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Core i7 - requires 3rd party video card?

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April 7, 2010 7:41:27 PM

I haven't been able to find a concrete answer on this. Please don't ask "why?": If I am planning to use a Core i7 processor, is it 100% necessary to also have an NVIDIA or ATI add-on video card or can I use basic onboard video?

I have a Matrox Parhelia APVe video card. PCIe x16 128 MB, how can I ensure that this will be compatible with an i7 processor? Do I not need to worry about these things if I go with an i5?
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April 7, 2010 7:44:52 PM

Well, not if the MB has an onboard graphics solution.
April 7, 2010 7:47:47 PM

The reason this question is even in my mind is that when configuring an Optiplex 980 via Dell's website, it states "Intel Core i7 8XX processors require a discrete graphics card." You are forced to select an ATI video card in order to purchase a system. I asked a representative Why? and he stated that the Optiplex 980 motherboard's VGA chipset is not compatible with the i7...?


Perhaps if I pose the question in this manner: If I were to go to Newegg and purchase an i7 processor, a compatible motherboard with onboard video, and compatible RAM and stuck them in a case with no video card; could I expect the system to run? (psu etc etc aside obv)
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April 7, 2010 7:57:53 PM

I'm thinking DELL does not have a MB available to offer with onboard graphics for the configuration you want.

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April 7, 2010 8:02:07 PM
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There are no X58 motherboards that have integrated graphics. The answer to your question is, YES you have to get a discreet GPU with an i7 system. The only current Intel chips that offer integrated graphics are dual core i3 and i5 chips. They only output video when paired with an H55 or H57 chipset motherboard. There are NO current Intel quad core chips that have integrated graphics.
April 7, 2010 8:04:41 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
There are no X58 motherboards that have integrated graphics. The answer to your question is, YES you have to get a discreet GPU with an i7 system. The only current Intel chips that offer integrated graphics are dual core i3 and i5 chips. They only output video when paired with an H55 or H57 chipset motherboard. There are NO current Intel quad core chips that have integrated graphics.


Excellent! That's what I needed to know. So I can safely purchase a Dell system with an i7 & whatever their cheapest video card available is, get the system, uninstall and remove the video card and install my Matrox video card and be in business... correct? I know it should be obvious but the Dell tech's response threw me for a loop.

Thanks again
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April 7, 2010 8:08:44 PM

Yes, you could do that. I wouldn't buy a Dell, though. You get a much higher quality system if you build it yourself. I would go over to the "Homebuilt Systems" section of the forum and post in the format found in the "How to ask for new build advice" sticky. We could spec out a system for you that would be optimized to your intended use and budget. OEM's like Dell cut corners anywhere they can, especially on the PSU and RAM.
April 7, 2010 8:12:19 PM

Best answer selected by mpl04.
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April 7, 2010 8:21:39 PM

mpl04 said:
I haven't been able to find a concrete answer on this. Please don't ask "why?": If I am planning to use a Core i7 processor, is it 100% necessary to also have an NVIDIA or ATI add-on video card or can I use basic onboard video?

I have a Matrox Parhelia APVe video card. PCIe x16 128 MB, how can I ensure that this will be compatible with an i7 processor? Do I not need to worry about these things if I go with an i5?


there's no reason your matrox would not work, providing matrox have released drivers for the operating system you have used.
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April 7, 2010 10:21:19 PM

No W7 drivers and Vista's unconfirmed working in W7.

Get yourself a low cost ATI 5000 series.
April 8, 2010 4:05:59 PM

The CPU / Chip industry is on the verge of a revolution in chip-making that will include Video on CPU. You just need to wait a few more years for "system-on-chip" to be developed. In the meantime i7 will always need discrete video.
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