A graphics card, also known as a video card or GPU, is a type of hardware designed to handle all graphical processing needs for your computer. It’s responsible for creating and displaying images on your monitor. It is used in gaming, animation, and other applications that require advanced graphical capabilities. A computer can work without a graphics card, but its graphic abilities will be severely limited. Some computers require the installation of a graphics card to function.

A GPU is undoubtedly important, but can you turn on a PC without a graphics card? It’s a common question that many computer users have, especially those who are building their PCs. It’s a common misconception that graphics cards are necessary for computers to boot up and run. A PC’s built-in graphics card isn’t required for a PC to turn on and be usable. This article will discuss the answer to this question and provide helpful information on why a graphics card is necessary for a PC.

Key Takeaways

  • Yes, you can turn on a computer without connecting a graphics card.
  • You can use the integrated graphics or RAM and motherboard to turn on your PC without a graphics card.
  • This post reveals different methods to properly operate your computer without a graphics card.

Can you turn on a PC without a graphics card?

Yes, you can turn on a PC without a graphics card. A graphics card, also known as a video card or graphics processing unit (GPU), is a dedicated processor responsible for handling your computer’s graphics-related tasks. Without a graphics card, you won’t be able to run any graphically intensive programs or games. However, turning on a PC without a graphics card is possible by connecting your monitor to the integrated graphics port or onboard graphics processor in your motherboard. 

This is also known as “integrated graphics” and allows your computer to display basic visuals on your screen. It won’t be able to run demanding graphical tasks, but you can still perform basic computing tasks such as browsing the web and writing emails. You will need to connect your monitor to the integrated graphics port on the motherboard. Most motherboards come with one or two ports, usually VGA or HDMI. Plug in the correct cable, and you should be able to turn on your PC without a graphics card.

How to turn on a pc without a graphics card?

The process is relatively simple to turn on a PC without a graphics card. There are several methods to do this. Possible ways are included as follows:

Method 1: Connect the motherboard and monitor properly

In this method, we’ll use the motherboard to turn on the computer without using the dedicated graphics card. For this

  • Step 1: The first step is ensuring that your PC has an integrated graphics chip built in. Many modern motherboards come with integrated graphics chips, which are sufficient for basic tasks like web browsing and image editing.
  • Step 2: Once you’ve verified that you have an integrated graphics chip, you’ll need to enable it in the BIOS settings. Depending on the type of motherboard you have, this may be done by setting the “Integrated Graphics” setting to “Enabled” or “Auto”. Refer to your motherboard’s manual or manufacturer’s website for instructions on enabling the integrated graphics chip.
  • Step 3: Once you’ve enabled the integrated graphics chip, you can boot up your PC without a graphics card

Note: You should be able to use basic features like web browsing and image editing. However, graphics-intensive activities like gaming and video editing will be much slower than if you had a dedicated graphics card installed.

Method 2: Make use of a CPU with integrated graphics.

If you don’t have a GPU or don’t want to buy this for your computer, you must select a CPU with integrated graphics. It will help your system’s smooth startup and provide good performance without a GPU. If you’re looking to turn on your PC without a graphics card, then using a CPU with integrated graphics may be a viable solution. It will allow you to run basic applications and do some light gaming, and it doesn’t require any additional hardware. However, consider investing in a dedicated graphics card if you do more intensive tasks.

Method 3: Make use of at least 4GB of RAM.

RAM is a vital part of a PC without a GPU. If you don’t have any graphics cards and use your PC with the integrated graphics of your CPU, you’ll be able to do easy activities but not heavy tasks or play games, and you may experience lag when working with many apps. If you want to get the best performance out of your PC without using a GPU, you must use at least 4 to 8 GB of RAM. A GPU and at least 16 GB of RAM are required in today’s games. As a result, you may need a graphics card to play these games.

Method 4: Pay attention to the Processor

If you don’t want to use a GPU, you should concentrate on your Processor, sometimes the CPU. As a result, a powerful CPU is required to replace the GPU. You may have heard that the Processor is called the computer’s brain because it processes the program’s data. A GPU also handles data from video games and movies. When there is no GPU, the CPU must perform all tasks.

Pros and cons of turning on a PC without a graphics card?


  • Cost saving: One of the main advantages of using a PC without a graphics card is cost savings. Without a graphics card, your computer will be cheaper to buy and more affordable to maintain since it won’t require an expensive graphics card.
  • Extend the PC’s life: Additionally, using a PC without a graphics card can reduce energy consumption and extend the life of the computer’s hardware.


  • No high-end editing and video games: On the downside, using a PC without a graphics card means you won’t be able to play high-end video games or utilize high-end video editing software.
  • Unaware of the latest advancements: Additionally, you won’t be able to take advantage of the latest advancements in graphics technology. Furthermore, many modern applications are designed to take advantage of the improved performance of having a dedicated graphics card. Therefore, not having one may severely limit the potential use cases for your PC.
  • Impact on overall performance: Similarly, multimedia content such as videos, photos, and animation may look less good or run as smoothly as a better-quality graphics card. As a result, not investing in a good graphics card may significantly impact the overall experience of using the PC.


We can also suggest whether you need to use a PC without a graphics card or not:

  • You may also find that your PC’s performance could be faster overall due to the lack of dedicated graphics power. If you’re planning on using the PC for these types of activities, then it’s best to invest in a dedicated graphics card.
  • Turning on a PC without a graphics card is relatively easy if your motherboard has an integrated graphics chip. However, it’s important to remember that this type of setup will only provide optimal performance when it comes to gaming and other graphics-intensive activities. A dedicated graphics card is recommended if you plan on using your PC for these activities.


It’s possible to turn on a PC without a graphics card, although it may not be able to function in the same way as if it were equipped with one. Graphics cards provide extra processing power and video output capabilities for computers, making them ideal for specific applications. While you can turn on a PC without a graphics card, it is highly recommended that you use one for the best performance. A graphics card is essential, especially to better deal with graphics-intensive workloads like gaming and content creation.

Zohaib Hassan
Zohaib Hassan is a staunch tech enthusiast and has been writing about his interactions with computers for years. He has been serving the UpdatedPC as a content manager along with experimenting and testing numerous tech masterpieces. Indeed, he often forgets about eating his spicy snacks when has his head on the computer screen.