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Do I even need a graphics card?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 10, 2010 1:57:35 AM

My potential future laptop will have:

CPU: 2.2 Ghz
Memory: 8 GB
And no GPU (the laptop will have an intel X4500hd)


With that much memory do I even need a graphics card?

In what sort of things will having no GPU make a difference?

More about : graphics card

January 10, 2010 1:59:26 AM

What will you be using the it for? For general usage & web browsing, an integrated GPU is usually okay.
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January 10, 2010 2:02:15 AM

The amount of memory has nothing to do with needing a GPU. Your intel X4500 will be enough to run any 2D app but cannot handle gaming to well.
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January 10, 2010 2:07:33 AM

I'm just wondering whether it's worth it for me to get a discreet graphics card at all when I have so much regular ram.

I guess I'm wondering whether my computer will be able to tap into the regular memory when it needs it for graphics. If that is possible it seems to me that getting a 1GB graphics card won't be worth it because I will always have spare RAM (out of the 8GB of regular ram).
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January 10, 2010 2:08:12 AM

paperfox said:
The amount of memory has nothing to do with needing a GPU. Your intel X4500 will be enough to run any 2D app but cannot handle gaming to well.


why not? what does a GPU have that's special?
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January 10, 2010 2:24:02 AM

hmm... good question. Well any computer needs some sort of GPU in order to even output anything to your monitor. I suppose I am partially wrong in that there is shared RAM that is used both for the CPU and graphics to use, but really for RAM it’s only a matter of having "just enough" and having more is just overkill, for lack of a better word.

I guess essentially if you had your laptop with 4gb, 8gb, 16gb, 32gb, or an infinite amount of RAM, it won’t make any difference in terms of your graphical performance/FPS.
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January 10, 2010 2:29:08 AM

Are you saying that a dedicated GPU provides somethings that can't be substituted with regular ram?

If so I think that I do want a dedicated GPU.
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a b D Laptop
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January 10, 2010 2:32:12 AM

aisw said:
Are you saying that a dedicated GPU provides somethings that can't be substituted with regular ram?

If so I think that I do want a dedicated GPU.

If you are going to be gaming you better!
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January 10, 2010 2:32:24 AM

aisw said:
why not? what does a GPU have that's special?

I don't understand the question. GPU stands for graphic processing unit. The whole point of it is advanced graphical processing for things such as games. You will have a GPU it's just very weak and intended for 2D processing. If you want to play any modern 3D games you will need a decent card. If not then the IGP will be fine.
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January 10, 2010 2:46:08 AM

I agree with rolli59, jyjjy and the others that posted here. More RAM will only help with things like how many internet browsers you have open or word documents, basic everyday things you do with a computer. Having a GPU/more powerfull GPU will only help with being able to play games/3d rendering on that computer. Two different parts of a computer that do two different things.
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January 10, 2010 3:05:25 AM

Am I missing something? Laptops come with whatever gpu is on the motherboard, and there is no option to add a high powered gaming gpu.

Some integrated gpu's will use some of the system ram, so more ram is always a good idea.
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January 10, 2010 3:10:41 AM

geofelt said:
Am I missing something? Laptops come with whatever gpu is on the motherboard, and there is no option to add a high powered gaming gpu.

Some integrated gpu's will use some of the system ram, so more ram is always a good idea.

Just an example of a laptop with fairly powerful mobile GPU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... They are made with dual card setups as well.
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January 10, 2010 3:20:48 AM

I think you're getting confused with graphics ram and system ram. Graphics processing units require much more bandwidth than CPU's therefor the ram included on a discrete (hookers are discreet) gpu is much quicker than the system ram. You buy a gpu for improved graphics, not for the ram. A lot of discrete GPU's that have their own ram also use the system ram in case more is needed. However, this rarely increases in-game fps as the system ram being used for graphics takes longer to access. So as others have said, get a graphics card if you game. Otherwise its not necessary.

Edit: Typo.
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January 10, 2010 3:26:39 AM

chowmanga said:
hookers are discreet

If you are lucky :p 
BTW you corrected then used the wrong one later on in the post.
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January 10, 2010 3:27:47 AM

jyjjy said:
If you are lucky :p 
BTW you corrected then used the wrong one later on in the post.


lol, you're right. Fixed.
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January 10, 2010 3:35:12 AM

aisw said:
Are you saying that a dedicated GPU provides somethings that can't be substituted with regular ram?

If so I think that I do want a dedicated GPU.


Yes, GPU's have shading units, texturing units, & more.
Just like how CPU's have cores. You are saying adding 8GB of ram to a Pentium 4 will give it the performance of a Core i7.

Not only that, discreet GPU's also have a dedicated memory bus, often times providing over 5 times the bandwidth of CPU -> Main RAM.
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January 10, 2010 4:56:46 AM

If you are not a gamer then you would never need that much memory!!you definitely need a graphics card, no matter how much memory you have if you want to play the current games,edit videos etc

In other words your memory is not going to compensate for the absence of graphics card
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January 10, 2010 2:55:56 PM

rolli59 said:
Just an example of a laptop with fairly powerful mobile GPU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... They are made with dual card setups as well.


No doubt that is a stronger graphics chip it the laptop. But... I don't think I have seen a laptop where there is a provision for adding or replacing a stronger graphics card. I think there may be some external boxes that can include some sort of better graphics processing. If gaming is a high priority, then the OP should look for a laptop that comes already equipped with a strong video card.
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