Dedicated or integrated graphics card?

Increasingly popular are both laptops and computers with two types of graphics cards Some people wonder what the difference between the two is, and how to maximize their potential. What is an integrated graphics card? What should we know about a dedicated graphics card? How to switch these components? Which is a better solution – integrated or dedicated graphics card? Answers to these questions can be found in the following article, which we invite all interested readers to read. 

Integrated graphics card – what is it?

Integrated graphics cards are generally connected directly to the north bridge or to the processor.  This means that it works together with the processor using the same RAM. This means that the processing power of the processor is divided between the tasks normally performed by the CPU and the rendering of the graphics. The result is a smaller computing power of the computer or laptop, and the biggest advantage – lower power consumption, which in the case of laptops means longer working time without plugging it in to charge. An additional positive aspect of integrated chips is that they do not heat up as much as dedicated graphics cards.

integrated graphic card disadvantages and benefits

Devices equipped with an integrated graphics card are perfect for performing basic activities, such as operating office programs (e.g. Office), browsing the Internet or watching videos. These types of activities do not require high performance from the device.

Benefits of integrated graphics cardsDisadvantages of integrated graphics cards
Low power consumptionRelatively low capacity
Longer battery lifeDesigned for simple tasks
Can be implemented in small devicesMay not be sufficient for viewing high definition (e.g. 4K) video
Pros and cons of integrated graphics cards

What should we know about a dedicated graphics card?

A dedicated graphics card is distinguished primarily by the fact that it has a much higher performance than integrated copies. This is because such graphics cards have their own dedicated processor and their own, separate memory, not shared with RAM. This is great news for gamers, as well as for people who use the equipment for professional work (e.g. for rendering movies or editing graphics).

dedicated graphic card benefits

Dedicated graphics cards are almost a guarantee of an enjoyable gaming experience where we can enjoy a lot of detail, high fluidity and high image quality.

However, all these advantages are directly associated with a higher energy expenditure, and when using them in laptops you will not do without regular charging. Dedicated graphics card, as a rule, is found in gaming models.

In PCs, it is a good idea to make sure that the graphics card is properly ventilated, so that the performance will be even more satisfying.

Advantages of dedicated graphics cardsDisadvantages of dedicated graphics cards
High performanceHigh price
Ability to run demanding gamesIncreased weight and dimensions
Seamless support for HDR, 4K and moreFor laptops – noisy at high usage
Advantages and disadvantages of dedicated graphics cards

Two graphics cards in a laptop – how to switch?

It is possible to change the graphics card manually. The methods will vary depending on what components you are dealing with.

In the case of AMD it will be necessary to run the “Catalyst Control Center” software. Individual versions may vary slightly, but we should look for the “Maximize Performance” option, which is almost a guarantee of maximum performance.

It is slightly different in the case of NVIDIA cards. First, we launch the “NVIDIA Control Panel”. We can do this by right-clicking on the desktop, and in the contextual tab that appears there should be this option. The option we are looking for is the one related to 3D settings. Select “High-performance NVIDIA processor”.

We also have the possibility to select particular games and programs that will use dedicated cards. For this purpose, we select the “Program Settings” tab. 

Dedicated or integrated graphics card – which should you opt for?

Many people wonder how two graphics cards work in a laptop, and which one is the better option. To make this decision easier, it’s a good idea to first consider how you will be using this type of hardware. For gamers, equipment with a dedicated graphics card is recommended. Thanks to this, we can be sure about the smoothness and quality of the image.

As for integrated graphics – it will be much better for work or study. This type of equipment does not have to have powerful technical parameters. We can browse the Internet without much trouble. Remember that nothing stands in the way of buying equipment with two cards – the systems are so intelligent that they choose themselves which graphics will be most optimal at the moment. 

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What is an integrated graphics card?

An integrated graphics card is a card that shares resources with your processor, so your hardware may be slower and less efficient at generating graphics. This type of card is recommended for normal daily activities such as browsing the internet, running office programs, listening to music, or watching online videos.

What is a dedicated graphics card?

A dedicated graphics card is a component that has its own resources that it uses to generate graphics, including a separate processor and cache memory. Such graphics cards have higher performance compared to integrated graphics chips and are recommended for such applications as gamers or professional graphics and video processing.

Integrated or dedicated - which one to choose?

The card you should decide on depends on the way you use the device. If our equipment is used for simple activities, such as browsing the Internet or office work, then the integrated graphics card will be sufficient. In case of using demanding programs, playing games, preparing graphics or rendering movies, then it is better to opt for a dedicated graphics card.


My favorite game genres are: adventure and simulators. I spent many hours exploring the world with Lara in all parts of Tomb Raider. In my free time, I like to relax by running kilometers in OMSI 2.

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