Are integrated graphics good enough for gaming?

Integrated graphics cards used to have a bad reputation, however, that seems to have improved, as it is now more than enough for general computing and casual gaming.

When buying a gaming laptop or personal computer (PC), the most important piece of hardware to consider is the graphics card. This is the component that determines how smoothly applications will run and the visual quality a user will get on their system.

Any serious PC gamer will likely tell you to go for the best graphics processing unit (GPU) that money can buy, and rather cut costs elsewhere. However, getting a robust GPU usually requires one to dig deep into their wallet, which most people can not do. Luckily, people have a choice between an integrated graphics card and a dedicated graphics card.

A dedicated card is regarded as a serious choice, as it uses its own hardware, while an integrated card borrows resources from the rest of the PC. However it has a reputation for being the compromise solution. The card is built onto the same system as the central processing unit (CPU), and comes with several benefits as it is small, energy efficient, and is less expensive than a dedicated card.

Even though an integrated graphics card used to have a bad reputation, it seems to have improved a lot in the past few years. It is now more than good enough for general computing, casual gaming and 4K resolution video watching. However, it still struggles in some areas and it is not suitable for working with graphic intensive programs. Fortunately, there are a few great games one can play with an integrated graphics card.

While a dedicated graphics card can provide the user with better graphics, it uses much more power than an integrated graphics card. This means that the system is more likely to overheat, which can cause damage to a PC in the long run.

However, a user will need a dedicated card for serious gaming and virtual reality (VR). A person working with graphics software, which includes animation and video editing, will also need a dedicated card because an integrated card will not be able to handle the graphics.

Nevertheless, an integrated graphics card will be more than enough for a person interested in playing casual games. The card will be able to run most Adobe programs smoothly, and there is a possibility that it will be able to handle 4K resolution videos. Unless the person has specific needs, the benefits of integrated graphics – like better battery life and device size – are likely to outweigh the benefits of a dedicated card.

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