What Are Graphics Cards and Why Your PC Needs One

If you want to game on your PC or you're looking to buy a PC for gaming, you'll need to get one with a dedicated graphics card. Well, wait, what are graphics cards and why does your PC need one? Well, read on to find out.

graphics cards 1

You've probably faced this dilemma before, you are shopping for a laptop, or you see one with "integrated graphics" and another with a "graphics card." Or maybe you've tried launching a game that demands a "dedicated graphics card" – leaving you scratching your head. Well, the answer to both situations can be answered in one question, what are graphics cards and why your PC needs one?

In the world of PC gaming, the right equipment does make all the difference and one crucial component that often takes center stage is the graphics card. If you're interested in getting into PC gaming, understanding what graphics cards are and why your PC needs one is essential.

graphics cards 2
An Nvidia RTX 4070 Graphics Car

What are Graphics Cards?

Graphics cards, also known as GPUs (Graphics Processing Units), are specialized processors designed to handle the complex calculations needed for rendering images and videos.

The CPU is a very versatile piece of tech but it is not designed to handle graphics very well. This is an area where graphics cards excel. They specialize in creating the graphics and elements that you see on the screen during a game. In PCs, the presence (or absence) of a graphics card plays a vital role in determining if it can or cannot play certain games. It also determines the visual quality and performance of games.

Integrated Graphics Vs. Dedicated Graphics

An Integrated graphics card (iGPU) is a type of GPU that is built into the CPU. It operates by sharing memory with the CPU, as seen in shared video memory setups. This option presents a cost-effective alternative compared to dedicated graphics cards.

Integrated graphics despite being cost effective are weak and do not have a lot of processing power. Dedicated Graphics, on the other hand, have their own video memory (VRAM) and better processing power. This provides a significant boost in graphics performance.

As a consequence, PCs with Integrated Graphics tend to struggle with games and are not a good fit for gaming or other graphic work like video editing. Dedicated Graphics are designed to handle tasks like this and do them flawlessly (depending on the type that is installed on your PC).

laptop with graphics card
A PC with a dedicated graphics card

You may also be interested in:

PC Gaming Landscape

PC gaming offers a vast library of titles, from indie gems to blockbuster hits. Unlike consoles, gaming laptops allow for versatility and upgradability. However, to unlock the full potential of these games, a dedicated graphics card becomes a necessity.

Why Your Laptop Needs a Graphics Card

Gaming laptops with dedicated graphics cards offer several advantages over their integrated counterparts. These include:

  • enhanced visuals
  • Better gameplay
  • smoother frame rates
  • ability to handle resource-intensive tasks like video editing and 3D rendering

In essence, a dedicated graphics card ensures a more immersive and enjoyable gaming experience.

Companies Behind Graphics Cards

Speaking of the pros, the biggest names in graphics cards are NVIDIA and AMD. NVIDIA's GeForce and AMD's Radeon series are popular choices among gamers. These companies make Graphic cards that cater to every budget and performance need. From casual adventurers to esports champions, there's a graphics card out there to fuel your gaming dreams.

AMD and Nvidia stay ahead of the competition by continually pushing the boundaries of technology, and releasing new GPUs that deliver improved performance and cutting-edge features.

graphics cards amd
An AMD graphics card

Disadvantages of Graphics Cards:

Of course, no tech is perfect. Laptops with dedicated graphics cards can be pricier than laptops with just integrated graphics, and they tend to guzzle battery life faster. But for serious gamers who crave stunning visuals and decent performance, the trade-off is well worth it.

Conclusion: Unleashing the Gaming Power

In the dynamic world of gaming, a laptop equipped with a dedicated graphics card is an indispensable gaming tool. The enhanced visuals, smoother gameplay, and better capabilities make it a worthwhile investment for any avid gamer. Whilst there are some downsides to consider, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. So, gear up and elevate your gaming experience with a laptop boasting the prowess of a dedicated graphics card. Your journey into the immersive realms of gaming awaits!


More from AllRoundReview.