Do Motherboards Have Integrated Graphics?

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An integrated graphics card is an essential component required to send the video signals to the display from the motherboard’s video output ports.

In case if your PC does not have an integrated graphics card, you will most certainly need to invest in a dedicated graphics card for connecting your monitor display.

So as far as the question, do motherboards have integrated graphics card goes, the answer is No! Modern commercial motherboards DO NOT feature an integrated graphics card or any onboard graphics processing chip.

Instead, on modern computers, the integrated graphics card is found on a CPU NOT the motherboard.

Therefore, motherboards now rely on the CPU to power up its video output function. However, not all CPUs feature an integrated graphics card either. In case if your CPU lacks an iGPU, again, the video output ports on your motherboard will not work!

The Importance of an Integrated Graphics Card

One of the most important functions of an integrated graphics card is that it powers the rear video output ports that you find on the back I/O panel of your motherboard.

Do Motherboards have Integrated Graphics
Image: Asrock AMD A320M-HDV R4.0

Without an integrated graphics card, the DVI, VGA and HDMI ports found on the motherboard, as labelled above for instance, would simply not work.

If you were to connect your monitor to any of these ports on a PC without an integrated graphics card, you would see nothing on the monitor display.

Hence, on a PC without an integrated graphics, you would be compelled to invest on a dedicated graphics card instead for video output.

Can be Used for Gaming

Other than powering up the video output ports, a good integrated graphics card can also be used for casual gaming.

Also Read: Gaming PC Without Graphics Card – Build Guide

Do Motherboards have Integrated Graphics?

So as mentioned earlier, motherboards these days DO NOT feature an integrated graphics card.

ASROCK 985GM-GS3 FX. Source: Asrock

There was a time when old motherboards did feature an onboard graphics processing chip. ASRock 985-GS3 FX, for instance with an AM3+ socket is an example of a motherboard that does feature an integrated AMD Radeon HD 4200 graphics.

However, newer motherboards, particularly those that support AMD Ryzen CPUs and newer gen Intel Core series processor lack an onboard graphics processing chip.

Confusion with the Term “Onboard Graphics”

Often when you read the specification sheet for a certain motherboard, it can have a specific section for “onboard graphics”.

This is one of the root cause of the confusion as it can lead a normal person to believe that the motherboard actually has a graphics processing chip.

Gigabyte B450M DS3H onboard graphics
Gigabyte B450M DS3H specsheet – Onboard Graphics section. Mentions at the bottom that the support for onboard graphics is based on the CPU.

However, if you read further into details of the specsheet, it would certainly mention that the onboard graphics is supported only by the CPU.

Which CPUs Offer an Integrated Graphics Card?

Both Intel and AMD have CPU models that do and do not feature an integrated graphics cards.

Again, to emphasis the critical point here, if your CPU does not have an integrated graphics, then the video output ports on your motherboard will NOT work.

Intel CPUs with Integrated Graphics Cards

With Intel, things are a bit simple as MOST of their CPUs do feature an iGPU.

Only the CPUs with an ‘F’ suffix LACK an integrated graphics card. Examples include, Intel Core i7-11700KF, Intel Core i5-10400F etc. Hence, make sure you are on the lookout for these processors if you value the onboard graphics processing.

The ‘F’ series Intel processor have more or less the same performance as their non ‘F’ series counterparts; they just lack an iGPU.

Newer Intel CPUs feature the Intel UHD 610, 620, 630, and 750 (in the more recent ones) iGPUs. The Iris Pro 580, however, remains to be the most powerful Intel iGPU despite being fairly old. It is often found in premium notebooks.

AMD CPUs with Integrated Graphics Cards

With AMD, the opposite is the case. Here, only a handful of CPUs DO feature an integrated graphics card.

The AMD CPUs that do feature an integrated graphics card are commonly just referred to as APUs or Accelerated Processing Units.

The AMD CPUs with an iGPU have the ‘G’ suffix in their name. Examples include, AMD Athlon 3000G, AMD Ryzen 3 3200G, AMD Ryzen 7 5600G etc.

AMD ‘G’ series processors offer the popular Vega series CPUs and in any given generation, the Vega graphics cards perform much better than their Intel iGPU counterparts.

Additionally, it should be noted that the ‘G’ series CPUs often have weaker performance compared to their non ‘G’ counterparts.

How do the CPU Integrated Graphics Cards Perform?

Generally, the integrated graphics card are comparable in performance to budget and basic dedicated graphics cards good enough only for video output and nothing intense.

However, with the newer AMD APUs, particularly from the 4000 and 5000 series, the graphics processing power of iGPUs have seriously been enhanced.

The Vega 8 iGPU found on the AMD Ryzen 5 5600G and the AMD Ryzen 7 5700G are as good as entry level dedicated graphics cards worth $80.

G3D Mark Scores

GPU G3D
Mark
Notes
Intel UHD 630 1395 As found on 8-10th Gen
Intel CPUs
Nvida GeForce
GT 740
(MSRP $79)
1543 Dedicated GPU
Basic
Intel UHD 750 1684 As found on 11th Gen+
Intel CPUs
AMD Radeon
Vega 3
(2018 Version)
1071 AMD 2000 Series APU
AMD Radeon
Vega 6
(2018 Version)
1274 AMD 2000 Series APU
AMD Radeon
Vega 8
(2018 Version)
1704 AMD 2000 Series APU
Intel Iris Pro 580 2044 Found on premium laptops.
AMD Radeon
Vega 11
(2018 Version)
2139 AMD 2000 Series APU
Nvidia GeForce
GT 1030
($79)
2613 Dedicated GPU
Entry Level
AMD Ryzen 7
5600G
Vega 8 Graphics
2639 Integrated as found on the Ryzen 5600G
AMD Ryzen 7
5700G
Vega 8 Graphics
2708 Integrated as found on the Ryzen 5700G
AMD Radeon
RX 550
($79)
2764 Dedicated GPU
Entry Level

Hence, if you choose the right CPU with an integrated graphics, you can actually use it for casual gaming too without needing to invest on a dedicated graphics card.

Also Read: How to Use Motherboard HDMI with a Dedicated Graphics Card

FAQ

Can a Computer Without an Integrated Graphics Turn On?

Yes, the computer will turn on, but you will see nothing on your monitor screen as your PC would not have any graphics processing capability.

If you have a beep code speaker or POST LED light indicators on your motherboard, then you may hear or see feedback highlighting that you are missing graphics processing.

Also Read: Will Motherboard Post Without CPU?

Do You Need a Dedicated Graphics Card if You Have an Integrated Graphics?

As far as basic video output goes, no! You do not need to have a dedicated graphics card if you have an integrated graphics card and video output ports on the motherboard.

A dedicated graphics card may only be warranted if you need a higher degree of graphical processing power for more strenuous tasks such as gaming, video editing etc.

Also Read: is Intel Core i7 Good for Gaming?

Can the Motherboard Support 4K Resolution?

In order to run a monitor at native 4k resolution from the motherboard video output ports, you not only need a CPU with an iGPU, but also the right ports.  

4K resolution is supported only over HDMI, DisplayPort and Thunderbolt 3.0 ports.

Additionally, depending upon what port version your motherboard has, the refresh rate can differ.

For instance, an HDMI 1.4 port can support 4K resolution only at 30Hz refresh rate (30 frame per second max). On the other hand, the newer HDMI 2.0 port an support 4K resolution at 60Hz refresh rate (60 frames per second max).

Do All Motherboards Have Video Output Ports?

motherboard without video output ports
Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD3 – A motherboard without any vide output ports on the Back I/O panel.

No, not all motherboard have video output ports. Some basic motherboards can lack video output ports. 

If your motherboard lacks video output ports, then you will have to have a dedicated graphics card for connecting your monitor display to.

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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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