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AMD build: Integrated Graphics vs stand alone GPU

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April 16, 2010 8:29:52 PM

I'm currently planning a custom (budget type) build for my office. I'm opting for the AMD 245 Regor for the CPU, and since this will be my second ever build, and first AMD custom comp, I'm curious about the quality of Integrated Graphics. Where this will be a budget build for simple office tasks, the quality of the graphics doesn't have to be 5850'esque. Still though, with all the AM3 boards pretty much coming loaded with IGP's, I'm interested in getting an idea of their quality. I do have a comp with 6150se IGP at home, and I think it's horrid. When I watch video on this unit, it looks so washed out. On the same LCD monitor, my old ATI 9550 provides better quality video than the 6150 IGP. Also, I'd like to run dual monitors here in my office, and the 6150se I'm familiar with, doesn't have that option. Is the 6150 a lower level chipset? Is it souring my opinion of newer, much improved IGP quality? Anyhow, I guess my questions would be:

1) Are IGP's any good?
2) If so, what models are the more modern I should focus on, and which one's should a person stay away from?
3) Is a cheap, stand alone GPU like an ATI 4350 worth the investment over a current IGP, and to what extent?
4) Is there anything a new builder like myself, should know about purchasing mobo's with onboard graphics?

Thanks in advance, and anything someone might feel is usefull info, is much appreciated. Thank you.
a c 130 U Graphics card
April 16, 2010 8:35:21 PM

The HD4200 has the performance around a Radeon x700, which I found to be a great card.

1. They can be. They're usually always inferior to standalone cards though.
2. HD4200, HD3200. Stay away from anything lower.
3. An HD4350 has the same performance as an HD4200, just better video playback and decoding. An HD5450 for $50 would provide you with excellent power for the price concerning your uses.
4. Not really. I don't think you can use two monitors off of them.

Also, you can upgrade your 245 Regor to a 635 (Propus?) for $40 more. It's a better quad-core.
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a b U Graphics card
April 16, 2010 8:39:30 PM

If you are getting an AM3 CPU, the AMD 785G Chipset is probably your best bet and its integrated GPU is actually fairly solid. Not the best, obviously, but it will get the office job done. It can do 2 displays (has VGA, DVI and HDMI outputs).
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-785g-chipset,23...
that tells you a little more about it. Right now, for an office type system, this is probably the board I would be looking at:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Or a similar board from ASUS or Gigabyte.

A standalone card is a worthwhile upgrade for some situations, and not for others. for pure office use, like what you've described, it probably won't be needed.

Edit: Shadow- just to be clear, the 4200 IGP CAN do dual displays.
http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/ati-rad...
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a c 1404 U Graphics card
a c 352 À AMD
April 16, 2010 8:41:21 PM

1) IGP are not good for gaming but handle office work and internet browsing well and their movie playback quality has improved.
2) For an AMD build the choice would be HD4200
3) A discrete card like HD4350 or HD5450 will free up memory since it comes with dedicated memory and work a little faster therefore (faster memory access). That by it self makes it worth the investment. (MY opinion)
4) Nothing special except buy the newest tech.
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a c 267 U Graphics card
a b À AMD
April 16, 2010 8:48:24 PM

Consider the merits of a Intel 32nm clarkdale cpu and a H55 motherboard. They Have integrated graphics that are quite good. You can run two of the three monitor attachments; dvi, vga, hdmi at the same time. I found the graphics to be sufficiently good to be able to run civ4. Check the reviews for how it does with video. The cpu's run from $90 to $200 and 2.8ghz to 3.33. i3 G6950, i3-530, up to i5-661.

Because of the 32nm manufacturing, these cpu's run at low power, stay cool, and are very quiet.
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a b U Graphics card
April 16, 2010 8:50:49 PM

1. IGP's are good especially for building office rigs and to some extent HTPC's.. But the modern day games make them look like a snail in a rabbits race ( both ugly and slow )..

2. Modern day IGP solutions such as those exixtent on the AMD 790GX are pretty apt in handling much of your mentioned tasks.. For IGP's, i'd advice you to stay away from onboard nvidia solutions..

3. Almost any dedicated video card is better than the highest end onboard graphics solution..

4. Just make sure the chipset which you intent on getting is a relatively new one with room for upgrades later on as your demands rise..
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a b U Graphics card
April 16, 2010 8:58:51 PM

Geofelt- the integrated graphics on the clarkdale CPU's are HORRIBLE. the HD4200 on the 785G Chipset is much better, plus it is cheaper to get an Athlon II x2 and a 785G mobo than it is to get JUST the CPU of a clarkdale, much less an H55 Mobo as well.
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a c 1404 U Graphics card
a c 352 À AMD
April 16, 2010 9:16:01 PM

The HD on Clarkdale is actually surprising http://www.anandtech.com/show/2901/4 finally Intel has something in the GPU department that rivals or betters the competition.
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a b U Graphics card
April 16, 2010 10:35:00 PM

remember that the particular CPU used in that article is a $200+ chip that has a higher clocked GPU than any of the other clarkdale chips. the 785G is much cheaper, and still just as fast as that one, which is the fastest Intel has. Drop down to a chip more on the level of the Athlon II x2 that the OP is probably getting, and you're not gonna be as good, and still spend a good bit more.
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a c 267 U Graphics card
a b À AMD
April 16, 2010 10:59:25 PM

The PC I tested used the 660 chip, not the 661 which has the faster igp. If you want to game, particularly with FPS type games, then get a discrete card. But for aero , video, and civ, I think the igp integrated into the cpu is just fine.
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a b U Graphics card
April 16, 2010 11:10:40 PM

it is fine, but no better than the Radeon 4200 IGP, which you can get for a lot less$$.
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April 17, 2010 3:30:36 PM

Wow, tons of info. You guys are awesome. I think I'm going to go with a board that has a HD4200 IGP, like flyin, and a few others reccomended. I can always add a stand alone card later. I won't be playing any games on this, althought I do plan on watching some ESPN360 on occassion. Still, this is basically an office PC, surfing the net, running office software, and doing other general tasks that aren't graphically demanding. Again, thanks for all the help fellas.

If I might ask, is there anyway to boost the peformance on the Nvidia 6150 I have in one of my computers?
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a c 1404 U Graphics card
a c 352 À AMD
April 17, 2010 3:41:10 PM

real world said:
Wow, tons of info. You guys are awesome. I think I'm going to go with a board that has a HD4200 IGP, like flyin, and a few others reccomended. I can always add a stand alone card later. I won't be playing any games on this, althought I do plan on watching some ESPN360 on occassion. Still, this is basically an office PC, surfing the net, running office software, and doing other general tasks that aren't graphically demanding. Again, thanks for all the help fellas.

If I might ask, is there anyway to boost the peformance on the Nvidia 6150 I have in one of my computers?

Boosting the old 6150 is going to be difficult on the other hand if you have the slot for it you could drop in a HD4350 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
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a b U Graphics card
April 17, 2010 7:37:24 PM

Yeah- the only way to boost an older IGP like that is to drop in a discrete card. Not much else to do to it.
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April 18, 2010 12:17:31 AM

I'll have to see if the PSU can handle a stand alone card. It's an HP a6200e I think, and usually prebuilt comps like these skimp on the power supply. Thanks again for the help and info fellas.
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a b U Graphics card
April 18, 2010 12:20:40 AM

Thats true- PSU' are always minimal in those things. However- a 5450 or 4350 or similar actually use very very little power, so if its even a 250 or 300W PSU, you're probably ok.
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a b U Graphics card
April 18, 2010 2:35:30 AM

real world said:
Wow, tons of info. You guys are awesome. I think I'm going to go with a board that has a HD4200 IGP, like flyin, and a few others reccomended. I can always add a stand alone card later. I won't be playing any games on this, althought I do plan on watching some ESPN360 on occassion. Still, this is basically an office PC, surfing the net, running office software, and doing other general tasks that aren't graphically demanding. Again, thanks for all the help fellas.

If and ever you feel the need to boost the graphics performance, you also have the option to buy an HD3450 ( a cheap ATI discrete card) that you can use for hybrid Crossfire. Its not going to be much and comparable to some real discrete video card but it will be cost effective for your use.
http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=314006
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