Do Laptops Have Graphics Card?

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 card?” should in fact be rephrased as “do laptops have DEDICATED graphics card?”.

This is because there are two types of graphics cards a laptop can feature: integrated or a dedicated graphics card.

While all laptops have an INTEGRATED graphics card, they DO NOT all necessarily have a DEDICATED graphics card.

In the following text I will explain this in further detail.

What is an Integrated Graphics Card?

An integrated graphics card, as the name suggests, is the graphics processing unit built-into the CPU.

ALL laptop processors have a built-in integrated graphics card. 

An integrated graphics serves two essential purposes.

  1. It adds video output support to your PC.
  2. 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, then the integrated graphics card found within the CPU would be responsible for displaying stuff on your laptop’s screen.

One of the biggest drawback of integrated graphics card is that they are weak (compared to dedicated graphics card).

Integrated graphics card are NOT intended for demanding tasks that require heavy graphics processing such as gaming or working with 3D simulation / video rendering.

Different Integrated Graphics Card Found on Laptops

Here are some of the integrated graphics card 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

GPU G3D
Mark
Notes
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

Also Read: How to Check What Integrated Graphics Card Do I Have?

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 laptop depending upon how powerful it is. 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 to have a dedicated graphics card in your laptop.

An average person who does not have a very graphics processing need will not see much of a difference between having an integrated graphics card vs a dedicated graphics card.

Also Read: Does Your PC Need a Graphics Card if its NOT for Gaming?

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 which has the sole purpose of handling demanding graphics processing.

NOT ALL laptops have a dedicated graphics card. 

A dedicated graphics is a must if you are a gamer or a professional video editor.

Not all dedicated graphics card 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 would be.

Different Dedicated Graphics Card Found on Laptops

There are two main brands that manufacture dedicated graphics card: 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 are far more capable than even the best integrated graphics cards.

GPU G3D
Mark
Notes
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 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.
Do Laptops Have Graphics Card
Integrated vs Dedicated laptop graphics cards

Why Get a Dedicated Graphics Card?

As you can see in tables and graph 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 on your game to high as well as maintain high FPS.

Also Read: Does Graphics Card Affect FPS?

Low vs High graphics quality on Battlefield 4. More powerful GPU = high graphics settings. Source: YouTube

The more powerful a dedicated graphics card you have, the higher the graphics quality and resolution you would be able to enjoy the game at while maintaining high FPS.

It should be noted that NOT ALL games require a dedicated graphics card. Most of the online eSports titles can be played on a 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.

pudget systems hardware encoding
Image: Performance gains when exporting to H.264/H.265 using GPU-Based Hardware Encoding. Source: Pudget Systems

Also Read: Do You Need a Graphics Card for Video Editing?

Final Words

The short answer to the question “do laptops have graphics card” 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 a no. While all laptops have an integrated graphics card, the same is NOT true for dedicated graphics cards.

Having a dedicated graphics card on a laptop is expensive and is often intended for gamers and professional editors/designers.

Photo of author

Author:

Atif Qazi
Atif Qazi is the founder of PCGuide101. He is a digital nomad who loves everything PC. He is a PC builder, tech enthusiast, engineer, and a lover of single player lore-rich RPG games.

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