Do I need intergrated graphics in a processor?

So, I'm doing some research on hardware, due to the fact that I'll be building a new system soon. The first few systems I've built, I just went with what I could afford and had good reviews, without getting too technical. However, I'd like to take my time and know what I'm buying for my new system.

With that being said... I noticed that most processors have integrated graphics, such as 3rd generation Intel i7 series. The only processor I could find in the entire 3rd generation i7 and i5 series that didn't have IGP enabled is Intel® Core™ i5-3350P. I think that's the only P series in the entire lineup of the two families.

Since I'll be using a dedicated video card, does having IGP benefit me in any way at all? Why would they have IGP on i7 Extreme series if it's designed for gamers... and gamers WILL use dedicated video cards. I don't know enough about the function of IGP besides it being the on-board video in cased one doesn't have a dedicated video card.

Any thoughts? I would really appreciate some explanation.

13 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about intergrated graphics processor
  1. Well it is useful if your dedicated GPU ever dies and it is good for trouble shooting problems.
  2. But besides that unlikely scenario, there's nothing good about paying the extra money for the one that has IGP? It won't add to any processing speeds, so it'll just standby for an unlikely Mayan calendar event? I can, however, see your point regarding the troubleshooting of the card... which is probably only good in the beginning of the setup.... but that's $30 (I guess it's not too bad). How about taking away from the processor, if I have a dedicated card, the IGP won't detract any resources from the CPU, right?

    And the only reason I'm even talking about Intel is because AMD was not kind enough to provide ALL the specs for their processors on their website. So, I'm not even sure which AMD processors have IGPs and which don't. Intel provides a ton more info on their stuff... but that's a whole different topic.
  3. Best answer
    The iGPU can be used for LucidLogix's VirtuMVP....if you get lucky and it actually works.

    The i5 3350P is also a multiplier locked processor, which limits it's overclock to 3.7ghz max.

    Nice article here:

    AMD produces a very limited line of processors with integrated graphics. They all fall under the "A-Series".

    Here's a list, from AMD, of their processors with integrated graphics...

    AMD A-Series PIB Package
    FM1: A8-3850, A8-3820, A8-3800, A6-3650, A6-3600, A6-3500, A4-3400, A4-3300
    FM2: A10-5700, A8-5500, A4-5300

    AMD A-Series Black Edition PIB Package
    FM1: A8-3870K, A6-3670K
    FM2: A10-5800K, A8-5600K, A6-5400K
  4. Right, the IGPU won't use any RAM or use any CPU resources when you have a dedicated card installed.
  5. Thanks for the article, but I'm not sure about some of the things they say. They mention that P series has 2MB less on L3 cache... yet both series have 6MB L3 Cache. Maybe they meant L2 cache? P uses 8W less power. I'm not sure if it's a great deal to go for, since there's only $25 difference between the two on newegg.... and you don't get the IGP on P sereis... along with operation on a lower frequency from K series.

    That VirrtuMVP is an interesting software package, but I'm a casual gamer... I'm also a bit confused, is it something you buy and install or does it come with certain products such as motherboards?

    So, is the absence of IGP in a good portion of their processors the reason AMD's processors are A LOT cheaper? I mean, we're talking $80-100+ difference on similar performance models.
  6. The A series is a budget series of chips, they have a 'weak' CPU paired with a fairly 'strong' IGPU, intel CPUs have a 'stronger ' CPU and a 'weaker' IGP as intel focus mainly on performance rather than budget.
  7. I would be buying a dedicated GPU anyways, so I'm not aiming for IGPU performance. I guess now I have to wonder whether I should go for AMD or Intel, since IGPU is not a concern in selection. I'm just looking at something that will enable me to run a few monitors with several applications at the same time for software development. I've looked at few AMD processors that appeared to have same or better specs than Intel... but you have to wonder about the reality of their performance. I mean.. heck, that 8-core processor AMD came out with was trash that performed worse than their older quad processors.

    Another thing I wonder is this: If I select and intel processor that has IGPU and I get a dedicated GPU that enables me to attach two monitors to it.... will I be able to attach a third monitor to the motherboard to enable use of IGPU, and thus the use of 3 monitors? This is just a theoretical question, since I don't think I have a need for 3 monitors (but I do need 2 monitors).
  8. Both AMD and Intel can do that by using the 'extend' feature in windows
    Most GPUs will also allow 3 monitors to be connected, even the old ones.
  9. On one card? Most cards only come with 1 or 2 ports. Unless I'm missing something, you would have to connect a second card. What I'm asking if it's possible to connect 2 monitors to 1 card and a third monitor to the motherboard to make use of the IGPU.
  10. Yes, i think you can do that by using the thing you mentioned before, Virtu MVP.

    Some cards have more than one DVI so you can connect to 3 monitors.
  11. Well, now I just have to figure out whether I want to go for Intel or AMD. I'm used to using AMD processors and as far as I can tell I haven't had any issues. But at under or around $100 bucks it was always an easy choice. I'm looking for multi-tasking performance now to where I can run several applications at the same time. I'll be compiling small to medium software and running a few other things in the background at the same time, so I'm wondering... Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) looks really good, but there are a few AMD processors that seem to match the specs somewhat at almost half the price, such as AMD A10-5800K Trinity 3.8GHz (4.2GHz Turbo). That AMD is a power hungry bastard though... 100W... sheesh.

    Intel uses 23W less power, but runs at a lower frequency. As far as I can tell Intel has a bigger cache... although, that is L3 cache, so it's further away from the processor and AMD's L2 cache is twice the size. Neither one of them mentioned L1..... is it because they don't have it or is it just not worth mentioning?
  12. I did a little bit more research and I'll go with the Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy and a motherboard that sports Virtu MVP (probably ASUS). Thank for all your help guys.
  13. Best answer selected by bkboggy.
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