View Full Version : Dedicated vs Integrated Graphics

17-10-2010, 07:44 PM
I'm thinking about getting a new computer, most likely i3+H55 or Athlon II+880G. Should I get a separate graphic card, or use the onboard graphics instead?

I am not a gamer, and I won't be using much high-powered application (nothing that a C2D E6300 can't handle, anyway). But I am a multi-tasker, and doesn't appreciate sluggishness too much.

Secondly, what "level" Intel GMA HD and Integrated Radeon 4250 are at? Would they be able to run Aero smoothly? I currently have a GeForce 7600GT and am happy with it (though gaming at 1680x1050 is at a pinch).

Thanks in Advance.

17-10-2010, 08:01 PM
I was running aero just fine on integrated graphics using an Asus P5KPL-CM motherboard and core2duo CPU and 2GB ram have now put in a Asus 5450 fanless so that I could use the digital input to my monitor, performance for most of what I do hasn't changed

17-10-2010, 08:15 PM
Thanks for the fast reply, Gary67. It seems that the integrated graphics just keep getting faster, and not having a separate graphics card does save some money. It's just that I'm not so sure about whether IGC is enough for everyday computing.

Speedy Gonzales
17-10-2010, 08:20 PM
Main thing is you see something on the screen

Phil B
17-10-2010, 09:22 PM
I'm using as a HTPC, an Asus P5QL-EM board with a core 2 duo 2.9 I think it is CPU. Using integrated graphics to watch HD video on the TV with no problem

17-10-2010, 10:20 PM
So, an integrated graphics chip is good enough for everyday stuff. But what about casual gaming? I'm only going to play old 3D games that aren't so resource-intensive, though. How much difference would there be between a GMA HD or HD4250 to my existing 7600GT?

But on the flip side, that's probably a good thing, as I might spend my time on more worthwhile things if the graphics is not strong enough to provide good gaming experience. :D

17-10-2010, 10:46 PM
I have just had a build using i3 + Gigabyte GA-H55-USB3 from ComputerLounge. I am using 64-bit Windows 7 with 8 Gb of RAM.

I have contemplated getting a separate graphics card. I have been using the intergrated graphics with no problems. Aero runs smoothly, I have watched videos and edited home movies. Until I start getting problems I will stick with the intergrated graphics.

18-10-2010, 10:34 AM
Integrated graphics are fine if you don't do any gaming.
The integrated graphics in Core i5 cpus are about the same speed as Geforce FX 5800

The new second generation core cpus have even faster GPUS, one has been tested to be about the same speed as a discrete Radeon 5450.

18-10-2010, 10:39 AM
New games = Graphics card
Other uses + real old games = integrated

18-10-2010, 04:04 PM
Thanks to all your replies. That cleared things up a bit. Think I'll go for an integrated graphics chip then.

I'm a bit inclined to the AMD, partially because people say that i3 is a dual core charged at quad core, blah blah, but more because I haven't seen an AMD system for some time. I might go for the X4 635 (just from the feelings :) Would that be a good idea? I'm not intending to do any OC, Core Unlock or anything "not intended under normal usage".

Also, a question that may make me look dumb: which one is better performer, the graphics on the 880G (HD4250) or the H55 (GMA HD)? I know it's like asking which of Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic (Stock cars!) is faster, but... it makes me wonder badly.

18-10-2010, 04:14 PM
Probably the 880G!

18-10-2010, 05:26 PM
Why not go with the onboard graphics and run with that until the need becomes too great, then add a graphics card. Down the track you will get more bang for your buck, or a current card much cheaper.

18-10-2010, 06:44 PM
Well, if I can apply for more budget... But it sounds like a plan, too. Thanks, PPp.

Again, on the flip side, a weak GPU probably means less gaming for me. Not so much a bad thing really :)

19-10-2010, 10:13 PM
But I am a multi-tasker, and doesn't appreciate sluggishness too much.

You'll appreciate atleast 4gb of ram then :)

20-10-2010, 09:17 PM
I doubt I'd need 4GB RAM, but I definitely need more than 256MB :p.

How much difference would there be between the integrated 4250 and, say, HD5450 or GT240? (Anyway does a GTS250 or HD5750 worth the money?)

Also, are older-generation graphics worth consideration? (9600GT is probably too old, but probably good enough for my needs)

PcTek: what do you mean by "real old" games? I'm a bit concerned...

20-10-2010, 09:22 PM
One more thing: does IGC support multi-screen? I'm getting a new monitor soon but I don't want to throw my 15" LCD away just yet, so I think I'll put them side by side, mostly for fun :D.

20-10-2010, 09:28 PM
Many integrated cards CAN handle multi display, BUT it's not a good idea if you're doing anything more intensive than staring at your desktop.

Also, you probably WILL need 4gb ram. That's the standard minimum now to be perfectly honest, it's 2gb on an ABSOLUTE minimum.

Same goes for the 5750. It would be the absolute minimum card if you are doing light modern gaming or intense OLD gaming at high resolutions.

Even my 5770 struggles with some of the games I play, even older ones, at full 1080p resolutions with more than a few extra effects enabled.

However, for multi tasking and the like, a 5450 or 5470 if you can find it (I have one in my laptop... not sure if they're available as discrete cards) can handle basic games.
If you want to step it up a bit, the 5770 or 5750 would work.

20-10-2010, 09:47 PM
Having two monitors is like having two arms :D

20-10-2010, 09:58 PM
Whoa, I've been living without an arm for several years... That's good to know.

21-10-2010, 10:40 AM
Same goes for the 5750. It would be the absolute minimum card if you are doing light modern gaming or intense OLD gaming at high resolutions.

Even my 5770 struggles with some of the games I play, even older ones, at full 1080p resolutions with more than a few extra effects enabled.

I play civ 4 at 1920x1200 (no aa or anisotropic filtering) on my Geforce ti4200 128mb. Runs slow, but it is playable...

21-10-2010, 05:11 PM
Coming to think of it, I dared not turn on the resolution to 1680*1050 (other settings on high except AA and AF) on my 7600GT ever since I've bought the new monitor. :)

Thus, is it worthwhile to cut the corners, save $200 or so and work with the onboard graphics instead? Provided I won't be playing any modern games at nearly Full-HD res.

22-10-2010, 10:29 AM
It depends how old the games are...
Just be aware that the new second generation intel core processors have integrated graphics that are about the same level as a discrete Radeon 5450/9800 XT/9400GT/6600GT. They are due out in a couple of months if you can wait that long. I think its always best to purchase just as something new has come out, since you can either get the new stuff, or get what you were originally going to get but at a cheaper price.

The sandy bridge integrated graphics are about double the speed of current intel core integrated graphics. But they are only directx 10.1 and not 11. But there is no harm with trying the integrated graphics first. If they aren't fast enough, -then- upgrade :) If anything, at least you'll have saved some money upfront and when you -do- need to upgrade, prices will have fallen/things would have gotten faster :)


22-10-2010, 07:08 PM
I'm not going to get a PC in a hurry, anyway. But I DO have an objection with Intel getting new CPU socket more frequently than me getting new clothes :angry:.

Anyway, I think I'll just get separate graphics, mainly because I might not get enough allowance from my parents when I feel like a graphic upgrade:), and the fact that a
graphic card that can handle today's computing demands will always cost some money.

Okay, I'm decided. I'll get a separate graphic card. Thanks to all who have supplemented me with so much information.

22-10-2010, 07:29 PM
Reality is, you don't need to upgrade processors all that often... If ever. You can run most things on a single core P4 or Athlon 64, my graphics cards are what have always held me down.

With WebGL things are set to change very fast (err as fast as our slow as **** ISPs allow) in the coming months and into the new year. I'd get something decent, if I could afford it. Or wait and see how it all plays out.