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Could Someone Explain CPU-Integrated Graphics?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 5, 2011 12:10:38 PM

I'm looking to build a system to use at most for viewing movies at 1080p on a wide-screen TV, no gaming. Towards this end, I'm looking into integrated graphics to see whether they could give the performance I'm looking for at a better overall price. The standard for video performance I'm looking for is at the level of the Radeon 3470, which for example the Asus F5Sr notebook uses.

My problem is that I'm having issues understanding Integrated Graphics, in particular Intel GMA HD since it seems to be the only integrated graphics I've found that can come on motherboards with LGA 1155 sockets. But how does it work? The motherboards themselves have both DVI and VGA ports, but the specs only say "Intel GMA HD" or that it has CPU integrated onboard video. The Intel page for the technology also says that the graphics are integrated into the processor. What exactly does this mean? Do all Intel CPUs nowadays have graphics capabilities in them, but which are only used on certain motherboards?

I was familiar with Integrated Graphics built in the motherboard's chipset, but this is the first time I've read of this alternative and I'm merely a little confused because I have yet to find a source to explain it properly. I'll keep looking, but thought to also post here since interacting with someone who can explain things makes for better understanding.
a b U Graphics card
April 5, 2011 12:28:03 PM

Intel's integrated gpu on the cpu allows it to stay with low power requirements but lacks in the general home media streaming and viewing. As it will end up, video's will stutter and change in fps on even 720p. With Nvidia's Ion 2 and AMD's APU design, it applies a beefier integrated gpu on the cpu capable of streaming full HD video's beyond 1080p with a constant 30+fps while also allowing for basic multitasking (Depending on what the source of the video was rendered at).
April 5, 2011 8:17:53 PM

I understand, thanks for the reply. Are you basing your opinion on personal experience or are there performance reviews on the internet for such integrated graphics?

And it's still unclear to me how it's the processor that handles the graphics. Meaning: Do all Intel CPUs nowadays have graphics capabilities built in them, but which are only used on certain motherboards?
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
April 5, 2011 8:26:51 PM

Quote:
My problem is that I'm having issues understanding Integrated Graphics, in particular Intel GMA HD since it seems to be the only integrated graphics I've found that can come on motherboards with LGA 1155 sockets.


There is no Intel GMA HD on ANY socket 1155 motherboards, you must be mistaken. ALL 1155 cpu's have a gpu built onto the cpu die. However, you must have a H61/H67 motherboard to use the on-cpu graphics. You cannot use a P67 motherboard.

You can read about the graphics here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/sandy-bridge-core-i...
a b U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
April 5, 2011 9:05:42 PM

dirk101 said:
I understand, thanks for the reply. Are you basing your opinion on personal experience or are there performance reviews on the internet for such integrated graphics?

And it's still unclear to me how it's the processor that handles the graphics. Meaning: Do all Intel CPUs nowadays have graphics capabilities built in them, but which are only used on certain motherboards?


LGA 1155 chips have an on-chip GPU. The K version of these chips use the Intel HD 3000 graphics processor while the other versions use the Intel HD 2000 GPU. The motherboard connector is simply a pass through to get the graphics to your monitor. The link Geekapproved gave is a great article by Toms H about the pros and cons of the Integrated Graphics on the Sandy Bridge chips. The on chip graphics excel at rendering/encoding media up to 1080P, they actually do a better job encoding than discrete graphics solutions by a large margin. They fail at producing high-end frame-rates in applications such as games. For your application a 2500K would provide very good performance. If you choose a discrete graphics solution it is recommended to get the P67 series of boards. You are required to get either an H61 or H67 series of board if you want to use the on-chip graphics.

The new LGA 1155 processors themselves are excellent CPUs and perform well above the previous generation of chips from both Intel and AMD.
a b U Graphics card
April 6, 2011 4:01:07 AM

dirk101 said:
I understand, thanks for the reply. Are you basing your opinion on personal experience or are there performance reviews on the internet for such integrated graphics?

And it's still unclear to me how it's the processor that handles the graphics. Meaning: Do all Intel CPUs nowadays have graphics capabilities built in them, but which are only used on certain motherboards?

The GPU is on the same chip (or die) as the cpu, allowing them to cowork on mainly multitasking, rendering, and streaming.
Most or the latest cpu's have their own gpu integrated on, but in terms of basic gaming or streaming above 720p a dedicated gpu would be recommended. With Nvidia's Ion or AMD's APU design it works nicely as a media pc or small gaming machine.
April 6, 2011 7:41:08 AM

Thanks you for the help, coupled with finding the correct wikipedia page to further explain things I managed to understand how things work. I did notice that motherboards with video ports only had H61 and H67 chipsets, but now I know why that was.
a b U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
April 6, 2011 1:58:54 PM

dirk101 said:
Thanks you for the help, coupled with finding the correct wikipedia page to further explain things I managed to understand how things work. I did notice that motherboards with video ports only had H61 and H67 chipsets, but now I know why that was.


Really? Then enlighten me as to why that is. It makes absolutely no sense to put the best graphics chips (GT2) on the 2 unlocked models. Nobody buying an unlocked cpu is going to use integrated graphics.

So the people who would use and appreciate the integrated graphics, get stuck with the slowest gpu (GT1)
April 6, 2011 2:12:40 PM

I made no mention to the issue you've replied about, and I am unsure how my reply was misunderstood. I completely agree with what you've said though, and I read about this in the article linked a few replies back.
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