Question CPU versus dedicated graphics card - performance?

Nov 1, 2020
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Hi,

I was just wondering does using a dedicated graphics card free up the cpu? Will it improve system performance, process things faster etc if part of the cpu is not being used for display output?

If I have these two options: connect all displays directly to the motherboard, which I suspect uses the intel's built in graphics capabilities, versus hooking up the displays to a dedicated 1gb graphics card, is there a major difference in performance of the CPU? Is one better than the other?

In case anyone wants to know why I'm asking this, it's because in my current setup i've hooked up both my displays to a dedicated graphics card, but in my new PC I have the option of using the built in outputs (i.e. no dedicated graphics), and I'm wondering whether it's worth keeping the graphics card and hooking up monitors to it instead of hooking the displays up directly to the motherboard's DP outlets. I don't do any gaming.

Thanks!
 
Last edited:

Desch_

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it reduces load on your cpu and motherboard. it will extend the longevity of your components. your cpu's iGpu relies on your RAM so it also frees that up some and will help make multitasking and productivity smoother.

i installed a 1gb vram HD 7750 on my mothers pc and it made a huge difference for her.
 
Reactions: thelondoner
Nov 1, 2020
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if you are just on a day to day basis:

browsing the web and watching videos and checking emails

you'll probably never be able to tell the difference
it reduces load on your cpu and motherboard. it will extend the longevity of your components. your cpu's iGpu relies on your RAM so it also frees that up some and will help make multitasking and productivity smoother.

i installed a 1gb vram HD 7750 on my mothers pc and it made a huge difference for her.
That's quite interesting! I guess i'll have to just test the PC under the above two conditions - i.e. displays off integrated graphics vs dedicated graphics. Is there a benchmark tool that'd be useful to compare the two setups?
 

hotaru.hino

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Sep 1, 2020
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It will improve performance in graphics related tasks, which for video watching can make a difference. But it's not really enough that performance may significantly improve. Even though iGPUs do take up RAM, it's usually up to 1GB. I'd argue even for day-to-day tasks, this won't affect an 8GB system all that much.

I've used laptops with hybrid graphics. The iGPU in all of them is fine for practically everything I do that isn't gaming. Video watching is only a problem if the GPU doesn't have hardware decoding support. Even then I think if there's no hardware decoding support it goes straight to the CPU anyway for software decoding.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
Hi,

I was just wondering does using a dedicated graphics card free up the cpu? Will it improve system performance, process things faster etc if part of the cpu is not being used for display output?

If I have these two options: connect all displays directly to the motherboard, which I suspect uses the intel's built in graphics capabilities, versus hooking up the displays to a dedicated 1gb graphics card, is there a major difference in performance of the CPU? Is one better than the other?

In case anyone wants to know why I'm asking this, it's because in my current setup i've hooked up both my displays to a dedicated graphics card, but in my new PC I have the option of using the built in outputs (i.e. no dedicated graphics), and I'm wondering whether it's worth keeping the graphics card and hooking up monitors to it instead of hooking the displays up directly to the motherboard's DP outlets. I don't do any gaming.

Thanks!
The answer to what you should use depends on what you are using the computer for now and what issues you are having or want to make faster. Unless you are using video editing or something else that can use GPU acceleration or you need extra ports for multiple screens there is no need to get another video card. There are often 4 other things that should be upgraded first in a system but people don't ask the correct questions to find that out. Need to list full system specs and what you use the system for to get an answer.
 
With no gaming in question, integrated graphics, even Intel's from the last several years, are just fine. I did a fresh install on a customer's old i3-2120 (or something along those lines) , with an SSD of course (Crucial MX500!), and, with an adequate amount of RAM (8 GB), the desktop and surfing operations 'seemed'/felt just fine...(A GPU for just surfing, E-mail, and MS Office would be a waste of money. Another friend who does no gaming beyond non-taxing Facebook online games is as happy as a pig in mud with a 9700K running 'only' integrated graphics)

Save your $100-$250 unless you need more monitors than your mainboard supports.
 

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