Do you really need a dedicated GPU in 2024?

With all the hype surrounding the best graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD, you might think that a discrete or dedicated graphics card is a given for any PC. However, while most graphically demanding applications need a dedicated GPU for decent performance, there are many use cases where you can get by perfectly well without one.

It all depends on what you’re using your computer for, and more importantly, the level of graphical fidelity you really need. Let’s break down the most common use cases encountered by PC users and see whether you really need a dedicated GPU for them.

You don’t need a dedicated GPU for…

Everyday computing

If all you’re doing on your PC is office work, web browsing, watching videos, and other everyday tasks, you’re not really taxing your GPU much. A dedicated GPU, even a mid-range or budget model, would be a wasted investment in such cases. Your CPU’s integrated graphics are perfectly capable of powering these light workloads. In fact, if you’re buying a thin and light laptop for some writing, browsing, video calls, and entertainment on the go, you might want to configure it for more RAM and storage instead of a dedicated GPU.

Casual gaming

Casual gaming refers to gaming where having the best graphics isn’t the primary concern. When you’re playing titles like Stardew ValleyThe Sims 4, Overcooked! 2, Brawlhalla, or Minecraft, most modern integrated graphics will be able to deliver a smooth experience. As long as you have enough RAM on your laptop or PC, and decent Intel Iris Xe, Intel Arc, or AMD Vega graphics, you’ll be fine.

Budget 1080p gaming

AMD Ryzen 5 8600G pins

If you want to upgrade from casual games to AAA titles but are willing to play at low settings with 1080p resolution, some of the best accelerated processing units (APUs) can be surprisingly adequate. For instance, with the Ryzen 5 8600G, you’re getting a solid 6-core, Zen 4 CPU, with RDNA3 integrated graphics that can deliver 60+ frames per second (FPS) at 1080p in titles like GTA V and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. You could even try Cyberpunk 2077 or Elden Ring, but you’ll have a hard time getting 60+ FPS.

You absolutely need a dedicated GPU for…

Heavy gaming

Switching gears here to cover the workloads that demand a discrete GPU, serious gaming is perhaps at the top of the list. Playing the most graphically intensive modern titles at consistent 60+ FPS with high settings will require a dedicated graphics card. Even the budget graphics cards are far ahead of the best APUs when it comes to driving a comfortable gaming experience while playing the heaviest titles.

Video editing and graphic design

Screenshot of Dainci Resolve 18's video editing interface

Even if you aren’t a gamer, professional workloads like graphic design and video editing work best with dedicated graphics cards. Apps like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere Pro, and DaVinci Resolve need at least an RTX 3060 or RX 7600 for decent performance.

3D modeling and animation

 DaVinci Resolve showing 3D renderings of a jeep in 3:2 aspect ratio

Source: Blackmagic Design

Integrated graphics are simply ill-equipped to deal with demanding 3D modeling, rendering, animation, or VFX workloads. For apps like Blender, CAD, or Solidworks, you’ll need powerful mid-range or high-end graphics cards like the RTX 3070, RTX 3080, or RTX 4070 Ti. If you’re getting into these applications professionally, you’ll probably be better off investing more in the high-end Nvidia GPUs.

AI and machine learning

Nvidia Picasso showing a complex AI-generated image with multiple steps taken to get the final product

As AI-powered workloads and applications gain more and more traction, the demand for beefy graphics cards, especially Nvidia’s products, continues to rise. GPUs like the RTX 4070 Ti, RTX 4090, and RTX A4000 (for professionals) will work best for machine learning,

Dedicated GPUs aren’t a necessity for most everyday tasks

In 2024, you don’t necessarily need a dedicated GPU unless you’re running heavy games, editing videos, rendering 3D animation, or running demanding AI applications. Integrated graphics have come a long way and some of the best AMD APUs can power 1080p gaming as well – as long as you keep your expectations in check.

About Fattain Naime

Hi, my name is Fattain Naime and I am a computer engineer and young entrepreneur. After graduating, I decided to follow my passion and start my own company, Builder Hall Pvt. Ltd. I am dedicated to using my technical skills and entrepreneurial spirit to create innovative solutions for my clients.Throughout my academic and professional career, I have developed a strong foundation in computer engineering principles, including programming languages, data structures, and algorithms. I have also gained experience in project management and business development, which has allowed me to successfully lead my own company.Since founding Builder Hall, I have worked tirelessly to build a team of talented professionals and bring cutting-edge technology solutions to the market. Our focus is on providing our clients with the best possible experience and helping them to achieve their business goals through the use of technology.In my role as CEO, I have been responsible for leading the company's strategy and overseeing all aspects of operations. I am constantly seeking out new opportunities for growth and expansion, and I am committed to building a culture of excellence within the company.Outside of work, I am an avid reader and enjoy staying up-to-date on the latest developments in the tech industry. I also enjoy spending time with my family and staying active through sports and fitness activities.If you're looking for a dynamic, driven computer engineer with a passion for entrepreneurship, don't hesitate to reach out and connect with me on LinkedIn. I'm always open to discussing new opportunities and ideas. Make the world easier.I am excited to share my skills and experience with others, and I hope to connect with like-minded individuals who are passionate about technology and entrepreneurship. Thank you for visiting my profile.

View all posts by Fattain Naime →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *