Why Integrated Graphics isn’t Good Enough

Integrated Graphics have been around for a long time and have been what new and extremely budget-oriented gamers play on. But they’re usually not the best when it comes to gaming and it’s often recommended to get a Discrete Graphics Card. Why is that though? Why does the Integrated GPU or iGPU suck so much and why don’t they get more powerful?

iGPU Space on Intel CPU
Credit: Techquickie

GPUs take a lot of die space. Die space is what the board is made of, its what has all your processor units and transistors. The CPU has its own die space and adding a GPU to it is not easy. Not to mention, powerful GPUs require a lot of power and cooling. Yes, cooling.

Cooling is a very important aspect of a GPU as most of them have a minimum of at least one fan along with a heatsink, the metal part that transfers the heat from the processor of the GPU or CPU to the fan. Adding a strong iGPU means that it will produce a lot of heat. Getting rid of that heat is a challenge and just not worth the hassle.

Triple Fan Cooling on GPU

Another reason is because of the type of memory that iGPUs and discrete GPUs use. iGPUs use your system’s memory whereas a discrete GPU has its own VRAM that it uses. This is faster as its only purpose is to aid the GPU so it doesn’t share its resources.

Now, as technology has improved over time, CPUs have gotten faster and more power-efficient. There are also tons of more transistors on a chip now. With this advancement, we’ve seen better iGPUs, especially from AMD with the Ryzen 3200G and 3400G. These are termed as APU’s(Accelerated Processing Unit) by AMD and feature the CPU and GPU on a single die.

Source: Hardware Unboxed

Now integrated graphics are not for high-end gaming. For older games and for esports titles, an iGPU can do fairly well on low settings and a lower resolution. AMD’s APUs and Intel’s new iGPUs have improved to a point where you can play esports titles at 1080p 60fps or more which is great for those who are looking to getting into gaming.

But other than that, if you want to move up and start playing games that are more intense and resource-hungry, you will have to get a discrete GPU. Even a budget card like a GTX 1650 will be sufficient enough to play games like GTA V, PUBG PC, Fortnite, Rainbow Six Siege and Apex Legends on 1080p and above 60fps.

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