GPU vs. CPU: What is the Best Graphics Card for PC Gaming?

Graphics card, graphics adapter, video card, graphics board, graphics controller, graphics accelerator (whatever you name it) is a piece of computer hardware used for the overall appearance of graphical data with high resolution, definition, and a wide range of colors.

There are literally two types of graphics cards:

  1. Integrated– A built-in graphics card which is called CPU graphics card.
  2. Discrete – An external add-in programmable logic chip (Graphics Processing Unit) which is commonly known as GPU graphics card.

Professionals, especially those who deal with PC gaming, need graphics cards with the capability of executing cutting edge graphics to play the latest games on a computer screen.

A strong GPU graphics card, in terms of gaming, is able to provide better visual with high resolution and a wide range of colors.

On the other hand, some games primarily depend on the CPU graphics card. A GPU is not necessary for various games like snowflakes fallout to run at a playable speed.

A compact CPU is good enough to render exclusive shadows and without its help, no matter how finest your GPU is, frame rate drops if the shadows are set to ultra.

A compact CPU is good enough to render exclusive shadows and without its help, no matter how finest your GPU is, frame rate drops if the shadows are set to ultra.  

What Is CPU Graphics card?

Most standard computers and laptops come with a built-in graphics card which is called CPU graphics card. There is no add-in card used and the graphics are integrated with the motherboard by placing a chipset in the computer’s display circuitry.

The CPU graphics card comes with both programmable and non-programmable categories bonded with the CPU memory.

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Advantages of CPU Graphics card for gaming

  • CPU is the main brain of your computer and plays a critical part in any type of gaming in terms of deriving wireframes, coordinates, and texture. It performs geometric transformations, assembles the scenes and passes them to GPU for visual.
  • There are different categories of gaming and a CPU plays a vital role in CPU bound games.
  • A low-end CPU graphic card is optimal for watching or editing videos, 2D gaming, and the other general usage where intensive graphics are not involved.
  • The role of CPU becomes more important when you’re playing a game which needs more processing such as real-time-strategy (RTS) game or Football Manager. Here the CPU is used more than GPU which involves regular and critical calculations.

What is GPU Graphics card?

GPU graphics card is a specifically designed discrete or dedicated graphics processing unit which has its own dedicated RAM to process and execute graphical data more quickly and efficiently.

It renders 3-D gaming, rasterizing images, higher pixel ratio, and wide-ranging colors. It also comes up with AGP, TV, HDMI like multiple expansion ports along with a handful of monitor connectivity.

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Advantages of GPU Graphics card for gaming

  • The overall performance of your PC is compromised when it comes to 3-D gaming and the main advantage of a GPU graphics card is that it improves the efficiency of your PC by sharing the load with CPU in terms of processing all graphical data and using its own dedicated RAM.
  • A modest GPU graphics card will do the job efficiently by playing games with fast smooth frame rate without lagging.
  • Nowadays, most games are being developed to take the greater advantage of advanced graphics technology. A GPU graphics card emphasis on graphical rasterization using these advanced techniques and features and it can run the latest games on medium to high graphics settings on high resolution.
  • Technology is evolving day by day and PC gaming has no exception. A GPU graphics card is much easier and way cheaper to swap or upgrade than buying a brand-new gaming CPU.

GPU vs. CPU: Best Graphics cards for PC Gaming (Comparison chart)

The basic purpose of GPU vs. CPU is the same, processing graphics and rendering that processed data on your monitor. Both types of graphics cards have lots of differences. Here’s the brief description of these differences: –

Category GPU CPU
Construction Specifically constructed with tens of cores Constructed with instruction pipeline and cores
Mining Way more flexible in its application Much slower than GPU
Memory (RAM) Independent VRAM which does not involve with the system’s RAM. Solely depends on system’s RAM for running a game
Power usage More power-hungry because of heat dissipation and has a separate cooling fan that affects the battery life Energy efficient and battery saver
Gaming Run the latest games on medium to high graphics settings on high resolution. Good for casual gamers and general-purpose users who play basic and 2-D games
Performance Improves the efficiency of PC by offloading the tasks from CPU Graphically intense applications drain system memory and lower computer performance
Cost To upgrade your system, you have to swap old graphics card with a new one instead of buying complete PC To upgrade your system, you’ll have to purchase a completely new
Usage Handles with the visual elements of a game A game which requires more processing and involves regular and critical calculations
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GPU vs. CPU Graphics card: Construction

The key difference between a GPU vs. CPU graphics card is the construction.  A GPU graphics card is specifically constructed for multitasking and literally supports one type of workload.

It comes with tens of cores capable of performing tons of tasks, making it possible to present complex 3-D images, raster imaging, transcoding videos, accelerating adobe flash video and many more.

A CPU graphic card, however, is designed for parallel computing with the help of its instruction pipeline and cores. A CPU core is capable of executing a wide range of instructions set, but generally not optimized for multitasking.

So, a CPU graphics card can render only productivity software such as presentations, graphs, digital paintings, 2-D gaming, and low-end digital videos.

GPU vs. CPU Graphics card: Usage

If you are a professional in gaming or graphic designing, a top-notch GPU is definitely your first choice to accomplish the high ended tasks. On the other hand, for the general-purpose users, the CPU will work great.

GPU vs. CPU Graphics card: Space

A GPU graphics card requires extra space along with its own heat sink and a cooling fan which is inconvenient especially when you are using a laptop, whereas, the circuitry of CPU graphics card is integrated within the motherboard and it needs no extra space.

GPU vs. CPU Graphics card: Memory (RAM)

A GPU has it independent memory for its tasking and it does not involve with the system RAM.

A CPU graphic card utilizes system memory. So, if you are performing 2 or more tasks on your computer, it will eat up your RAM and in turn, it’ll slow down your system.

GPU vs. CPU Graphics card: Cost

You’ll have to spend a huge amount of your money for the installation of GPU. However, a first-rate computer system with high-ended specs will come way cheaper than the first one.

GPU vs. CPU Graphics card: Multi-Monitoring

Nowadays, a multi-monitor setup is playing an essential part, especially in gaming. A GPU graphics card fulfills your requirements with multi-monitor setups and you’ll see anything moving around your monitors without plummeting frame rates.

GPU vs. CPU Graphics card: Power Usage

When we compare GPU vs. CPU, the former is way more power-hungry equipment because of extensive heat dissipation and it requires a separate cooling fan which definitely affects the battery life while the later is energy efficient.

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GPU vs. CPU Graphics card: What is the Best Graphics Card for PC Gaming?

In GPU vs. CPU, you can now easily choose which one is best for you.

If you are a professional or an avid gamer, a killer GPU graphics card will definitely meet your requirements with cutting edge graphics for any games you play on your PC.

For general purpose computing with casual gaming, a CPU graphics card with most Adobe programs and 4k video handling capacity is more than enough.

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