What’s the difference between iGPU, eGPU, and dGPU?

Have you ever wondered what makes the pictures on your computer screen look so good? That’s the job of the GPU, or graphics processing unit. It’s like the artist inside your computer, drawing all the images and videos you see. However, not all GPUs are the same. Do you know the difference between an iGPU, eGPU, and dGPU? In this article, we’ll find the differences between these GPUs and see which one is best for whom.

There are three main types: iGPUs, eGPUs, and dGPUs. They all do the same thing, but they’re built differently and have different strengths. This can make choosing the right one a bit confusing.

In this article, we’ll break down the differences between these three types of GPUs in simple terms. We’ll look at how they work, what they’re good at, and what they’re not so good at. By the end, you’ll be a GPU pro, ready to pick the perfect one for your needs.

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Whether you’re a gamer, a video editor, or want your computer to run smoothly, understanding these differences is important.

Integrated GPU (iGPU)
Integrated GPU (iGPU)

Integrated GPU (iGPU)

Let’s start with the simplest kind of GPU, the integrated GPU, or iGPU for short. Think of it like a built-in artist for your computer. It’s part of your computer’s main chip, the CPU, and it shares the same memory. This makes it a cheaper and more energy-efficient option.

iGPUs are great for everyday tasks like browsing the web, watching videos, and working on documents. They can even handle some older or less demanding games.

But if you’re a serious gamer or you do things like video editing, you might find an iGPU isn’t strong enough. Since it shares memory with the CPU, it might slow down your computer if you do lots of things simultaneously.

Some examples of iGPUs are Intel HD Graphics, Intel Iris Xe Graphics, and AMD Radeon Graphics. These are all built right into your computer, so you don’t need to buy an extra graphics card.

If you’re looking for a computer that’s good for everyday tasks and won’t break the bank, one with an iGPU might be a good choice for you.

But if you need more power for gaming or video editing, you’ll probably want a dedicated GPU or an external GPU.

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Dedicated GPU (dGPU)
Dedicated GPU (dGPU)

Dedicated GPU (dGPU)

If you want the best pictures and super-fast performance, a dedicated GPU, or dGPU, is your friend. Think of it like a super-powered artist, working separately from your computer’s main chip. It has its own memory and doesn’t share with the CPU, so it can make your games look amazing and help you do things like editing videos without slowing down your computer.

dGPUs are like the cool kids in the computer world. They’re great for playing the newest, most awesome games, and they make everything look super smooth and realistic. They can also help you work faster if you edit videos or do 3D art.

But dGPUs do have some downsides. They cost more than iGPUs, and they use more power, which means your computer might get hotter. But for people who want the best performance, it’s worth it.

Some popular dGPUs are the NVIDIA GeForce RTX series and the AMD Radeon RX series. These are the kinds of GPUs you’ll find in gaming computers and high-end laptops.

So, if you’re serious about gaming or doing creative work, a dGPU is a must-have. It’ll make your computer much faster and your games look way better!

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External GPUs (GPU)
External GPUs (GPU)

External GPUs (GPU)

Imagine giving your laptop superpowers for playing games or doing tough tasks like editing videos. That’s what an external GPU, or eGPU, can do! It’s like a special box you plug into your computer. This box holds a powerful graphics card, which is like a turbo boost for your laptop’s visuals and performance.

eGPUs are great for laptops that can’t fit a big graphics card inside. They let you upgrade your laptop’s graphics without having to buy a whole new computer.

Plus, you can easily switch between using the built-in graphics and the eGPU, depending on what you’re doing. This means you can save power when you’re just checking emails, and then plug in the eGPU when you want to play a high-end game.

But eGPUs aren’t perfect. They can be expensive, and they need a special kind of port on your laptop, like Thunderbolt. They can also be kind of big, so they’re not the easiest to carry around.

If you’re a gamer or do work that needs a lot of graphics power, an eGPU can be a great way to upgrade your laptop. It gives you the best of both worlds: the portability of a laptop and the power of a desktop computer.

iGPU vs eGPU vs dGPU

FeatureIntegrated GPU (iGPU)Dedicated GPU (dGPU)External GPU (eGPU)
PerformanceBest for everyday tasks (web browsing, office apps) and older or less demanding games. Limited performance for newer, demanding games and professional tasks.Highest performance for gaming, video editing, 3D rendering, and other demanding applications. Dedicated memory and processing power ensure smooth, high-quality visuals.Similar performance to a dGPU, but with the added convenience of being portable and easily removable. Ideal for laptops and systems with limited internal upgrade options.
CostCheapest option. Comes built-in with most CPUs, no additional cost.Varies depending on the model, but is generally larger than iGPUs. Takes up space inside the computer case.Mid-range cost. Requires purchasing both the eGPU enclosure and a compatible graphics card. More expensive than an iGPU but less expensive than upgrading a whole system for a dGPU.
Power ConsumptionLowest power consumption. Ideal for laptops and portable devices where battery life is important.Highest power consumption. Requires additional power supply and can increase overall system power draw.Higher power consumption than iGPU, but can be disconnected when not in use to save energy.
SizeSmallest. Integrated into the CPU, taking up no additional space.Varies depending on the model, but generally larger than iGPUs. Takes up space inside the computer case.Largest. External enclosure that connects to the computer via cable, can be bulky.
PortabilityHighest. Since it’s built-in, it goes wherever your computer goes.N/A. Not applicable, as dGPUs are internal components.Moderate. More portable than a desktop PC with a dGPU, but not as convenient as a laptop with only an iGPU.
UpgradeabilityLimited or none. Most systems with iGPUs cannot be upgraded to have a dGPU.Yes (desktop PCs). You can replace the existing dGPU with a more powerful one. Limited upgrade options for laptops.Yes. You can upgrade the graphics card inside the eGPU enclosure.
Best forEveryday tasks (web browsing, office apps, video playback), less demanding games, and budget-minded users.Gamers, video editors, 3D artists, and professionals who need the best performance for demanding tasks.Laptop users who want a powerful GPU for occasional gaming or creative work, or anyone who wants flexibility and upgradability.

How to choose the Right GPU?

Now, you know the difference between iGPU, eGPU, and dGPU. But which one is right for you?

That depends on how you use your computer and how much money you want to spend.

  • If you mostly use your computer for everyday things like surfing the web, watching videos, or working on documents, an iGPU is probably good enough. It won’t cost you any extra money since it’s already built into your computer, and it can handle these tasks just fine.
  • If you love playing games or doing things that need a lot of power, like editing videos or 3D art, then you’ll want a dedicated GPU or dGPU. It’ll make your games look amazing and help your computer work faster, but it will cost more. If you have a desktop computer, you can buy a dGPU and put it in yourself. But if you have a laptop, you might need to get an eGPU instead.
  • If you have a laptop and want to make it better at gaming or creative work, an eGPU is a good option. It’s like adding a supercharger to your laptop. But remember, it’s the most expensive choice and needs a special kind of port on your laptop.

No matter what you choose, make sure to do some research and compare prices before you buy. There are lots of different GPUs out there, so find one that fits your needs and budget.

And if you’re not sure, ask a tech-savvy friend or someone who works at a computer store to help you out.

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We’ve talked about three different kinds of GPUs: iGPUs, eGPUs, and dGPUs. Each one has its special things it’s good at.

iGPUs are like the handy helpers that come with most computers. They’re good for everyday stuff, and they won’t cost you extra. dGPUs are the powerhouses, perfect for playing games and doing fancy stuff like editing videos. eGPUs are like giving your laptop a super boost, so you can play games on it like you would on a desktop.

Now that you know the differences, you can choose the right GPU for your needs and your budget. Whether you’re a gamer, an artist, or just someone who wants a computer that runs well, there’s a GPU out there that’s perfect for you!

So what’s your choice?

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