Yes, all laptops have a graphics card. In fact, all PCs with display capability have to have a graphics card. Without a graphics card, you would not be able to see anything on your monitor screen.
The question, “Do laptops have graphics cards?” should, in fact, be rephrased as “Do laptops have DEDICATED graphics cards?”.
This is because a laptop can feature two types of graphics cards: an integrated or a dedicated graphics card.
While all laptops have an INTEGRATED graphics card, they DO NOT all necessarily have a DEDICATED one.
In the following text, I will explain this in further detail.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
What is an Integrated Graphics Card?
As the name suggests, an integrated graphics card is the graphics processing unit built into the CPU.
ALL laptop processors have a built-in integrated graphics card.
Integrated graphics serves two essential purposes.
- It adds video output support to your PC.
- It adds very basic 3D graphics rendering capability to your PC.
So basically, if you do not have a DEDICATED graphics card in your laptop, the integrated graphics card within the CPU would be responsible for displaying stuff on your laptop’s screen.
One of the biggest drawbacks of integrated graphics cards is that they are weak (compared to dedicated graphics cards).
Integrated graphics cards are NOT intended for demanding tasks requiring heavy graphics processing, such as gaming or 3D simulation/video rendering.
Different Integrated Graphics Cards Found on Laptops
Here are some of the integrated graphics cards found on laptop CPUs. I have also included their corresponding G3D benchmark scores, which should give you an idea about their graphics processing capabilities.
G3D Mark Scores of iGPUs
|Intel UHD 630||1395||As found on select 8-10th Gen Intel Core CPUs|
|Intel UHD 750||1684||As found on select 11th Gen Intel Core CPUs|
|Intel UHD 770||2432||As found on select 12th gen Intel Core CPUs|
|AMD RX Vega 7||2639||As found on select AMD 4000 and 5000 series CPUs|
|AMD RX Vega 8||2708||As found on select AMD 4000 and 5000 series CPUs|
- Scores are taken from videocardbenchmark.net
Benefits of Having an Integrated Graphics Card over a Dedicated Graphics Card
Having just the integrated graphics card in your laptop makes it very affordable.
A dedicated graphics card can be very expensive on a laptop, depending on its power. The best graphics cards on a laptop can cost as much as a laptop itself.
As such, unless you are a gamer or a professional designer/editor, you do not need a dedicated graphics card on your laptop.
An average person without a graphics processing need will not see much difference between having an integrated graphics card vs. a dedicated graphics card.
What is a Dedicated Graphics Card on a Laptop?
A dedicated graphics card, also known as a discrete graphics card, is a separate chip found on a laptop to handle demanding graphics processing.
Not all laptops have a dedicated graphics card.
Dedicated graphics is a must if you are a gamer or a professional video editor.
Not all dedicated graphics cards are created equally. There are weak models, and then there are the high-end models. Naturally, the more powerful a dedicated graphics card on your laptop, the more expensive your laptop will be.
Also Read: Why Do Laptops Have Two Graphics Cards?
Different Dedicated Graphics Cards Found on Laptops
Two leading brands manufacture dedicated graphics cards: NVIDIA and AMD.
The following table lists some of the dedicated graphics cards you can find on a laptop ranging from low-end to high-end graphics cards.
You can see from the G3D mark scores that even the weakest dedicated graphics card is far more capable than even the best-integrated graphics cards.
|NVIDIA MX450||3729||Low range|
|NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti (Laptop)||5919||Higher-Low range|
|NVIDIA RTX 3050 (Laptop)||8953||Lower-Mid range|
|GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop)||10176||Mid-range|
|NVIDIA RTX 3060 (Laptop)||12570||Higher-Mid Range|
|NVIDIA RTX 3070 (Laptop)||15094||High End|
|NVIDIA RTX 3080 (Laptop)||16470||Flagship|
- Scores are taken from videocardbenchmark.net
- The desktop variants of the graphics card are more powerful than their laptop counterparts.
- I have taken on NVIDIA cards for simplicity.
Why Get a Dedicated Graphics Card?
As you can see in the tables and graphs above, a dedicated graphics card is many factors more powerful than an integrated graphics card.
For gamers, a dedicated graphics card means you can set the graphics quality of your game to high as well as maintain a high FPS.
Also Read: Does Graphics Card Affect FPS?
The more powerful a dedicated graphics card you have, the higher the graphics quality and resolution you would be able to enjoy the game while maintaining high FPS.
It should be noted that NOT ALL games require a dedicated graphics card. Most online eSports titles can be played on good integrated graphics cards.
Also Read: Is an Integrated Graphics Card Good for Gaming?
In addition to that, a dedicated graphics card is also exceptional for video editing rigs. A good dedicated graphics card would ensure that the preview generation, timeline scrapping, rendering of several tracks, etc., is done quickly.
The short answer to the question “Do laptops have graphics cards” is a resounding yes. ALL PCs, be it desktops or laptops, have some sort of graphics processing.
Without a graphics card, you literally would not have any display. If you are reading this article now, you HAVE a graphics card.
The question is whether all laptops have a dedicated graphics card or not. The answer to that question is no. While all laptops have an integrated graphics card, the same is NOT true for dedicated graphics cards.
A dedicated graphics card on a laptop is expensive and often intended for gamers and professional editors/designers.
Also Read: Can You Replace an Integrated Graphics Card?
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can you upgrade the graphics card in a laptop?
In most cases, you cannot upgrade the graphics card in a laptop. This is because the graphics card is usually integrated into the motherboard, which means it cannot be replaced or upgraded without replacing the entire motherboard.
Some laptops may have a removable graphics card module, but these are very rare and are usually found only in high-end gaming laptops.
2. How can you check if your laptop has a graphics card?
To check if your laptop has a graphics card, you can open the Device Manager on Windows or the System Information utility on Mac.
Look for a section called “Display Adapters” or “Graphics,” which should list the graphics card that is currently installed on your laptop.
You can also check the laptop’s specifications on the manufacturer’s website or by using third-party system information tools.
3. Can a laptop with a graphics card be used for video editing?
Yes, a laptop with a dedicated graphics card can be used for video editing.
A dedicated graphics card can significantly improve the performance of video editing software by accelerating video rendering, transcoding, and other graphics-intensive tasks.
However, it’s important to note that not all laptops with dedicated graphics cards are suitable for video editing, as the processor, RAM, and storage capacity also play a significant role in determining the laptop’s video editing capabilities.