How important are discrete graphics?

I am currently shopping for a 13/14" laptop for home use. It'll be used for movies, photo editing, streaming video, and general internet use. No real gaming, though some heavier graphics use would be Google Earth, and other "cool" apps like that.

As I shop (for all sizes really) I am seeing the Intel Integrated units EVERYWHERE, in seemingly all levels of laptop.

As a desktop builder for many years, I've sworn never to own an integrated solution that performs like crap.

My question though, is will that Intel setup do what I require in the laptop? Buying an expensive new machine that lags in anyway is a horrible thing - so I am immediately biased towards whatever GPU alternative is around (ATI or Nvidia).

Again, I won't be playing any games - but I will want good streaming and image processing performance..
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More about important discrete graphics
  1. Streaming and image processing is all CPU work. However, for google earth, you may want something stronger. Any entry level GPU will work just fine.
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