Most motherboards nowadays lack integrated graphics. It’s because most people use dedicated graphics cards anyway, instead of the integrated graphics. However, the entry-level and mid-range motherboards usually include integrated graphics as their target users are likely to not attach a dedicated card to their computer.
Keep on reading to find out if your motherboard has integrated graphics, whether or not integrated graphics is important, and what to do if your motherboard lacks them.
Do Motherboards Have Integrated Graphics?
As dedicated graphics cards are popular among most users nowadays, manufacturers refrain from installing integrated graphics into their motherboards. So, most motherboards these days lack integrated graphics.
However, a lot of motherboards still include them – especially the ones that are designed for everyday users. Since the entry-level and mid-range motherboards are designed for average users who won’t use dedicated graphics cards, they include integrated graphics.
It’s because an integrated graphics card is essential for everyday tasks like video playback, productivity, light video editing, etc.
But on the other hand, as gaming motherboards are designed for gamers who would be using dedicated video cards, they tend to lack integrated graphics to make them affordable.
Other than that, the gaming laptops that pack a dedicated graphics card usually also exclude integrated graphics. But the ones designed for average users must include an integrated graphics chip to show the output on the laptop’s display.
That said, the older motherboards usually always include integrated graphics to ensure the owner can boot up their computer without needing to invest in a dedicated video card.
How to Check if Your Motherboard Has Integrated Graphics?
The easiest way to find out if your motherboard has integrated graphics is by looking at where your display cable connects to the computer.
If it’s plugged into the VGA, DisplayPort, DVI port, or HDMI built onto the motherboard, it means there’s an integrated graphics card powering your display. But if the cable is connected to a silver plate containing display ports, it means a dedicated graphics card is installed onto your computer.
Another way to find out if your motherboard has integrated graphics is by navigating to Control Panel > Device Manager on your computer. Now, click the drop-down next to Display Drivers and you’ll see the name of the graphics card that’s powering your display.
If it starts as Intel(R) HD Graphics or AMD Radeon (TM), likely you have an integrated graphics card. You can search for the graphics card’s model on Google to make sure you have the accurate answer.
Lastly, you can also search for your motherboard’s model on Google to find its specification. If you’re unsure about your motherboard’s model, press the Windows + R shortcut on your PC, type msinfo32 on the next screen, and press Enter. Here you’ll be able to see your motherboard’s model (also called the BaseBoard model).
Once you know your motherboard’s model, write the model on Google followed by “spec sheet” and look for details regarding its onboard graphics. This way, you’ll know if your motherboard supports integrated graphics.
Is Integrated Graphics Important?
The importance of integrated graphics depends upon your use. If you’re a hardcore gamer, video editor, or belong to another GPU-intensive creative field, then integrated graphics might not be important for you. It’s because such tasks require a powerful dedicated GPU which means the availability of an integrated GPU will be meaningless.
However, if you’re an everyday user and not looking to invest in a dedicated graphics card, then an integrated graphics chip is a must-have. It’ll be essential for your motherboard to display the screen.
Other than that, if you’re building a powerful computer setup but are not looking to buy a graphics card right away, going for a motherboard that includes integrated graphics will be worth it. This way, you’ll still be able to use your computer before your dedicated GPU arrives.
Lastly, I would say that having integrated graphics is not important if you won’t be using them. But having one in your motherboard is highly effective as it keeps your computer running – even when you don’t have a dedicated GPU or when your dedicated GPU misbehaves.
Onboard Graphics vs Integrated Graphics
Onboard graphics and integrated graphics are the same. These are two names for the same chip that’s built into a processor. What’s different, however, is a dedicated graphics card. It’s a standalone hardware component that’s installed on one of the motherboard’s PCIe slots to improve its graphics power.
Don’t Fall Into the Confusion With the Term “Onboard Graphics”
One thing you must know about onboard graphics or integrated graphics is that the availability of this chip on a motherboard depends upon the CPU you pick. It’s because integrated graphics is actually a part of your processor.
Many users get confused when going through the onboard graphics section of a motherboard’s spec sheet. The inclusion of an onboard graphics section into the specsheet makes them believe the motherboard will pack an integrated graphics card.
But the fact is, whether or not your motherboard will contain onboard graphics depends upon the CPU you pick.
What to Do if Your Motherboard Lacks Integrated Graphics?
If your motherboard lacks an integrated graphics processor, the only way around is to buy a dedicated graphics card. Without a dedicated graphics processor, you’ll be unable to connect your computer to a display.
However, the limitation of investing in a dedicated GPU doesn’t mean you have to opt for the latest one on the market. You can get away with an old-school and affordable GPU if the goal is just to connect your PC to a display monitor.
But when seeking a dedicated graphics card, for this reason, ensure it supports the resolution your display runs off. For instance, Nvidia’s older GTX 645 supports 4k resolution, which is more than enough for everyday users. Since this graphics card is quite old (released in 2013), you can find a good deal for around $50.
Which CPUs Offer Integrated Graphics Cards?
Here we’ll look at some popular Intel and AMD processors that include integrated graphics.
Intel CPUs With Integrated Graphics
Most of Intel’s CPUs have onboard graphics, excluding the ones that have the suffix “F”. For instance, the CPUs Intel i5-9400F and Intel Core i7-11700KF lack integrated graphics. Whereas, Intel’s non-F CPUs like Intel Core i5‑8260U and Intel Core i3‑6006 include integrated graphics.
AMD CPUs With Integrated Graphics
Most CPUs of AMD tend to lack integrated graphics, contrary to Intel. But a few series of AMD’s CPUs also include them, such as the CPUs with the suffix “G”. Some examples of AMD’s CPUs with the suffix “G” that have onboard graphics are AMD Ryzen 3 2200G and AMD Athlon 3150G.
These AMD CPUs are paired up with the Vega graphics, which tend to be much more efficient compared to Intel’s onboard graphics chips. It’s because they usually pack much higher video memory. Other than that, note that AMD’s “G” series CPUs are not as effective as the CPUs belonging to the non-G series of AMD.
Is Integrated Graphics Good Enough?
Integrated graphics are generally good enough for everyday tasks, video playback, productivity, and casual gaming. However, they’re usually ineffective for GPU-intensive workloads like intensive video editing and hardcore gaming. So, whether integrated graphics are enough for you or not totally depends upon your graphics requirements.
That said, there’s a big difference between the performance of certain integrated graphics cards. For instance, Intel’s basic Intel HD 630 graphics are much weaker compared to AMD’s enhanced Ryzen 7 5700G Vega 8 graphics.
Similarly, Apple’s recently released M1 chips that offer onboard graphics outrun any other integrated graphics (and even some top dedicated graphics cards). Heck, the M1 chips are even effective for hardcore gaming and video editing.
Unless you’re using Apple’s M1 chip, here’s an overview of how different integrated GPUs compare:
|GPU Model||Base Frequency||Max Frequency|
|Intel HD Graphics 610||350 MHz||0.95 GHz|
|Intel HD Graphics 615||300 MHz||1.05 GHz|
|Intel HD Graphics 620||300 MHz||1.05 GHz|
|Intel HD Graphics 630||300 MHz||1.10 GHz|
|Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640||300 MHz||1.05 GHz|
|Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650||300 MHz||1.10 GHz|
|Intel HD Graphics 500||200 MHz||700 MHz|
|Intel HD Graphics 510||350 MHz||1.05 GHz|
|Intel HD Graphics 515||300 MHz||1.00 GHz|
|Intel HD Graphics 520||300 MHz||1.05 GHz|
|Intel HD Graphics 530||300 MHz||1.15 GHz|
|Intel Iris Graphics 540||300 MHz||1.05 GHz|
|Intel Iris Graphics 550||300 MHz||1.10 GHz|
|Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580||300 MHz||1.15 GHz|
|AMD Radeon Vega 3||300 MHz||1.1 GHz|
|AMD Radeon Vega 6||300 MHz||1.7 GHz|
|AMD Radeon Vega 8||300 MHz||1.2 GHz|
|AMD Radeon Vega 11||300 MHz||1.24 GHz|
|AMD Ryzen 5 5600G Vega 7||300 MHz||3.90 GHz|
|AMD Ryzen 7 5700g Vega 8||300 MHz||3.8 GHz|
Here are the answers to some popular questions regarding integrated graphics on the motherboard.
Can Integrated Graphics Cards on Motherboard Support 4K Graphics?
Integrated graphics nowadays generally support 4k graphics as they offer powerful HDMI or DisplayPort output. But if your integrated graphics card offers VGA or DVI port, it may not be able to power a 4k display. However, you may still be able to connect your 4k display to your computer at a lower resolution.
Can You Run a Computer Without an Integrated Graphics Card?
You cannot run a computer without an integrated graphics card unless you have a dedicated graphics card for display. Without either of these graphics chips, your computer will boot up but your display monitor won’t connect to it.
Do You Need a Dedicated Graphics Card If You Have an Integrated Graphics?
If you have an integrated graphics card, you don’t necessarily need dedicated graphics to run your computer. Integrated graphics are good enough for everyday tasks, casual gaming, and productivity. But if you’re into gaming, video editing, or another graphics-intensive activity, then you’ll need a dedicated GPU for added graphics performance.
Don’t Gaming Laptops Have Integrated Graphics for Gaming?
Since most gaming laptops have dedicated graphics cards to handle intensive games, their CPUs lack integrated GPUs. It’s done to minimize the CPU’s size and bring the laptop’s overall production cost lower. However, the laptops that lack dedicated graphics surely have integrated graphics – like Macbook Air laptops.
Do You Get Video Output Ports With All Motherboards?
Not all motherboards offer video output ports since many motherboards lack integrated graphics these days. So, when you have a motherboard that lacks integrated graphics, you must pair it up with a dedicated graphics card to connect your display. And, dedicated graphics cards have standalone video output ports with them.
Is Integrated Graphics Good for Gaming?
Integrated graphics are generally not good for hardcore gaming or other graphics-intensive tasks. However, you can play casual games with most integrated graphics chips. That said, some integrated graphics still allow hardcore gaming, like Apple’s new M1 chips.
Can I Run GTA 5 on Integrated Graphics?
You can run GTA 5 on integrated graphics if your graphics chip supports enough video memory. But if the video memory of your integrated graphics is only 32 or 64 MBs, you may not be able to play GTA 5 simultaneously.
Can Motherboards Have Built-In Graphics?
Motherboards can have built-in graphics. In fact, many motherboards offer built-in graphics to enable daily tasks like video playback. If a motherboard lacks built-in graphics, the user won’t be able to connect a display monitor to their motherboard, unless they install a dedicated graphics card.
Does My CPU Have Integrated Graphics?
An easy way to find out if your CPU has integrated graphics is by looking at where your monitor’s cable connects to your computer. If it’s plugged into the motherboard’s built-in ports, it means your integrated graphics card is powering the display.
Do Asus Motherboards Have Integrated Graphics?
Some Asus motherboards have integrated or onboard graphics to allow the user to connect their display screen without needing a dedicated GPU. However, some Asus motherboards lack integrated graphics as well.
If you’d like to explore motherboards or GPUs further, the following guides will benefit you:
- Do Motherboards Have Bluetooth? – find out if motherboards contain Bluetooth.
- Do Motherboards Have Wifi? – find out if motherboards come with built-in Wifi.
- Can a Motherboard Bottleneck GPU? – determine if a motherboard can bottleneck your GPU’s performance.
- How to Remove Thermal Paste From GPU? – improve your iGPU’s performance by learning how to remove and replace thermal paste on your CPU.
Simply put – the high-end motherboards usually lack integrated graphics as their users usually get away with dedicated GPUs anyway. But the motherboards with the market of average users tend to include integrated graphics – so the customers don’t have to purchase a dedicated GPU to run their computer.
The same goes for laptops – the performance-packed ones usually lack an onboard graphics card and vice versa.
If you think your motherboard’s integrated graphics are not powerful enough, surely opt for a dedicated GPU. And, if you’ve got a motherboard that lacks integrated graphics, investing in a mediocre dedicated graphics card is a good way around to make your computer useful.
Until next time, cheers!