What does Shared Memory mean?


Dec 14, 2014
So i've been looking to some laptop, and i see a lot of Intel Shared Memory Graphics Cards,
I've been searching it on google, but i still don't understand what it is, and how it works.
Can someone explain to me what it is and how it works?

Bonus Question:
What's the difference between Integrated Graphics Card and Dedicated Graphics Card?


Sep 14, 2012
The first question is answered easier after answering the second.

A dedicated graphics card looks a little something like this

Integrated graphics is a small part of your cpu, like this

I didn't add scales, but the first thing is 260 mm long (although there are lots of smaller versions) and the second is . . . 4*4 mm?

The dedicated card is bigger, badder, more powerful and if you want to game; pretty much what you want. It's dedicated, because graphics is all it does.
The integrated graphics is smaller, lighter and more energy efficient. And if you use office and browse the internet; all you need. It's integrated because it is a small part of the CPU.

A dedicated graphics card comes with its own memory (VRAM - Video RAM). 2 Gb is pretty standard now, but you can get more (and less).
The integrated graphics doesn't have room for its own memory, so it uses the part of the memory of your RAM. Or it shares the RAM, hence the name.
That means that your 8 Gb RAM computer will have part of that used by the graphics, whereas a dedicated card will not touch the 8 Gb RAM because it has its own 2 Gb VRAM.

Now, you won't find the monster I posted earlier in a laptop (although they do actually make those, or something like it) but there are laptops with dedicated graphics cards.

Whether you need one . . . . is up to you. What do you want to use it for?
If the answer doesn't include

  • Gaming (and I'm not talking solitaire)
    Video / photo editing
    Engineering programs
you probably won't. Or at least, you can make due with something a lot smaller (and more portable) than the thing I showed above.


Integrated graphics means that the graphics processing hardware is contained in the CPU. Discrete graphics means that a separate set of hardware is either plugged or soldered in to do graphics processing. Shared memory graphics means that main memory is used to store the graphics data. Discrete graphics generally has dedicated RAM and doesn't reserve main memory for graphics data.
Can someone explain to me what it is and how it works?

This typically refers the amount of ram that Intel HD graphics will use from system ram (typically DDR3).

What's the difference between Integrated Graphics Card and Dedicated Graphics Card?

Integrated graphics refer the gpu and CPU being the same pc part. Any i5 4670k has an integrated chip of Intel HD 4400 and no additional gpu to render image. CPU like fx 6300 require a dedicated video since no igpu is present. Dedicated are gamers personal favorite as its dedicated cards will be separate processor independent of cpu. It's also typically has dedicated memory using the gg