What is the Importance of the Graphics Card in a PC?

Jason Fernando 26 Apr, 2020
What is the Importance of the Graphics Card in a PC?
There's always a lot of chatter about computer graphics cards, thanks to bigger and better models every few months. It's not always clear who actually needs one, though. Let's take a look at what they are, and whether or not they're a good fit for your PC.

The headline of this article is a bit of a trick question, in away. Every desktop and laptop computer needs a GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) of some sort. Without a GPU, there would be no way to output an image to your display. The real crux of our inquiry today isn't whether or not you need a GPU, but whether or not you need a dedicated (or discrete) GPU, which most people refer to as a graphics card.

Integrated GPUs are great because they're free (and hassle-free). You don't even have to think about them–just combine a consumer class motherboard and CPU (or buy a pre-assembled computer from a retailer like Dell or Best Buy) and, boom, you've got somewhere to plug in your monitor.

Integrated graphics are also very power efficient since they use very little power beyond what the CPU was already using in the first place. And, thanks to their standardization, you'll rarely run into any issues with drivers or compatibility. On a modern Windows machine, everything will just be taken care of for you.