The digitisation of modern businesses has led to the need for computers in the workplace. Business owners need their computers and those of their employees to be as powerful as possible for the types of tasks they handle. The best business books have repeated the mantra that this capital expenditure helps improve productivity and output and eliminates the frustration that comes with using outdated hardware. When shopping for new computers you will come across those that use integrated graphics and others that have discrete graphics. So, which of these options is the better one?
Integrated vs. discrete graphics: what’s the difference?
Integrated graphics use a GPU that is built into the CPU. Because of this combination, integrated graphics do not use separate memory banks for video streams or graphics. Integrated graphics consume less power and produce less heat, and this is why they are great options for laptops where battery life is a crucial consideration.
Discrete graphics use a GPU that is separate from the CPU. Because of this separation, the graphics card has its own memory bank. Discrete graphics produce more heat and consume more power, but typically can manage much better than integrated graphics.
While Nvidia and AMD have long been the main players in the discrete GPU market, Intel has recently released its line of Intel Arc discrete graphics. These are meant to have great performance and special features at an affordable cost. Intel Arc pairs very well with Intel Core CPUs and this combination enables features such as AI upsampling of videos and images as well as performance boosts. You can learn more about Intel Arc at Lenovo and look at some of the desktop and laptop offerings they have that integrate it.
Performance and cost
As you can see from the differences between the two graphics options, businesses need to think about the level of performance they are getting for what they pay. Integrated graphics options are cheap because you only have to purchase the CPU, but they provide lower performance than their discrete counterparts. Investing in digital assets like integrated graphics could be more cost-effective, allowing the business to produce more profit over the long run.
The opposite is true for discrete graphics. This means that if your business and employees handle tasks that require beefier performance, you might be better served by accepting the higher cost of discrete graphics.
There is also a middle ground where the entrepreneur buys machines with their option depending on the tasks a specific employee handles. For example, those in finance can do their jobs with high-end integrated graphics while content creators need discrete graphics.
Power consumption and energy costs
If you are buying a few computers for the office, power consumption might not be a serious concern. However, when you have tens or hundreds of machines running at the same time, those costs add up.
You, therefore, have to think about choosing the right graphics options to ensure your employees remain productive, but the business does not incur high energy costs.
This can mean considering mid-range graphics options for those using discrete graphics because they need them. In some cases, the business will have to absorb the energy costs, and these will mostly be where the employees absolutely need high-end graphics options.
There are several things to think about and consider when choosing between integrated and discrete graphics options. These three main ones are performance, power consumption and cost. Finding a balance between all three while allowing your employees the tools they need will work best for the business.