Do Motherboards Have Integrated Graphics?

Do Motherboards Have Integrated Graphics

Integrated Graphics are a vital component that is needed for the transfer of signals from the video output port of the motherboard to the monitor for visual display.

In the past, older versions of motherboards had integrated graphics cards, but the newer versions no longer have them. Modernized versions of motherboards do not feature a processing chipset for onboard graphics or an integrated graphics card. How then, do integrated graphics affect motherboards?

Without further ado, let’s dive into the motherboard and integrated graphics, and how one affects the other. 

What Is the Importance Of an Integrated Graphics Card?

One vital function of an integrated graphics card is that it powers the video output ports of the rear on the back I/Q panel of your motherboard. 

For instance, the VGA, HDMI, and DVI connectors on the motherboard will not function if there is no integrated graphics card. 

The display on your monitor will be blank if it is connected to any of the above-mentioned ports on a personal computer if there is no integrated graphics card. 

The result is that if your central processing unit or motherboard doesn’t have an integrated graphics card, you will need to invest in a dedicated graphics card to achieve visual output. 

Integrated graphics cards do not use as much power as other hardware that offer the same function. This enables it to reduce heat generation and extend battery life. If you want to use your personal computer for basic, standard, graphics processing, an integrated unit is very capable for this purpose.

Do Motherboards Have Integrated Graphics?

No, modern motherboards do not feature integrated graphics cards. Previously, motherboards used to feature an integrated microprocessor chip. But new or modern motherboards, especially the ones that are the latest generation of the Intel Core Series or those that support AMD Ryzen CPUs, do not feature a graphics processor. 

This is because the graphics unit is fixed in the chipset of the board, so the computer does not need any additional hardware to generate a video or any form of image display.

Nonetheless, this graphics unit relies on your Random Access Memory (RAM), so the controllers are not as powerful as GPUs that stand alone. 

In addition to their limited performance, the built-in graphics unit of motherboards cannot be changed or upgraded. This makes them poor for gaming jobs and video creation. 

A motherboard doesn’t need to have an integrated card. But it can be found alternatively in the Central Processing Unit which controls all of the visuals of a computer. 

The main position of the graphics card if your computer depends on the type of card that the computer has. 

You can study the specifications of the motherboard you want to buy so that you can know if it features an integrated chipset or not.

Which Centrally Processing Units Feature an Integrated Graphics Card?

Both AMD and Intel have central processing units that feature and do not feature an integrated graphics card. 

Let’s look at the ones that offer in detail.

AMD Central Processing Units (CPU) That Feature Integrated Graphics Cards

Only a few AMD central processing units include an integrated graphics card. The ones that have this feature are usually called Accelerated Processing Units (APUs).

The AMD central processing units that feature an integrated graphics card have the letter ‘G’ in their name, as a suffix. Examples are; AMD Ryzen 7 5600G, AMD Ryzen 3 3200G, and AMD Athlon 3000G, among others. 

As earlier stated, this ‘G’ series of central processing units have weaker performances in comparison to their ‘non-G’ counterparts.

Intel Central Processing Units (CPU) That Feature Integrated Graphics Card

Things are less complicated with Intel because most of their central processing units feature an integrated graphics card unit. 

With Intel, only the central processing units with the letter ‘F’ suffix do not feature an integrated graphics card. Examples are Intel Core i5-10400F and Intel Core i7

-11700KF, among others. 

This means that if onboard graphics processing is important to you, you should look out for these processors. 

The only difference between the ‘F’ series processors and their non-F counterparts is that they lack an integrated graphics card unit. Unlike AMDs, their performances are equal. 

More recent Intel central processing units include the Intel UHD 750, 630, 620, and 610 integrated graphics card units. 

Although the Iris Pro 580 is quite old, it remains the most efficient Intel integrated graphics card. Premium notebooks often have this particular feature.

Understanding Onboard Graphics

Sometimes, you may cross a specification sheet for some motherboards that have a section for “onboard graphics”. 

This can confuse you or make you believe that the motherboard features a graphics processing chip, but this is not so.

If you read the details of the spreadsheet carefully, you will find out that the onboard graphics are only supported by the central processing unit.

Performance of Integrated Graphics Card

If your motherboard has an integrated graphics card, you can run several modern programs and games in medium settings. 

Part of the games you can play include well known titles, for instance, Grand Theft Auto V and Global Offensive. Unless you want to play these games at higher graphical settings, you have nothing to worry about.

There are two major things you should know:

First, you should understand that basic dedicated graphics cards are only good enough for video outputs. 

Secondly, the performance of your integrated graphics card is comparable to the budget (i.e price).

But with the newer AMD accelerated processing units, especially the ones from the 4000 and 5000 series, the graphics processing power of integrated graphics processing units has been enhanced. 

For instance, the Vega 8 integrated graphics processing unit that the AMD Ryzen 7 5700G and the AMD Ryzen 5 5600G are as good as some simple dedicated graphics available for about $80.

Mark Scores of G3D

GPU G3D

Mark

Notes
AMD Radeon

Vega 3

(2018 Version)

1071 AMD 2000 Series Accelerated Processing Units
Nvidia GeForce

GT 1030

($79)

2613 Entry Level Dedicated Graphics Processing Units
Intel UHD 630 1395 As found on 8-10th Generation

Intel Central Processing Units

AMD Ryzen 5

5600G

Vega 7 Graphics

2639 Integrated as found on the Ryzen 5600G
AMD Radeon

Vega 6

(2018 Version)

1274 AMD 2000 Series Accelerated Processing Units
AMD Radeon

RX 550

($79)

2764 Entry Level Dedicated Graphics Processing Units
Nvidia GeForce

GT 740

(MSRP $79)

1543 Basic Dedicated Graphics Processing Units
Intel Iris Pro 580 2044 Found on premium laptops.
AMD Ryzen 7

5700G

Vega 8 Graphics

2708 Integrated as found on the Ryzen 5700G
Intel UHD 750 1684 As found on 11th Generation

Intel Central Processing Units

AMD Radeon

Vega 11

(2018 Version)

2139 AMD 2000 Series Accelerated Processing Units
AMD Radeon

Vega 8

(2018 Version)

1704 AMD 2000 Series Accelerated Processing Units

 

Choosing the right central processing unit with integrated graphics will enable you to use it for casual gaming and other simple functions without needing to buy a dedicated graphics card.

Can You Tell If Your Motherboard Has Integrated Graphics?

There are three ways that you can discover if your motherboard has integrated graphics. 

For the first method, follow these steps:

First, carefully check the back of your desktop computer, at the point where everything connects. That way, you can discover if it has an inbuilt graphics card. 

Next, locate the cord of the monitor. This is what forms the connection between the monitor and the computer. 

Inspect the location of the computer to the cable’s connection and vice versa.

If the connection is set in any one of the expansion slots, it implies that the motherboard does not feature an integrated one for videos. Instead, it features an integrated graphics card.

Note:

A computer can also feature a motherboard with an external video card and an inbuilt one. 

The machine will adjust to the expansion. Nonetheless, the onboard video is deactivated from time to time in the BIOS configuration.

Method 2

The second way to find out is by navigating the control panel on your personal computer. 

Check the device manager and click on the drop-down menu next to the display drivers. There the name of the graphics card that is in charge of your display will be indicated.

You most likely have an integrated graphics card if it begins as AMD Radeon (TM) or Intel(R) HD Graphics. You can go ahead to search for the model on Google to ensure that your answer is accurate.

Method 3

You can search for the model of your motherboard on Google to check its specification. When searching, type the model and “spec sheet”. It will bring out the details of its onboard graphics.

This way, you can find out if your motherboard supports integrated graphics.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do All Motherboards Feature Ports For Video Outputs?

It is not all motherboards that feature ports for video outputs. Some motherboards have a simple design and perform only basic functions, hence, they lack this port. 

If your motherboard does not feature a port for video outputs, it means that you have to purchase a dedicated graphics card. When connected to your monitor, the graphics card is what enables visual display.

If Your Computer Lacks Integrated Graphics, Will It Turn On?

Yes, your personal computer does not have integrated graphics, it will turn on. However, you will not be able to see anything on the screen of your monitor because your personal computer will not have the capability to process any graphics.

You may be able to see or hear feedback highlighting that your computer does not have a graphics processing unit if your motherboard has a POST LED light or code speaker integrator.

Do All Motherboards Support Any Graphics Processing Units?

Most of the modern graphics processing units now manufactured are compatible with almost all kinds of models of motherboards. 

However, this doesn’t mean that every graphics card is universal. It is important to still take precautions to ensure that the graphics card you’re purchasing is compatible with your motherboard.

Can I Use Any Graphics Processing Unit With Any Central Processing Unit?

Generally, any central processing unit will be compatible with any graphics card.

What you should focus on is not compatibility, but the sufficiency of the central processor for that particular graphics card. 

If you plan to connect a powerful graphics card to an old central processing unit, the central processing unit will slow down the graphics card. This is often referred to as ‘bottleneck’.

Can a Motherboard Support 4K Resolution?

To run a monitor at 4k resolution from the video output ports of the motherboard, you need a central processing unit with an integrated graphics card, coupled with the right ports. 

The only ports that support 4k resolution are the Display port, HDMI ports, and ThThunderbolt.0 ports. The rate at which the motherboard refreshes also differs, based on the version of its port. 

For example, an HDMI 1.4 port will be able to support a resolution of 4K only at a refresh rate of 30Hz. However, the modern HDMI 2.0 port can support a resolution of 4K at a higher refresh rate of 60Hz.

Conclusion 

It is not every motherboard that features ports for video outputs. Some motherboards have simpler designs, so they may not feature optical output connectors. If your motherboard lacks ports for video outputs, you must invest in a graphics card. This card connects your monitor to your display. 

We have explained how a dedicated graphics card differs from an integrated one. But how do you know when to use the dedicated graphics card? The process of choosing a specific graphics card can be difficult. You need to spend ample time weighing your options including the pros and cons, and still hope to get a good deal.

However, deciding if you need a dedicated graphics processing unit is simple. The major factor that will help you navigate your decision-making process is the requirements of the work you do on your computer. Mostly, very intense tasks will require you to use a powerful dedicated graphics processing unit.

Author:
I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...