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Integrated or discrete graphics (Read 2208 times)
Christer
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Integrated or discrete graphics
Jun 3rd, 2010 at 5:51pm
 
Hello all!

What's your opinion or rather experience of this? I have been asked to suggest a budget build and said that the "cheapest" discrete graphics card outperforms any integrated graphics. Am I right or wrong?

The query being represented by the hardware below, which is the optimum suggestion, bearing the price difference (36 % in Sweden) in mind:

Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H
or
Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3 + Gigabyte GV-R545SC-1GI

Regarding the price premium for the combination with discrete graphics, in addition you get a better motherboard but that's a "bonus".
 

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MrMagoo
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Re: Integrated or discrete graphics
Reply #1 - Jun 4th, 2010 at 12:43am
 
I suppose the cheapest, bottom of the barrel, $30 video card might not outperform the biggest and baddest integrated graphics card, but 95% of the time you are absolutely right.  Integrated graphics are usually the way to go if you are concerned about power or price, but they rarely impress with their performance.

In this case, the graphics card you've linked to is based on one of ATI's latest chipsets, so you are getting a lot of power there even on the cheaper cards.  On the other hand, the motherboard you linked to with integrated graphics doesn't say which video chipset it is based on, so it is likely a low-end, cheap one.  If it was something decent, you'd think they'd brag about it.

So, with the hardware you've linked to, I'd put good money on the discrete video card performing substantially better.  Leaps and bounds better.  You might not notice if you're just reading email and word docs, but who does that anymore?  The first time you happen upon a flash video, watch a movie, edit a photo, play a game, etc... you'll get your extra 30% worth.
 
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Christer
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Re: Integrated or discrete graphics
Reply #2 - Jun 4th, 2010 at 3:41am
 
MrMagoo,

Quote:
On the other hand, the motherboard you linked to with integrated graphics doesn't say which video chipset it is based on, so it is likely a low-end, cheap one.

According to AMD 890GX Chipset it's the ATI Radeon HD4290. The designation indicates to me "previous generation" but if you're not a gamer, you won't benefit from the new "bells and whistles", right?

The closest comparison I could choose at GPUReview, indicates that the discrete card outperforms the integrated graphics.

The discrete card I linked to has 1 GB DDR3 but the one compared has 512 MB DDR3. The integrated graphics, indicated by the designation, is a "notch" down in performance (not as good as the HD4350). These two factors should make the benefits of the discrete card even bigger, I think.
 

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MrMagoo
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Re: Integrated or discrete graphics
Reply #3 - Jun 4th, 2010 at 9:26am
 
Christer wrote on Jun 4th, 2010 at 3:41am:
According to AMD 890GX Chipset it's the ATI Radeon HD4290. The designation indicates to me "previous generation" but if you're not a gamer, you won't benefit from the new "bells and whistles", right?

The 4xxx series is previous generation as you mentioned.  It will still do just fine for videos and photos.  There are some big benefits in the new generation in both performance and power savings, but the previous generation would probably be adequate for casual use.

Christer wrote on Jun 4th, 2010 at 3:41am:
The discrete card I linked to has 1 GB DDR3 but the one compared has 512 MB DDR3. The integrated graphics, indicated by the designation, is a "notch" down in performance (not as good as the HD4350). These two factors should make the benefits of the discrete card even bigger, I think. 

I agree.  The integrated graphics chip looked to have 128MB of memory, so the performance difference will be significant in games and benchmarks.

Sounds like it is all coming down to how the computer will be used.
 
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