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Integrated CPU or dedicated GPU?

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August 24, 2013 2:56:10 AM

Hello all,

With the latest generation of CPUs now incorporating integrated graphics, I'm wondering whether that is driven by marketing strategy rather than performance exellence. Bear with me as I explain...

From what I understand, a GPU is a dedicated processor for graphics/video. When it is not complemented with a GPU, a CPU takes care of the lot.

So today's integrated graphics have become possible because of the extra processing power available through improved technology, which means the "surplus" processing power can be apportioned to graphics.

Is my understanding correct?

If so, then is the user who is looking for outstanding performance on all fronts not better off choosing a standalone CPU (e.g. Xeon E5-1620) and dedicated GPU (e.g. GeForce GTX770) as opposed to an i7-4770K plus GPU?

My rationale is that in the latter case, some of the i7s processing power will be apportioned to graphics, which effectively reduces the available processing power available for non-graphics tasks.

Case in point: If I pick an integrated graphics CPU (e.g. i7-4770K) and complement that with a high end GPU (e.g. GeForce GTX770), is it plausible that the non graphics related processing capacity of the CPU is reduced, and hence overall performance would be poorer than a Xeon E5-1620/GeForce GTX770 configuration?

Appreciate your comments!
August 24, 2013 3:08:32 AM

A CPU with integrated graphics performs as well as one without. The on-chip GPU is a functionally-separate unit from the CPU - the manufacturer has simply added a GPU onto the same piece of silicon as the CPU.

That said, a Xeon will normally outperform the equivalent Core i-series desktop CPU simply by virtue of architectural advantages such as bigger (and often faster) L2/3 caches.

Hope this helps,
Stephen

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August 24, 2013 3:27:09 AM
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Bro if you pick the 4770k and a dedicated GPU, it would be more powerful than the xeon plus a GPU. Even if the 4770k has a GPU part in its chip, it's still a very powerful chip that it wouldn't suffer even if you put 3 GPUs there. And take note, the integrated gpu in the 4770k is weak compared to the A10 of amd. That's where the difference is: A10 alone vs i7 alone, a10 wins with respect to graphics processing. BUT A10 plus GPU vs i7 4700k plus GPU, hands down i7 wins. Because the a10 would bottleneck the powerful cards like the 770. But the i7 wouldn't need to wait for the 770.

So, xeon plus gpu vs i7 plus gpu = both are powerful and i7 won't suffer on the gpu side. The xeon won't bottleneck the 770 also. So go with the cheaper route.
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