Placing the computer's display circuitry in the chipset on the motherboard or on the same chip as the CPU. Integrated graphics shares memory with the CPU (see shared video memory
) and provides a more economical alternative to the stand-alone card, known as "discrete graphics" or "dedicated graphics." Integrated graphics can be non-programmable or programmable and even include a graphics processing unit (see GPU
Upgrade from Integrated to Discrete
Integrated graphics is more than adequate for the average user. However, discrete graphics are especially desired by gamers who constantly want more realistic visualization. Desktop computers can be upgraded from integrated to discrete by plugging a graphics card (display adapter) into an empty PCI Express or PCI slot on the motherboard. The integrated 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.