Best CPU with Integrated Graphics in 2023
Today we will explore the best CPUs that contain an integrated graphical component. Perfect for building on a budget.
What’s the best CPU with integrated graphics? You might assume that all modern PC builds need a powerful dedicated GPU to chew through the most demanding triple-A titles, you wouldn’t be wrong. But just as good of an experience can be had with an iGPU, playing the same games with a similar FPS, only with less visual fidelity.
Now read: AMD Zen 4 everything we know.
iGPUs have been around for the better part of 27 years with the first iGPU being released in June 1995, when Taiwan-based Silicon Integrated Systems introduced the SiS6204 into the world. This was the first-ever desktop IGC (integrated graphics controller).
There are many CPUs with integrated graphics available on the market in 2022, but which is the best? That’s exactly what we’re here to find out. Here’s our best CPU with integrated graphics article.
Video: Best CPU with integrated graphics
What is an iGPU?
The iGPU inside a desktop CPU is a graphics processing unit that is built into the same die as the CPU. This allows for more efficient use of space and power, as well as better communication between the CPU and GPU. The iGPU is used to handle tasks such as displaying graphics on a monitor, video playback, and gaming. It is not as powerful as a dedicated GPU, but it is sufficient for most everyday tasks such as web browsing, video playback, and basic gaming. It can also be used as a secondary GPU when paired with a dedicated one, to offload some of the workloads and enhance the overall performance.
This means that there’s no room for any VRAM, so the iGPU shares memory resources with the CPU and uses standard system memory as VRAM. The amount of VRAM can be set or can be dynamically allocated based on the current needs of the iGPU.
If you want to know more about how CPUs work, check out our “What is a CPU” article.
APU – How does it differ from a CPU?
APUs are different from CPUs in that APUs integrate both the CPU and GPU onto a single chip. This allows for better performance and more efficient use of power as the GPU can handle tasks related to graphics and video processing, freeing up the CPU to handle other tasks. In contrast, a traditional CPU relies on a separate graphics card to handle graphics processing.
How we choose
Making the right choice isn’t always simple. It requires expert knowledge coupled with countless hours of research, benchmarking, and trawling through user feedback to come even remotely close to pinpointing the best-integrated graphics on the market.
For someone without in-depth knowledge of the topic or the requisite time to dedicate to the topic, the task will almost invariably result in a choice that will leave one disappointed.
Fret not, as we, here at WePC, have done the hard work for you and morphed it into a digestible guide that takes all the stress out of making that all-important choice.
How We Test
Testing forms a big part of our validation process and forms a central pillar of the top picks found in our best guides. By doing the testing in-house, we can formulate a hands-on take on how well a component performs and compare it side by side with competitor models.
While testing, we look for our best performers based on performance in tests, features that will appeal to readers, and any benefits they may have over the competition.
The overwhelming majority of the products we recommend here at WePC have undergone this strict vetting process, which includes factors such as quality, efficiency, design, performance, and, of course, price.
By abiding by this strict process, we can produce the most accurate review of a product and determine whether it is worth the money.
Check out our “how we test CPUs” page to learn more.
Best CPU with integrated graphics: Things To Consider
Here’s what you need to consider when eyeing up a new CPU with integrated graphics. These should help get a firm idea of what a particular model can offer.
AMD VS Intel
When it comes to choosing a CPU, you’re going to be faced with the most important question that will define the way you build the rest of your PC. AMD or Intel?
It’s best you read our full article: AMD Vs Intel if you want to know the full story.
Both companies have their own advantages and disadvantages, we’ve written a full article around this topic and we encourage you to check out our AMD vs Intel article.
The short answer is, that if you want single-core performance then you’re going to want to choose an Intel CPU. If you want multi-core performance, however, AMD is the team you want to be joining. Intel, even with all its recent efforts toward hybrid-core technology, still seems to be lacking behind in the efficiency department, making AMD the CPU of choice again if power efficiency matters to you.
Gaming or non-intensive tasks
Initially, iGPUs was designed to be the bare minimum. Allowing a display output for office and word processing machines doesn’t require a lot of power. It’s only recently that CPU manufacturers have made the decision to develop iGPUs more focused on gaming and more intensive workloads.
Literally, any modern iGPU will work for video streaming, word processing, web browsing, or any other day-to-day tasks. If you’re looking for an iGPU that can handle gaming, then there are some tricks you can deploy to get the most out of your iGPU. These tricks will also have a bearing on the CPU manufacturer you choose, more on this later.
As with anything, there’s a budget. Both AMD and Intel have created CPUs with iGPUs to fit most price points on the market, however. We’d always recommend saving up to get the better component than cheap out now and end up stuck with a component you aren’t completely happy with.
Core speed and IPC
Just because a CPU from 4 years ago has a higher clock speed, does not mean it will be faster than a modern CPU with a lower clock speed. Here’s why.
Core speed is defined by how many cycles per second a CPU can perform. A full CPU cycle is referred to as the instruction cycle, which follows three actions. The actions of the instruction cycle run in the order of fetch, decode and execute. These three actions comprise the instruction cycle.
Not surprisingly, a higher clock speed is superior. However, not all clock speeds are created equal.
Many factors can affect the metrics of clock speed. One of these is the ‘nm process’ a CPU is built on, which refers to the size of the transistors that make up the logical components of a CPU. There are billions of these microscopic transistors all capable of very simple yes/no outputs, which together equate to more complex logical executions.
7nm transistors are much smaller than 12nm transistors, for example. And this is what we mean when we said not all clock speed is created equal.
Clock speed refers to how many cycles a CPU can perform per second, not how many instructions can be executed per second. This is another measurement known as IPC (instructions per clock).
IPC and clock speed are somewhat intertwined. People are easily fooled into thinking that a CPU with a better clock speed, no matter how old, will always be faster than a new CPU with a lower clock speed. And this simply isn’t true.
APU VS CPU
So, is an APU better than a CPU? Well, no. Where it shines is having an iGPU enabling it to render and process graphical workloads, and it technically works in place of a dedicated GPU up to a point. But APUs aren’t great at being CPUs. Allow us to explain.
An APU is a CPU with a GPU component. In fact, APU actually stands for ‘accelerated processing unit’. We know this already, so what does that mean? It means that we have a CPU die and a GPU die on the same chip.
The CPU has to be compromised to reduce its physical size on the chip to accommodate a GPU die. The CPU is made smaller, therefore less powerful. If you want to make space for something there has to be some sort of compromise.
This makes APUs less than ideal if you’re planning to upgrade to a dedicated GPU soon. Because you’re intentionally acquiring a compromised CPU with a graphical component you’re just going to replace later. Leaving your compromised CPU to support a full dedicated GPU.
If you know you’re going to upgrade to a GPU soon after acquiring the APU, just save. If you want to use the APU for a cheap all-in-one package for word processing and office work, then great – an APU is right for you.
AMD VS Intel: iGPUs
Here we will compare Intel and AMD APUs (accelerated processing units) and outline what they offer individually.
First, we will outline every APU available from both AMD and Intel.
As you can see, Intel has a monopoly on iGPUs. Not only that, thanks to the popularity of Intel CPUs and the fact that most of them contain a graphical component, Intel also has the largest market share of CPUs. Their share is way larger than AMDs and even Nvidias.
AMD Vs Intel: iGPU
The two AMD and two Intel CPUs we have selected today all have different graphics processors, we’re going to explain below what those graphics engines are, and the difference between them.
Radeon RX Vega 7
Vega 7 is an integrated GPU, mostly for notebooks. It’s also used in the Ryzen 5 5600G. The GPU is based on the Vega architecture and has 7 Compute Units (= 448 shaders) clocked at up to 1,800 MHz each. The iGPU’s performance depends on the TDP of an APU, the clock speed, the cooling, and the memory configuration. The GPU should benefit from fast dual-channel DDR4-3200 RAM, as Ryzen performance is directly tied to RAM speed.
Radeon RX Vega 8
Vega 8 is an integrated GPU, again mostly used for notebooks. It’s also used in the Ryzen 7 5700G. The GPU is based on the Vega architecture, and has 8 Compute Units (= 512 of the 704 shaders) clocked at up to 2,100 MHz in the Ryzen 9 5980HX. The performance depends on the TDP, which was 12-25 W at launch, the clock speed, the cooling, and the memory configuration. The GPU should benefit from fast dual-channel DDR4-3200 RAM. As again, AMD Ryzen core speed is directly correlated with RAM speed.
Intel UHD 730
UHD 730 is the graphics processor used inside the i5-11400. Unlike the fully unlocked UHD Graphics 750, which uses the same GPU but has all 256 shaders enabled, Intel has disabled some shading units in the UHD 730 to reach the target shader count. The 730 features 192 shading units, 12 texture mapping units, and 8 Render output units. The GPU is operating at a base frequency of 300 MHz, but it can be boosted up to 1300 MHz.
Its power draw is rated at a maximum of 15W
Intel UHD 750
The UHD 750 iGPU is the one that sits inside the i7-11700. This GPU has all of its 256 shaders enabled unlike the UHD 730. As well to its 256 shading units, the UHD 750 features 16 texture mapping units and 8 Render output units. The GPU is operating at a base frequency of 300 MHz, similar to the UHD 730. It can also be boosted up to 1300 MHz.
Its power draw is rated at a maximum of 15 W.
AMD VS Intel: software
AMD has been given advantages over Intel in the iGPU space, these advantages come in the form of FSR and RSR.
FSR and RSR do fundamentally the same thing, just their point of integration is different. This is a gross oversimplification but it’ll do for the purposes of this article.
FSR stands for Fidelity FX Super-Resolution, and it’s the software responsible for using AI to upscale images to a better quality. How it does this is FSR renders the image or frame at a lower internal resolution and then uses AI to upscale the image to your desired output resolution. This technology is amazing and can result in massive FPS gains.
FSR requires developers to integrate support into their games directly, this may present a problem for older games as there may not be a way to add support, or the demand may simply not be high enough to spend the resources to do so.
This is where RSR comes in. RSR stands for Radeon Super-Resolution, and it’s essentially FSR implemented at a driver level. This means that all games can support RSR technology as developers do not need to add native compatibility for RSR into their games. All you need is a compatible APU or GPU, and the latest driver update – then you’re good to go.
Best CPU with integrated graphics
Here we will list off our best CPU with integrated graphics, in no particular order.
Ryzen 5 5600G
AMD Ryzen 5 5600G
3.9GHz – 4.4GHz
The Ryzen 5 5600G is one of the best budget APUs on the market, the CPU portion itself comes packed full of the latest Ryzen technology. With six CPU cores multithreaded to produce 12 threads, you’ll never be short of computing power. The 5600G has a total L3 cache size of 16MB, leaving plenty of room for instructions and calculations to be stored.
The clock speeds of the 5600G can reach an astonishing 4.4GHz when boosted, but for the base frequency they hover around 3.9GHz – still a respectable speed. All this is achieved within a TDP of 45-65W configurable TDP. Proving once and for all that big things can come in small packages.
- Wide range of compatibility
- GPU component means CPU components get less resources
Ryzen 7 5700G
AMD Ryzen 7 5700G
3.8GHz – 4.6GHz
The Ryzen 7 5700G is another force to be reckoned with on the AMD APU market, improving on its little brother in every way. This brazen bull features eight multithreaded CPU cores to provide 16 threads. Despite the larger number of CPU cores, the L3 cache size is the same leaving less cache per core. But this shouldn’t be too much of a problem, 16MB is still plenty.
The clock speeds of the 5700G boost up to a massive 4.6GHz under AMD’s Precision boost overdrive. The base frequencies aren’t too shabby either, coming in at 3.8GHz. All this performance is once again packed into a configurable TDP range of 45-65W. AMD is the king of providing efficiency without sacrificing performance.
- High-performance GPU
- Lots of compatability
- High multi-core performance
- Less value for money than 5600G
Intel Core i5-11400 Desktop Processor
Clock speed (boost)
Cores / Threads
6 / 12
The i5-11400 is the Intel equivalent to the 5600G and it’s easy to see why, as on paper they are almost identical. The 11400 has a total of six hyperthreaded CPU cores, totaling 12 threads. Despite having the same number of cores as the 5600G the cache is smaller, the 11400 only has 12MB of L3 cache.
The core speed of the 11400 is the same too with the CPU topping out at 4.4GHz, the base frequency is only 2.6GHz in the i5, however, making it a little more efficient at idle. All of this performance is packed into a respectable TDP of 65W, this is again the same as the 5600G. Only this time, the TDP is not configurable.
- High boost speed
- High single core performance
Intel Core i7-11700
Up to 4.9 GHz
The 11700 is a beast in its own right, featuring eight hyperthreaded CPU cores totaling 16 threads, this CPU is exactly on par with the 5700G in terms of raw resources. This CPU has plenty of cache capacity, boasting 16MB on the L3 stack. This cache capacity is pretty standard in an 8C/16T configuration.
The core speed of the 11700 almost touches the 5GHz mark coming in at a massive 4.9GHz. That’s the highest clock speed of any CPU on today’s list. The base frequency is a little less impressive coming in at 2.5GHz but we’ll cut it some slack. All of this is packed inside a 65W TDP, just as efficient as the 5700G.
- High clock speed
- High core boost speed
- Great value for money
Thinking of upgrading?
Here’s our best motherboard from both AMD and Intel.
ASUS ROG X570 Crosshair VIII Hero
Check out our latest best of articles surrounding motherboards if the ones here don’t tickle your fancy.
Best CPU with integrated graphics: Final word
So you know our opinion. We favor the Ryzen CPUs for their versatility and the boost they’re given through recent software and driver enhancements. Intel is still a great way to go if you’re already rocking an Intel platform and don’t want to upgrade. But if you want raw performance then you should consider the Ryzen lineup of APUs. Their superiority, better GPU components, higher IPCs, and more make them the better choice in our opinion. We hope you enjoyed this Best CPU with integrated graphics article.
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