What Is a Dedicated Graphics Card? – In-Depth Guide

Graphics card is one of the main components of the computer. It is a hardware which helps to increase the visual memory of a computer. It also helps to enhance the quality of the display to make it look crisper and livelier enhancing the graphics of your computer. If you use an HD or 4k monitor you would notice the difference between the graphics of the dedicated GPU and the integrated one. It also enhances the power of the computer and helps it to do more highly intensive work with ease. The image quality is dependent on the quality of the graphics card. The newer the graphics card the faster and smoother it will handle the high intensity games or applications. Most of the games and applications require graphics cards to run properly. It is not just for games it is useful for professionals who edit videos and photos on Adobe Photoshop, Premier Pro and such applications

Do You Need Graphics Card?

You might think that your computer does not need a dedicated graphics card as you just used it to browse the internet and use Microsoft word. However, having a dedicated graphics card can help you boost your daily day to day activities too.  A video card or a graphics card has a dedicated RAM or random-access memory which helps to store all the data which is related to the visuals. While a dedicated processing chip called as the GPU or the graphics processing unit is also located inside the graphics card. That helps the computer to deal with the videos.

Game developers and high-end application developers usually write their code or program which directly command the GPU rather than communicating with the CPU. As the GPU is designed to handle such specialized instructions for video. Even though the CPU of the computer does matter a lot but you can give a boost to your CPU by getting a dedicated graphics card. There are two types of graphics cards a pc or laptop can have.

  1. Dedicated Graphics Card
  2. Integrated Graphics card

Integrated or on-board Graphics cards

Some computers or laptops have integrated graphics card rather than having a dedicated one. As the name suggested the integrated graphics cards is integrated in the motherboard and uses power from the CPU to handle visual media. It is often cheaper than a dedicated graphics card. It usually is placed in an expansion slow on the circuit board. It generates less heat when compared to the dedicated one. Which means that the laptop or pc requires a smaller number of fans and cooling system to make it run smoothly. They are cheaper than the dedicated graphics cards and they tend to make the laptop affordable with fine graphics. They are best for users who just want to use the laptop for general work, use it for entertainment purposes as the integrated graphics cards do offer a good graphics too. If you use an HD or 4k monitor you would notice the difference between the graphics of the dedicated GPU and the integrated one.

The disadvantage of having a integrated graphics card over a dedicated one is that it uses a part of the ram to handle its work which slows down the performance of the computer. It is better to have dedicated graphics card even though the integrated graphics cards work like a charm if you use your laptop only for streaming videos and to use the internet.

Graphics Card

Dedicated Graphics Cards

Dedicated graphics cards have their own memory and do not take any memory from your RAM or any other memory. For example, a desktop computer with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card having a memory of 6gb will be entirely separate from the 16gb or RAM that is the system memory. Dedicated graphics card is usually used by people who do intense gaming or work on memory eating software. They produce crispier graphics over the integrated graphics card as well as produce more heat than them as well. Which means there is a bigger number of fans and cooling system in such laptops or computers. You can even buy additional cooling pads or stands for laptops.

Switchable cards also exist, they have both GPU as an integrated component and dedicated as well. If you are just browsing the internet and using a simple application it will switch to the integrated graphics card, but when you switch to high intensity application it will automatically shift to the dedicated graphics card. If you use an HD or 4k monitor you would notice the difference between the graphics of the dedicated GPU and the integrated one.

Advantages of Choosing a Dedicated Graphics Card

The dedicated graphics card has it outs virtual ram or VRAM. It uses its own VRAM over the systems RAM which makes the system run faster and smoother. The VRAM is used for intensive graphics work while the RAM can be used for other work. Another advantage is that it packs more power than an integrated graphics cards as it is overclocked to work at its maximum capacity. That means you can run power hungry applications like Auto CAD, or any 3D modelling application with ease. It could be a requirement in a video studio or any workplace where they work on digitals. As they are overclocked, they need a separate fan attached to it to keep it running and cool.


The main disadvantage of a dedicated graphics card is that it is expensive than the integrated one. It requires more fans and cooling systems which automatically increases the cost of making a system for yourself. To get more crispier graphics you would need to spend a few more bucks.

Do You Require a Dedicated Graphics Card?

Now you are aware with the differences between both integrated and dedicated graphics cards so now should you get yourself a dedicated graphics cards or should you stick with the integrated one. The answer is not simple as it depends on your usage, what kind of graphics do you need, where would you get the best deal as these cards are expensive. However, choosing whether you need it or not is simple. You need to answer these two questions and you will get your answer whether you need one or not.

Current PC Capable of Handling Games and Graphics Centered Applications?

Dedicated graphics cards are meant for gaming. You do not need a graphics card if you use your laptop or computer for word processing, checking emails. You do not need a dedicated graphics cards even if you are playing older games as the new integrated graphics cards are much better at handling old games than the older dedicated graphic cards.

You do need a dedicated GPU for if you are planning to play current gen games with high definition graphics on your computer. Secondly it not just gamers who can benefit from a dedicated GPU professional such as video editors, 3D modelling experts, 3D renders also need dedicated GPU as they work on high graphics. If you want to add additional monitors to your current workstation dedicated GPU is the way to go, as some of the motherboards do not support multiple outputs, even if you see them having multiple outputs support one would be in VGA quality the other in HD. Some might let you keep the integrated graphics turned on and have an extra lower end GPU but not all do. The solution to this is having a dedicated GPU. It will solve your problem and you can easily get two or more monitors connected to your system.


In conclusion, choosing the right card depends on your needs and usage, you could be a gamer who could settle with an integrated GPU as it fulfills your demands. Or you can get yourself a dedicated GPU and play the games of high-definition graphics or work on applications using your powerful dedicated GPU. Now you are aware of What is a dedicated graphics card and what is ab integrated graphics card. The advantages and disadvantages of both the graphics cards. We would suggest if you do not have the need for a dedicated GPU stick with your integrated GPU. But if you think you really need a dedicated GPU you should really search the internet for the best deals and best cards which suit your need. As purchasing a new graphics card can really have a bad effect on your pocket as they are expensive. With the new dedicated GPU, you would definitely be needing new fans and new cooling system to keep your dedicated graphics cool and running in perfect condition. Dedicated GPUS often last for a longer if they are used correctly. So, buying a latest or a couple of years old dedicated graphics card can last you for up to 3-5 years with ease depending on your usage of the GPU. As if you do not use it with care it can go back easily but if you use it carefully it may last you for more than a couple of years and you can enjoy your dedicated graphics.

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