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  1. #1
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    Is a computer with a separate Graphic card faster then using on board graphics ?

    I' m a part-time tech and have been repairing computers since the time of XP I' m a senior and so are most of my customers, I always used to recommend the computers I buy for my clients new or used should have a graphic card with its own memory that is not on board graphics , The idea is that it frees up the main processor to handle other functions and the graphics being handled by the graphic card should in fact make the same computer faster. I'm now told this is no longer the case with windows 7 and above. Only the graphics will be clearer but the speed advantage is not there. Any comments from an expert would be appreciated.

    Thanks Bob F

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    For the vast majority of users todays systems with integrated graphics are just fine. If you have a gamer system or do very heavy duty graphics manipulations then a separate graphics card should be used.

    Joe

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    Computers with a given CPU/RAM/HDD configuration using integrated graphics are not necessarily any slower than similar computers using separate graphics cards. It all depends on how much system RAM the computer has and whether the graphics card actually performs better with that much system RAM - some dedicated graphics cards also use the system RAM. From a cost-benefit standpoint, throwing more RAM at a PC might be better than paying extra for a stand-alone graphics card.
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    While I agree that on-board graphics are "good enough" for light-duty use, please understand that just about any add-on graphics card improves the situation.

    It's not a matter of what version the operating system is. What it comes down to is how much silicon is devoted to graphics processing. A third-party graphics card invariably has more transistors and more silicon devoted to graphics computation. You also typically get more memory devoted to graphics storage (on-board graphics use part of system memory, and so you are "taking away" memory from the OS. This memory cannot be shared; it either is allocated to graphics or the OS, but never both).

    In increasing order of graphics processing power:

    1). Intel on-chip graphics (dead last, a position they have proudly occupied for 15-20 years!);
    2). AMD on-chip graphics (notably better than Intel, though ironically their CPUs are invariably outperformed by Intel's, in terms of pure CPU performance);
    3). A discrete, add-on graphics card. AMD, NVIDIA, pick your favourite, they both make pretty good products. All the other competitors have gone bankrupt, been bought out, or have retreated to niche markets.

    I have long suspected that part of the reason this situation works like this is that specialty graphics companies "bread and butter" is graphics. They really have to make a good product in that area. Intel, they are a CPU company and no one looks to them for a superior graphics solution. Average or below average doesn't hurt Intel much in the graphics space.

    The one OS dependency started with Vista. At that version the OS itself began using some more advanced graphics. If you've heard about the Aero interface, that is exactly the part of the system using the advanced graphics. With Vista, a bargain-basement graphics solution was no longer adequate and a lot of customers got burned through a series of bad choices that certain vendors made.

    Now with the Windows Metro/Modern/RT interface, Microsoft has reverted to a simpler UI. I believe the reason is that Microsoft wants this interface to scale, all the way from smartphones, to tablets, to PC's, to supercomputers. The low end devices either have weak graphics chips or they have powerful chips that overheat. The magic combination in mobile is graphics power that doesn't generate too much heat and that has been hard to make.

    In the end the best advice is to know your customer. A lot of seniors really do fairly simple things with the computer and may be living on a fixed income. If that describes your customer then I have no trouble recommending integrated graphics. Just remember that any form of integrated graphics prior to about 2010 was awful.

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  8. #5
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    Onboard (AKA "integrated") GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) uses a portion of whatever RAM is installed in the system. Currently almost all desktop motherboards can handle max. DDR3 RAM chips.

    Many decent mid-range add-on VGA cards ("graphics cards") now have 2GB-or-more DDR5 "video RAM" which is much faster than DDR3 resulting in better display performance.

    However, as previous posters have remarked, the onboard VGA on modern motherboards is probably quite adequate for casual users. Users who are into gaming/video processing/CAD/Photoshop etc. will probably benefit from fitting a decent mid-range add-on VGA card.
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    I just installed an Radeon R7 200 series w/2GB memory that was using Intel on board Z97 Chipset. My Windows Performance Score jumped up by at least 1 to 7.7. MS thinks it is faster, I don't game so I have not noticed much of difference. I think (please correct me if I am wrong) that a faster clock on a GPU makes more difference for the average gamer than a 1 generation newer GPU.
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  12. #7
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coochin View Post
    Onboard (AKA "integrated") GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) uses a portion of whatever RAM is installed in the system. Currently almost all desktop motherboards can handle max. DDR3 RAM chips.
    Curiously I see my GPU is using ~ 8 GB of Shared memory in addition to the 2GB on board.
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  13. #8
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    Thanks for your detailed answer I'll keep it simple if they have Vista and speed problems will recommend card
    otherwise on board should be ok

  14. #9
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobFo View Post
    I' m a part-time tech and have been repairing computers since the time of XP I' m a senior and so are most of my customers, I always used to recommend the computers I buy for my clients new or used should have a graphic card with its own memory that is not on board graphics , The idea is that it frees up the main processor to handle other functions and the graphics being handled by the graphic card should in fact make the same computer faster. I'm now told this is no longer the case with windows 7 and above. Only the graphics will be clearer but the speed advantage is not there. Any comments from an expert would be appreciated.
    Thanks Bob F
    It depends upon what your usage needs are.
    If you are into making and editing your own videos for upload to YouTube or whatever, then absolutely yes,
    an addon card is superior to anything built onto the mainboard.

    But for those who do not have such requirement built in graphics will sufice.

    I didn't mention gaming because many times people become retarded in thinking that
    they only need a graphics card if they plan to game, which is complete and utter bunk.

    It'll be your specific usage requiremnets that will be the primary determoning factor in your hardware choices.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2015-09-12 at 06:50.
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  15. #10
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    @ All

    In Vista and later have a look at "Control Panel\Performance Information and Tools".

    PerfInfoTools.jpg

    You can judge from the "subscore" rating which component(s) could be upgraded to improve system performance.
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  16. #11
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    This tool was removed in Windows 8 and is not available in Windows 10 either.

    Jerry

  17. #12
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    I don't know about W10 but it is in W8.1 just GUIless and hidden form view!

    at Admin prompt type:
    winsat formal

    when finished use windows explorer to go to
    C:\Windows\Performance\WinSAT\DataStore\

    there should be a new XXXXsomethingFormal.Assessment.winsat.xml file.Explorer will open it if double clicked the info is in the beginning under a header <winspr>.
    It is not easy to read but there are powershell commands that reportedly make it easier.

    http://www.techrepublic.com/article/...th-powershell/


    http://www.cnet.com/how-to/find-your...n-windows-8-1/
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

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