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Is Intel embedded GPU the same as a graphics card?

  1. #1


    Posts : 103
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64

    Is Intel embedded GPU the same as a graphics card?


    Many game system requirements say that a discrete graphics card needs to be installed in order to play.

    For example, even Diablo 3 which isn't that intensive wouldn't play on my friend's desktop computer until he installed a nVidia graphics card. Then it played perfectly. Even though he has a Core 2 Quad which came out before the Intel i-series chips.

    Well I noticed that newer Intel i-series chips have the GPU embedded into the processor. Like on my Surface Pro 3 i5. Does this work the same way as if you had a discrete nVidia card installed? Meaning games with the requirement for an independent graphics card would work without need to install an independent graphics card?

    Because alot of game requirements list the need for a nVidia or AMD graphics card. But don't specify anything about GPU embedded into the Intel chip as an alternative.

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  2. #2


    by gpu embedded I would have to assume motherboard integrated is what you are referring to? integrated gpu's don't have video memory specifically for graphics so they aren't nearly as specific nor will they dependently focus on gaming/video performance.

    It's sort of like with older laptops you can have a "dual core laptop" man back in the day we thought that was the new hit! In reality though without a dedicated card it might be able to run a game on low settings ( just maybe) but it won't do much more than that.
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  3. #3


    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Quote Originally Posted by loveandpower View Post
    by gpu embedded I would have to assume motherboard integrated is what you are referring to? integrated gpu's don't have video memory specifically for graphics so they aren't nearly as specific nor will they dependently focus on gaming/video performance.

    It's sort of like with older laptops you can have a "dual core laptop" man back in the day we thought that was the new hit! In reality though without a dedicated card it might be able to run a game on low settings ( just maybe) but it won't do much more than that.

    Hi there.

    Actually that's not quite true - some Integrated graphics can (and usually do) reserve some RAM - it depends on how the graphics is integrated into the main BIOS.

    Unless you are an extreme gamer the standard graphics integrated into most modern laptops or even decent MOBO'S is more than fit for purpose - as is integrated SOUND.

    Only you as the user know exactly what you need - but the bog standard graphics in most modern machines is certainly more than enough for the average user.

    (Decent Mobo's also allow you to disable the internal onboard graphics if you want to supply your own though).

    Usually the point of an external GPU is to off load a lot of the video rendering from the main CPU and Bus enabling games which need the ultimate performance in video processing to work to peak efficiency -- however with decent powerful multi core processors (such as Intel i7) it could be a moot point as to whether this type of hardware is needed any more -- newer onboard systems are already preparing for the 4K video display standard.

    Hardware even a few years old is really light years behind modern design -- who now needs a separate Audio card for their computers -- even laptops with HDMI digital sound can drive decent equipment --in fact most computer speakers etc sound HORRIBLE anyway that the integrated sound system is years ahead of the capability of what you can actually HEAR on typical consumer computer speaker systems.

    Cheers
    jimbo
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  4. #4


    United States
    Posts : 3,093
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit


    My integrated i-5 HD4000 graphics plays many modern games well enough. Don't know about Diablo 3 though. I think the problem comes in if the game coders integrate a routine to check for discrete video before installing or loading the game.

    Found this, not impressive for Diablo 3:

    Click image for larger version
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  5. #5


    Intel embedded GPU is a cost effective way of providing reasonable graphics performance without the need of a discrete graphics card. For many uses this is more than adequate. But gaming level performance is far beyond it's capability. For anything beyond limited gaming you will still need a discrete graphics card.
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  6. #6


    United States
    Posts : 3,093
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit


    Quote Originally Posted by LMiller7 View Post
    Intel embedded GPU is a cost effective way of providing reasonable graphics performance without the need of a discrete graphics card. For many uses this is more than adequate. But gaming level performance is far beyond it's capability. For anything beyond limited gaming you will still need a discrete graphics card.
    Yea, really the bottom line if into serious gaming.
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  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by popeye View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by LMiller7 View Post
    Intel embedded GPU is a cost effective way of providing reasonable graphics performance without the need of a discrete graphics card. For many uses this is more than adequate. But gaming level performance is far beyond it's capability. For anything beyond limited gaming you will still need a discrete graphics card.
    Yea, really the bottom line if into serious gaming.
    Yep, pretty much what I was trying to explain. Even I statd that you can play modern day games just don't expect ultra settings etc. As a gamer myself, you should always try to get the most details for the money you spent but again that's just me.

    As far as integrated graphics go you get what you pay for. Don't expect the best, lower needed resourced games play perfectly.There just wont be high texture counts, good aliasing, etc
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  8. #8


    Posts : 103
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64


    No. What mobo? I said:
    Quote Originally Posted by crimson View Post
    GPU embedded into the processor.
    It doesn't matter if you have a computer with a new graphics card or an old graphics card. The game might run much better on a higher-end graphics card than a lower-end one. That's not the point. The point is about minimum system requirements that list a certain graphics card or better. A minimum graphics card required to run the game fine, even though a higher-end one will run it better. So the question was not about a minimum graphics card vs a higher-end one.

    Nor was it about motherboard embedded graphics that will not be enough for games that require an independent graphics card to be installed.

    It's about integrated graphics in the chip. The question was whether or not the GPU that is embedded in Intel i-series chips in recent years is treated as an independent graphics card. Meaning games would treat it exactly as if independent graphics card was installed. Thereby, fulfilling the minimum system requirement that a decent graphics card is installed.

    Simply, is the GPU embedded in recent Intel i-series chips basically the same thing as having a decent independent graphics card?
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  9. #9


    Gamers don't use embedded graphics, but average people do who play a few games.

    When people are on a desktop I advise to try embedded and if it works, great. If not, plan to replace it with a real card later.
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  10. #10


    There are some very barebone dedicated cards out there such as the 7750 or the 610 that are indeed around the same specs as a HD 3000/HD 4000. According to benchmark results in some games the dedicated card would run faster compared to some games where the integrated chip would.
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