Introduction to Graphics Card Meaning:

Before discussing, what is a Discrete Graphics Card? We need to understand the meaning of graphics cards. Like a motherboard, a video card is a printed circuit board that contains a processor and video memory. The processor on a video card, called the graphics processing unit (GPU), is similar to the central processing unit of a computer. So what is a  video card’s purpose? GPUs are specifically designed to perform the complex mathematical and geometrical calculations required to render graphics.

GPUs generate a lot of heat, so they are usually placed under a heatsink or fan. Integrated chips are slightly different in that they do not have their VRAM and must come from the same RAM headroom as the CPU. This difference can cause the system to run out of memory while playing with the integrated GPU.  In addition to processing power, GPUs use specialized programming to analyze and use data. Modern video processors can provide:

  • Full-scene anti-aliasing (FSAA), which softens the edges of 3D objects.

  • Anisotropic Filtering (AF) to sharpen images 

  • Real-time physics and particle effects

  • multi-screen display

  • High frame rate video output

  • Millions of pixels of ultra-high-definition video

  • GPU-accelerated computing

    graphics card

Additionally, each company has developed specific technologies to help the GPU apply colors, shadows, textures, and patterns. Because the GPU creates the image, the information and the finished image must be stored somewhere. To do this, it uses the card’s RAM to store data about each pixel, color, and location on the screen. Part of the video memory can also act as a frame buffer. In other words, it stores the finished image until you display it. In general, video memory runs very fast and has two ports, so the system can read and write simultaneously. Newer video cards connect to PCIe x16 expansion slots. However, you can use an expensive external GPU workaround to connect your graphics card.

What is a Discrete Graphics Card?

So, what are discrete graphics cards, and how are they different from integrated graphics cards? What will you choose? Here’s the answer.

The two terms are often used interchangeably and are used to describe the same component.  This article explains all about the discrete graphics card and how it differs from an integrated graphics card.  The graphics card is a vital component of any PC. It interacts with the processor and RAM to collect data. It then converts this data into a signal that displays the image on a computer monitor in real-time.

discrete gpu


A Discrete Graphics Card is a separate processor inside the computer. This hardware component is a standalone device that plugs into a dedicated port on the motherboard or is itself part of the motherboard. The latter is usually the case with laptops.

The discrete graphics card is installed separately in one of the PCIe slots on the motherboard. It handles all the graphics on your computer. This term is essential for PC build enthusiasts learning new terminology. We partner with hardware manufacturers, including ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte, and Zotac. These companies use their chips and architectures to create their own discrete graphics cards.

Integrated Vs. Discrete

 AMD Ryzen APUs have decent integrated graphics. For high-end systems,  a dedicated graphics card is required. As well as dedicated graphics cards, Integrated graphics cards are also part of the CPU chip. Several significant differences between the two are worth mentioning. Let’s start with integrated graphics cards with fewer features.

dedicated vs integrated gpu

Integrated Graphics:

In the past, the integrated GPU was also part of the motherboard, but it’s not like a dedicated card in a laptop. The integrated graphics card works as part of the processor, and it uses the processing power of the processor along with RAM to convert data into signals that can display images on the monitor. 

Rendering and displaying the image requires a higher processing cost, introducing several problems. First, it takes up a certain percentage of  RAM. For a computer with 8GB of RAM and 1GB of shared memory, the onboard GPU reserves 1GB of RAM for graphics, so users will have 7GB of work to do. It is worth noting that the higher processing cost is not related to the processor clock speed.

However, since the CPU and integrated graphics use the same RAM, graphics rendering operations can consume processor bandwidth, slowing down processing time slightly. In terms of power, integrated graphics require less power from the PSU. Also, paying for an Intel processor with Intel HD 600 graphics or an AMD Ryzen APU is cheaper than paying for a processor and discrete graphics.

integrated graphics

Discrete Graphics:

Discrete graphics cards, on the other hand,  are much more expensive. It requires more power from the PSU as a separate hardware block. However, there are many other advantages. It is designed to use the hardware for more stable and maximum performance without burdening the CPU and RAM with rendering tasks. The user in the previous example could use 8GB of RAM if the system is using discrete graphics.  Discrete graphics cards have dedicated memory, and Discrete graphics cards have dedicated memory called VRAM. It is a special type of memory that graphics need to work.

New video cards typically have 6-8 GB of video memory. The NVIDIA RTX 3080 ( Amazon ) boasts an amazing 10GB. Meanwhile, the top-end RTX 3090 ( Amazon ) comes with a staggering 24GB of VRAM for even better performance.  Discrete graphics cards usually have two or three fans. The cooling system is better than the integrated GPU that uses the same heatsink as the processor. Improved cooling performance lowers temperatures, extending GPU lifespan.  Finally,  Nvidia discrete graphics and AMD include custom game-related features. Adds a level of customization that allows users to personalize their gaming experience and make the game look smoother and more realistic.

Who should use a discrete graphics card?

Integrated GPUs have advanced further in recent years. According to a 2016 ExtremeTech report, Intel stated that  Intel HD devices have caught up to the capabilities of discrete graphics cards. Integrated graphics are better and more reliable, but there is still a lot of work to be done. They have reached performance levels where they can easily stream 4K video and run more demanding games. However, it cannot compete with ray tracing technology or the rendering methods of AMD unique cards. Individual cards are designed for more demanding tasks with the graphic highlighted below.

Gamers who want to follow the latest trends in the gaming industry and play demanding games must have these components. I am a professional game designer and developer using engines like Unity and Unreal Engine. Graphic designers and illustrators use the Adobe Suite, including Photoshop, Illustrator, and other graphics software. Video producers and editors.


In summary, a discrete graphics card is a standalone GPU connected to the motherboard via a PCIe slot. It offers advanced real-time rendering technology and many other features. It includes 4K and 8K video and game streaming and VR. Integrated graphics have improved significantly over the years but are still better suited for lightweight everyday use. Discrete graphics cards can handle complex graphics tasks seamlessly, making them ideal for gaming, video editing, and game development. So. keeping in view your needs, you can now easily find out which graphics card is best suited for you. If you just want an average performance, integrated graphic cards are for you, and if you want high performance, you might want to consider the discrete cards.

Abdullah Sarfraz
Myself Abdullah Sarfraz and I am an SEO. My hobby is reviewing the latest tech-related products. For the past few years, I am working on amazon affiliated sites therefore, I came to know my interest and chose this field, now I have good experience in it.