Do You Need Graphics Card for Gaming?

For a truly immersive gaming experience, one of the things you need is a proper display and impressive graphics.

To play a high-definition game like Call of Duty or even watch high-resolution videos like 4K movies in Netflix, you need enhanced visual features. Even aside from gaming, graphics matter for non-gamers as well.

Simply put, a good display system depends on a graphics processing unit (GPU) and a central processing unit (CPU). For the CPU, it works by handling tasks given to it. The GPU on the other hand works through performing specific calculations that arise with the processing of intense and high-definition tasks. For some machines, the GPU and CPU are integrated to be simply referred to as iGPUs or integrated graphics. In others, the GPU comes fully equipped to handle tasks on its own. For example the GeForce GTX 1080 by Nvidia costs a pretty penny but it is well-designed to be a standalone unit. For Intel, its Skull Canyon is an integrated graphics system that is designed to handle the latest and fastest games in the market.

This then leads to the question; do you need a graphics card for gaming? Broadly, the answer widely varies depending on how your machine is built.

First, it is not uncommon to find laptops that are not built with a graphics card. Usually, most computers come equipped with a graphics processing unit and a cooling system. They also have designated memory space for enhanced graphics purposes. Because of these features, a computer can still process fast motions on its display screen without a graphics card.

More and more, manufacturers are coming up with gaming machines that run well straight out of the box. They have become a suitable replacement for having to buy graphics cards every so often. While playing games like League of Legends requires a proper display system, that does not necessarily mean you have to splurge on the most expensive graphics card to enjoy your gaming experience. Nowadays, a graphics card is not necessarily needed for gaming because most modern computers are designed with the latest technological advancements. This entails computers being built to handle even the most advanced tasks without additional accessories. For example, the latest computer that does not have a graphics card is not prone to lagging behind compared to an older one fitted with a graphics card.

Secondly, if you have a stable DDR4 RAM that can do up to 32 gigs and M.2 solid state drives, a dedicated graphics card might not be necessary. Coupled with other features, such a computer is well equipped to handle gaming tasks without any additional tools. For example, a game like Over Watch requires high settings like 60 frames per second (FPS). While this might mean older PC’s will lag behind, those with dedicated graphics processing units and even graphics cards are able to keep up.

To add, a graphics card is not entirely necessary for a powerful machine because of the price they come in. An example is how the NUC can set you back a couple hundred dollars because it needs a solid state drive and RAM to match. If you are not keen on coughing up additional money for proper graphics, consider going for a PC that is already built to handle high-tech games. Nowadays, even the low-end processors are enough for the ordinary games that are in the mainstream.

However, for a proper gaming experience a graphics card does not hurt.

Factors to consider when buying a graphics card for gaming

While a graphics card is not a must-have for gaming, there are a few factors you should consider before fitting one in your computer. First, most graphics are either manufactured by AMD or Nvidia. To know which one is best for you, this largely depends on your computer’s operating system and other specs like its resolution as well. For example, a graphics card best suited for a MacBook might not work as well in Windows operating systems.

When going in for a buy, you need to consider how your laptop or PC is wired. The merits of one graphics card ought to stand out depending on your computer. Additionally, the way you intend to use your computer highly matters. In this case, you need to consider a powerful graphics card that is able to keep up with your gaming requirements.

Generally, the features to look out for are the memory and clock speeds as well as the amount of storage available for use. To know which graphics card is suitable for gaming, you need to go for one that can quickly handle even the most intense processes. For example, a fast clock speed basically means that your computer will be able to power through calculations easier. You should therefore go for higher numbers.

In case all these features sound like Greek to you, consulting the latest graphics card guide should be enough to keep you up to speed. You need to consider a graphics card that has well-rated reviews as well as one that fits into your budget. Beyond impressive features, the best graphics card is one that meets your expectations while not breaking your bank for it.

Secondly, you need to consider the process of installation. Most graphics card just requires an anti-static wristband for installation. Once you have unplugged your desktop or laptop from the power supply, you can easily access the inner sections to slot in the graphics card into the PCI-E slot. Firmly secure in the card by fastening the brackets surrounding it. For additional pointers, peruse through the graphics card manual on other things to consider during the installation process.

Finally, go for a graphics card that also allows for regular updates. The best graphics cards for gaming are those that allow for upgrades on their websites. AMD, for instance, regularly updates its graphics drivers so that they are able to keep up with even the most-tech advanced games.

To add, if you decide not to go for a graphics card you still need a system that will be able to broadcast information on your monitor. One way to do this is by incorporating an Integrated Graphics Processing Unit. With an IGPU, gaming without a graphics card has been all the more possible. In fact, it is quite possible for most computers to execute gaming tasks rather well without a graphics card.

In simple terms, an IGPU is a chip that is responsible with analysing data into images that make sense on your monitor. Modern computers are usually fitted with modernized IGPU’s that are capable of playing videos and movies rather well. Most importantly, modern IGPU’s are more than up to the task of playing all kinds of games ranging from the mainstream ones to the latest 4K video games. Without a dedicated graphics card, you can be able to enjoy an exhilarating gaming experience because your processor is designed with an IGPU that is able to handle such tasks.

As a disclaimer, it is important to note that an IGPU can still fall short of a dedicated graphics card. If you find that the IGPU simply does not meet your expectations in terms of graphics quality, you might need to consider going in for the purchase of a card. IGPUs may lag behind in certain areas like 3D technology and rendering video data. Luckily, installing a graphics card into an IGPU system is rather easy once you follow the detailed instructions usually provided on manuals and online videos like those on YouTube.

If you are not keen on using your laptop for extensive gaming or design working, a graphics card may not be necessary. Therefore, it is quite possible to run a machine without a graphics card if you are not keen on detailed graphics specs. Also, most modern machines come with all you need for a truly immersive experience without fitting in an additional graphics card.


In a nutshell, a graphics card usually comes in handy for a unique gaming experience. However, most modern computers have been designed to negate the need of a graphics card. An example is that latest laptops usually come well-built to handle even the most intensive tasks. Therefore, you can use your PC or laptop for gaming even without fitting in a graphics card. Slotting in an extra graphics card may not be entirely necessary if you have invested in the latest computers that come jammed with impressive features. You will not need to tinker with such and add a graphics card for gaming.

Therefore, a graphics card is not a must-have for an immersive gaming experience. For instance, you do not need a graphics card to play Call of Duty if your laptop is designed using the latest and updated drives. An example is the Dual Core i5 that comes designed with Iris Pro graphics. While it is a low-end chip, you can comfortably game with such a processor. With a powerful processor (preferably IGPU) you do not need a graphics card for gaming.



About the Author
Hi, I'm Steve. I'm a proud gamer. I have been active within the gaming sphere for 30+ years. As gaming is something I enjoy very much, I want other people to enjoy it also. That is exactly why I started this blog.

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