerful integrated graphics solution on the market today. Gaming without a dedicated GPU doesn’t get better than Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics.
AMD has Leveraged both its CPU and GPU know-how to produce the Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics, an integrated graphics solution capable of running a healthy selection of games at 720p with frame rates north of 50fps in some cases.
2. Radeon RX Vega 8 Graphics
Radeon RX Vega 8 Graphics is another integrated graphics solution from AMD, built on the 14nm process and based on the raven graphics processor. Vega 8 supports DirectX 12 and can run modern games but it is less powerful than Vega 11.
3. Intel UHD 630
For most desktop CPUs (Coffee-Lake and Above), Intel UHD630 graphics can be found. Whilst these integrated graphics are nowhere near as powerful as the Vega alternatives, it still offers a graphical output for those without (or a problematic) graphics card.
Whilst Intel UHD 630 supersedes the older HD Graphics 630, the only advantage it has over its predecessor is a greater clock speed.
4. Iris Pro Graphics P580
Despite not being the most recent iteration of Intel Graphics, the Iris Pro Graphics P580 remains the most powerful one to grace Intel’s arsenal of integrated graphics solutions. Somewhat rare due to being part of the Skylake line of processors, finding one is the only real problem with this one.
5. Intel Iris Plus Graphics
Intel Iris Graphics is the most widely available integrated graphics solution by far and packs a surprising graphical punch.
A hallmark of Intel’s 10th generation processors in the i3, i5, and i7, families, Intel Iris Pro Graphics is only beaten by AMD Vega 11. It represents Intel making a decisive step towards taking its integrated graphics solution to a broader gaming audience.
That’s a wrap on the best-integrated graphics on the market today. We hope our guide has helped you settle on the best your knowledge for your needs.
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