Help Me Choose: Graphics Card

 

The quality of the graphics you experience is only as good as your graphics card. Selecting the right graphics solution can make these visually intensive tasks come alive and enable a rich, lifelike and more pleasing experience. Along with the display, the graphics card affects the number of colors available, contrast, resolution and overall performance of your system.

What is the difference between integrated and discrete graphics?

Integrated graphics: An integrated graphics solution shares the system processor (CPU) and memory resources with other programs. While integrated graphics cards can process some complex graphics such as 3D images, if the CPU and memory are overloaded or busy processing other information, it can sometimes deliver a less-than-optimal video experience, slowing down the graphics and potentially the overall system.

An integrated graphics solution may be adequate for you if you use your notebook for common business tasks that do not require graphic-intensive applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, basic presentations, email and browsing most internet sites.

Discrete graphics: Discrete graphics utilize a graphics processor that is separate (or discrete) from the system processor and a memory unit that is separate from system memory. Because this solution does not burden the CPU and system memory, overall performance is likely to be significantly better when performing tasks that require complex graphics or visually intensive applications.

Typically, discrete solutions are more powerful than integrated solutions and are the preferred type of solution if you use your notebook for visually demanding tasks such as videoconferencing, creating and delivering video/graphics heavy presentations, viewing, creating and editing videos/photos and browsing visually intensive websites.

 

 

Intel HD Graphics 3000*
(std on 2nd Gen Intel® Core™ i3 and above)
Intel HD Graphics 4000* std on 3rd Gen Intel® Core™ i5 and above) AMD Radeon™ HD 7670MNVIDIA® GeForce® GT 630MNVIDIA® GeForce® GT 620M 1GB DDR3
Graphics type On-processorOn-processor Discrete, switchableDiscrete, switchable Discrete, switchable
Memory Up to 1.6GB dynamically allocated

Up to 1.7GB dynamically allocated

1GB dedicated 1GB/2GB dedicated1024MB
Memory typeDDR3DDR3GDDR5DDR3 DDR3
Direct X version10.1DX11DX11DX11 DirectX 11
OpenGL 4.1
Dual-display supportYesYesYesYes Yes
AvailabilityStandard on 2nd Gen Intel Core i5 and aboveStandard on 3rd Gen Intel Core i5 and aboveoptional optional optional