Onboard or dedicated graphics?

Discussion in 'Hardware - PCs, Consoles, Gadgets' started by commission_impossible, Apr 7, 2013.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. I'm considering buying a new PC and am having some trouble working out what the best options are.

    I'm looking at an AMD based system and have come up with two approaches:

    1. an A6-3670K Quad core APU (2.7GHz) with Radeon HD6530D integrated graphics AND a 1GB Radeon HD7770 card.

    2. an A10-5800K Quad core APU (3.8Ghz) with Radeon HD 7660D integrated graphics.

    ...and 8GB of RAM.

    Both work out at roughly the same price. What I'm having trouble finding out is what happens when you plug a graphics card into a system that already has integrated graphics? Do they work together? Does one override the other?

    Which of those two options would be best as far as doing some moderate gaming is concerned?

  2. dedicated every time. onboard is never as powerful, and some games don't even support it
    • Like Like x 2
  3. If you plug in a Gfx card to one of the PCIe slots, it'll usually override (and turn off) the on-board graphics. However, my own PC has an option in BIOS to have them both working at the same time, for using more than 1 monitor.
  4. This.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. depends what you are aiming for: if you are a gamer, than dedicated is (usually) a better choice. In this case- it's better to get an Athlon processor (same as A6/8/10, but without the graphics)- for the same price you can get a APU that's more powerful in cpu-requiring tasks than "normal" APU.
    If you are a casual gamer, you play older games etc- than I'd go for integrated one- but they have to be paired with fast memory (1866). They are powerful enough for games on low-to-middle details. Comp with them onboard will use less power and generete less heat- so it will be more quiet.
    Of course- nothing stops you from getting full APU and overclock it's GPU part.
  6. That was quick.

    I've got a better idea of what I'm doing now.

  7. It depends on what you want to use it for. I echo ViolatorOfVirgin's comments. These modern AMD APUs are great for casual gaming and media PCs, but if you want to run more modern games or use software that requires more power then a dedicated gfx card is a must (and a different cpu)

    There is some interesting info regarding these trinity chips. They do need faster ram to get the best from them.

    Review: AMD A10-5800K Trinity: why it needs faster RAM - CPU - HEXUS.net

    Here's some more on the dual graphics solution of onboard gfx plus dedicated card.

    Review: AMD A10-5800K Dual Graphics evaluation - CPU - HEXUS.net
    • Like Like x 1
  8. I would definitely classify myself as "casual". I'm starting to sway towards the idea of the A10-5800K with the possibility of adding a graphics card later if I feel it's needed. All the RAM I'm seeing is 1600MHz or 2400MHz (which is a lot more expensive). Will using 1600MHz RAM with an APU make a significant difference to using the 1866MHz that seems to be recommended?
  9. Hi.
    You can always (well... not always) use two cards in Hybrid Crossfire mode (i.e. when some of the job will be done by integrated gpu while most will be done by dedicated) or you can get something like Lucid Virtu MVP- something similar to Nvidia's Optimus (i.e. graphics switchable on demand)- but I have not personal experience with any of them (I'll switch to AMD as soon as Kaveri will be released)- but you need a special (i.e. supporting it) motherboard.
    Of course- nothing stops you from just adding any extra GPU card and connecting monitor to that and disabling onboard gpu in uefi/bios.
    May I ask why won't you consider going 1866? If I'd overclock, i'd probably go for even faster memory (but i'll probably just stick to the default values; I value the silence and coolness).
  10. BiscuitsAB

    BiscuitsAB LE Moderator

    I run something similar and have three monitors running split screen on Win 7.
  11. Putting together a PC does not involve soldering unless you've got it very wrong. I build mine and I'd say that if you can manage Lego and know how to use a screwdriver you're perfectly qualified to assemble one.

    However, buying can be the right thing to do. What does take time is checking and double checking that all the bits you buy will work together and that you won't be left hanging for a lead at the end. Then there's arsing around with some obscure software issue that no-one in their right mind would have predicted - top tip, always have access to google when assembling. For instance, once I couldn't install Win 7 on a new machine until I twigged that I needed to disconnect all drives bar the one I wanted the OS on. Then it worked like a dream.

    I used Mesh in the past for a couple of PCs without dramas, and now use Overclockers and Novatech for components, maybe they can help.
  12. I usually buy stuff (computer- related) from scan.co.uk or from- already mentioned- overclockers.co.uk (and amazon).
    Assembling computer isn't really hard- although, if it's your first time, it can take you few hours (always read manuals!)- you can always ask a guy from the local IT shop to do that for you, they shouldn't charge a lot. Or just find a teenager who will do that for a sixpack ;)
    What is the amount of money you are willing to spend on new computer? do you already have a monitor, mouse etc?
  13. I'm thinking of about £500 - £550 which would have to include a monitor and keyboard which seem (for an 18.5") to cost about £80 together...

    ...I've got a mouse though.