What Is a Discrete Graphics Card? Detailed Guide

If you are constructing your personal computer or hoping to buy a good laptop, you would have heard about dedicated or discrete graphics card. Both of these terms are used conversely even though both exhibit the same component.

In simple words, we can say that a graphics card looks like a smaller version of a computer motherboard. It consists of a printed circuit board that has its RAM, processor, and all essential components. A graphics card is generally cited out as a graphics processing unit.

Graphics cards come in two types, discrete and integrated, as well as two types of Nvidia video cards, RTX and GTX. The discrete one will be discussed here in detail and how it differs from an integrated one.

What Is a Discrete Graphics Card?

Computers have discrete graphics cards as processing units. It is a hardware component that works separately and is connected to the motherboard or wholly part of the motherboard. In laptops, mostly, it is part of the motherboard.

Thinking about the connectivity, the discrete graphics card is connected to the port or slots present in the motherboard. Its primary purpose is to perform all the graphic processing on the computer—this term mostly enthusiasts the people learning about computer technology.

The two chief graphics cards industries are AMD and Nvidia. They get together with hardware manufacturing companies and design their own unique discrete graphics cards.

Discrete Graphics Card Vs. Integrated Graphics Card:

As discussed above, discrete graphic cards are standalone processors that hang together with the motherboard via slots. However, many of the personal computers come with integrated ones. Let us now discuss which one will be better?

The most obvious fact which seems beneficial about the integrated graphics card is that they are less costly. The deal is amazing if a CPU with an integrated graphics card has G at the end of its model number. 

You are getting a double advantage as you don’t have to spend more money to buy yourself a Graphic card. Apart from this, the integrated graphics card are not on that level to match the performance level offered by the discrete GPUs.

This is the main reason why discrete GPUs remain the first choice for gamers and people who are more concerned about computer performance.

Discrete GPUs are designed by keeping the performance the primary concern to approach faster with higher speed action. They have their cooling and a personal supply of video RAM.

This means that these GPUs do not have to share the Random access memory with the CPU like the integrated ones. so it would not be wrong to say that the discrete ones are more advanced as a whole.

Which One to Get?

It still remains a pretty confusing question that which graphics card to choose. Is it the discrete GPU or the integrated GPU? Here we are providing a list of few things which will help you in this matter.


Firstly, by seeing your budget, you have to think about the price of the item. Building a self-customized personal computer according to your preferences and choices is not cheap work.

It is evident that it will require a handsome amount of money. in this age; indeed, there are many hacks and ways to make your pc fast and have a high-performance system. But in this, you have to know which item you need to add to pc and where to buy them.

It is undeniable that an integrated GPU is way cheaper because you are buying only one heavy-duty processor. The prices start from 50 dollars, and the highest goes to 200 dollars, but in this case, you have to opt for the dedicated GPUs.

If you wish to build a cheaper and less expensive pc system, the integrated graphics cards are the best choice for you unless you need a discrete graphics card. Well, these days, the integrated ones are also high quality and high performance operated.

Memory and Performance 

memory and performance always go hand to hand when talked about. Because they both share storage and the less memory occupied, the better the performance of the system.

If you have tried using both graphics cards, you might have noticed that a discrete graphics card has higher performance as it has its storage and does not share like the integrated ones. Moreover, it has a higher resolution for pictures and a higher frame rate, giving gamers a great time while gaming.

Are you a gamer? If yes, you might be well aware that the integrated graphics card doesn’t perform well with popular games. So without any doubt, discrete Graphics cards will be your choice to enjoy gaming and watching videos.


power is an important feature when talking about building a personal computer of own choice. Just like the performance and memory, the power also depends on the storage of the computer system. Common sense tells us that if a person focuses on one thing, they can perform it better.

On the other hand, if they focus on two things at a time, they won’t give their best. The same logic applies to graphics cards. So if we talk about the discrete card, it only highlights and works on the graphics, consequently spending more power and speed.


the computer has many uses. Some people use it for business work; some use it for gaming, while some use it for both. Why do you need a computer? Do you need it for gaming, browsing, or work?

If you opt for the former option, then it is critical to use a discrete graphics card. And if you don’t wish to experience lags and slow operation, then an integrated graphics card will be a better option for you. 

A discrete graphics card is also considered best for making and editing images and videos. If you are using your personal computer for multimedia use, then a dedicated discrete graphics card will help you all way and do a great job.

Comparatively, if you are using your pc for business use, browsing, or basic MS office functioning, you do not need to spend money on a discrete graphics card. An integrated Graphic processing card will work fine for you in this case.

Disadvantages of the Dedicated Graphics Card:

Some of the disadvantages of discrete graphics cards are as follows:

  • One of the most significant disadvantages of discrete graphics cards is that it heats up and produces a lot of heat while working on HD content.
  • These video cards consume a lot of energy as compared to the integrated ones. This is not an issue for desktop users but a severe issue for laptop users.
  • To buy these graphic cards, you need to have a high budget. Regular graphic cards can work for mid-range gaming, but you have to buy these for serious gaming.
  • The laptops which have these installed are heavier in size.

Ending Thoughts

Now that you know that there are two types of graphic cards, discrete and integrated. The next question is whether and which graphic card will suit you the best.

When looking for the best graphic card for you, you should note down some main points like power, storage, performance, and memory. You will know which graphic card will be best for your work or gaming by studying all these points.

So there it is. If you are a gamer or a multimedia expert who works on photos or videos, a discrete graphics card will be best for you. If you have a small budget and can’t afford expensive items, then an integrated graphics processing card will work for you and fulfill your needs.