A graphics card is essentially responsible for generating the images you see on your monitor.
It is often associated with gaming purposes, but do you need a graphics card if you don’t play games?
In short, not really.
Here are some things you should know to understand this better.
What Happens if You Have No Graphics Card?
The fact is that your computer can still function without a graphics card; you just may not be able to see it.
In fact, if you’re not playing games or creating 3D work with intense graphics, an old graphics card could work for you.
It is especially true for basic computer usage like Office, watching videos, and surfing the internet.
Not to say that you don’t need to do anything else, as the computer still requires an iGPU (Integrated Graphics Processing Unit) to display graphics.
This is possible as the CPU can help with some of the loads.
Unfortunately, there might be some lagging if you want to play something the CPU cannot render.
If you don’t have a graphics card or an iGPU, you can still start your computer.
The only thing is you will not be able to see anything on the screen, although it is actually functioning!
All in all, you would still need an iGPU to render the graphics, even if you don’t have a graphics card.
The good news is that it’s relatively easy to find a processor that comes with an iGPU.
Most Intel processors even have an iGPU built directly into them, so there’s no need to worry.
Do You Need a Graphics Card for Gaming?
The only reason people buy a dedicated GPU is to improve their gameplay.
So, the obvious answer is yes; you do need a graphics card for gaming.
At least, if we are talking about new games that have been released recently.
Sure enough, you might be able to play old games just on integrated graphics.
But anything else other than those is pretty much off-limits.
Without a graphics card, forget all the latest intensive 3D titles with smooth images and shiny animations!
Do you want to play battle games with all those various add-ons and mods but still can travel smoothly across the virtual world?
It would be best if you had a good GPU.
Not to mention the top-tier video games that have only been released without any lags on your shiny 4K screen.
These would require an impeccable dedicated GPU.
Another reason why a graphics card could be important for gaming is that it will enrich your experience.
If you spend a lot of time on your video games, then it is not something to miss.
Even just an entry-level model, a dedicated graphics card will perform much better and give you a more immersive gameplay experience.
Furthermore, it can provide better driver support for the latest games and applications.
Sometimes, GPU manufacturers would introduce new drivers to update their graphics cards to work with these more recent games, operating systems, and applications.
Use of Graphics Card Other than Gaming
We have established the importance of having a graphics card when gaming.
While your computer can function just on an iGPU, we still recommend getting a dedicated one anyway.
Why? Because you can use your graphics card for other things other than gaming.
Even if you don’t play games, some activities still require an excellent GPU.
This includes things like video and photo editing, 3D rendering, and even cryptocurrency mining.
Not to mention software used for engineering and scientific projects.
Having a dedicated GPU will boost all of these activities’ performances.
Doing simple tasks like filtering, transforming, and warping on Photoshop will become a breeze.
Plus, you should note that not all CPUs can support iGPUs.
Another excellent example of how a graphics card is used other than gaming is visualization.
For instance, CAD and 3D programs run GPU heavily to drive the viewport.
A good GPU lets you rotate objects smoothly and quickly, without any lags.
Moreover, music production also needs a graphics card to function correctly.
Without it, you will not be able to view the correct pixels representing the notes and BPM.
It will be impossible to use most music production software and applications.
GPU Compute tasks.
GPUs are good for all sorts of computing tasks.
Some 3D graphics workflows use GPU-based rendering, but there have also been projects in machine learning and statistical analysis that leverage GPU cores to deliver significant computing performance vs. the use of CPU processing.
At the end of the day, you can definitely use a computer without having a graphics card.
But only if you don’t need one!
If you are not gaming or using graphics-related work like video or image editing, you can get away without having a dedicated graphics card.
Or at least, there’s no need to spend hundreds on high-end ones.