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Definition: integrated graphics


Placing the computer's display circuitry in the chipset on the motherboard or on the same chip as the CPU. Integrated graphics is technically an "integrated graphics controller," which shares memory with the CPU (see shared video memory). It provides the most economical alternative to either a stand-alone "graphics processing unit" (GPU) or an "integrated graphics processor" (IGP), where the GPU resides in the chipset. See GPU and IGP.

Upgrade from Integrated to Discrete
Integrated graphics is adequate for the non-gamer, and an integrated graphics processor (IGP) is increasingly sufficient for many gamers. However, "discrete graphics" using a stand-alone GPU is especially desired by gamers who want the most realistic visualization.

Desktop computers can be upgraded from integrated to discrete by plugging a graphics card into an empty PCI Express or PCI slot on the motherboard. The built-in graphics is then disabled by changing a setting in the BIOS or by changing a jumper on the motherboard. See GPU, display adapter and integrated GPU.




Graphics Hardware Locations
In a PC, graphics rendering originally took place in the CPU only. Over time, functions were offloaded to separate circuits and then to GPUs either in separate cards, the chipset or the CPU chip itself.