Update – With AMD announcing the 5700G and 5600G processors that are going to be available to purchase from August, these are set to offer the very best integrated graphical performance we have ever seen.
The natural assumption is that dedicated graphics cards are a must-have for any PC build, but the best integrated graphics solutions have come on leaps and bounds, making them a viable option for those not aiming to run the most graphics-intensive games. Whether you’re planning on taking part in some light gaming or are building a machine geared towards daily tasks like web browsing or video streaming, integrated graphics are well worth exploring.
As with any PC component, we are spoilt for choice, and navigating our options can be a tedious task. Even answering the question of whether integrated graphics will suit your needs can be difficult. Do you concentrate on sticking to a budget? Or do you lean more towards performance? These are all valid questions.
As always, we aim to simplify the task for our readers and make finding the integrated graphics that work for you a whole lot more straightforward. Hence why we’ve dedicated a guide to finding the best integrated graphics on the market by channeling our expertise of all things PC.
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Integrated graphics shares memory with the CPU and gives budget-focused consumers a more economical option to dedicated graphics cards and also include a graphics processing unit. Let’s take look at the best options.
Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics
Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics is hands down the most powerful integrated graphics solution on the market today. Gaming without a dedicated GPU doesn’t get better than Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics.
AMD has leveraged both its CPU and GPU know-how to produce the Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics, an integrated graphics solution capable of running a healthy selection of games at 720p with frame rates north of 50 fps in some cases.
Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics feature in both of AMD’s top APUs – The Ryzen 5 2400G and 3400G
Radeon RX Vega 8 Graphics
Radeon RX Vega 8 Graphics is another integrated graphics solution from AMD, built on the 14nm process and based on the raven graphics processor. Vega 8 supports DirectX 12 and can run modern games but is less powerful than Vega 11.
Intel UHD 630
For most desktop CPUs (Coffee-Lake and above), Intel UHD 630 graphics can be found. Whilst these integrated graphics are nowhere near as powerful as the Vega alternative, it still offers a graphical output for those without (or a problematic) graphics card.
Whilst Intel UHD 630 supersedes the older HD Graphics 630, the only advantage it has over its predecessor is a greater clock speed.
Iris Pro Graphics P580
Despite not being the most recent iteration of Intel Graphics, the Iris Pro Graphics P580 remains the most powerful one to grace Intel’s arsenal of integrated graphics solutions. Somewhat rare due to being part of the Skylake line of processors, finding one is the only real problem with this one.
With an impressive 1.16 Teraflops of computing power, the Iris Pro Graphics P580 is as good as it gets when it comes to Intel and integrated graphics.
Intel Iris Plus Graphics
Intel Iris Plus Graphics is the most widely available integrated graphics solution by far and packs a surprising graphical punch.
A hallmark of Intel’s 10th generation processors in the i3, i5, i7 families, Intel Iris Pro Graphics is only beaten by AMD Vega 11. It represents Intel making a decisive step towards taking its integrated graphics solution to a broader gaming audience.
Making the right choice is no simple task. 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.
Testing forms a big part of our vetting process and forms a central pillar of the top picks found in our best of 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 it 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.
Here’s what you need to consider when eyeing up a new integrated graphics. These should help get a firm idea of what a particular model can offer.
AMD or Intel?
Given that integrated graphics are incorporated into CPUs, the choice of manufacturer comes down to either AMD or Intel. Much like CPUs, there are some differences between the two; not least is the price. As usual, AMD counterparts tend to be cheaper, while Intel products are markedly more expensive.
Intel’s range of integrated graphics is dubbed Intel Graphics, while AMD’s are called APU, accelerated processing unit. Accelerated Processing Unit is nothing more than a marketing term, so don’t be fooled into thinking it’s anything other than CPU featuring integrated graphics.
CPU Choice Will Dictate Integrated Graphics
Choosing integrated graphics will more often than not come down to what type of CPU you want. Clock speeds, performance, and budget tend to dictate the quality of the integrated graphics, so remember that, in general, the more you spend on a CPU, the better the integrated graphics solution.
When confronted with favoring the CPU’s performance or the integrated graphics when shopping around for hardware for a new build, we recommend concentrating on the CPU. The CPU will have a far more significant impact on how a build performs than the integrated graphics.
In the same vein, it’s worth remembering that your CPU choice will limit what Integrated Graphics options are available to you.
Gaming or Non-Intensive Tasks?
Only the best integrated graphics are truly capable of running games. Conversely, even the lowest spec integrated graphics will be able to handle the demands of daily tasks like web browsing, video streaming services like Netflix, and administrative work.
There’s no point in forking out for a much more expensive CPU to secure better integrated graphics if you won’t be running relatively intensive tasks onto your build. Buy according to your needs and save yourself a pretty penny in the process.
Similarly, if you plan on playing the most demanding games, then integrated graphics won’t cut it, and you are best turning your focus to securing a dedicated graphics card to avoid disappointment.
Regardless of what you hope to get from integrated graphics, the contents of your wallet will always be the final judge of what you can buy. Fortunately, there are options for every budget, and the difference between CPUs packing the lowest and highest spec integrated graphics can be quite vast, which may surprise first-time builders.
To give you an idea, a top of the line Intel Core i9 9900KS with Intel UHD Graphics 630 integrated graphics costs anywhere north of $500, while a comparatively docile Intel Core i3-9100 with the same Intel UHD Graphics 630 will set your back just shy of $150. While the integrated graphics are identical, it’s the power of the processor that causes a substantial price gap. Hence why it’s crucial to remember the two are intrinsically linked.
Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics
Selecting Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics as our top pick was an easy task. This integrated graphics solution featuring in a range of AMD APUs is by far the best for those hoping to game without spending a fortune on a dedicated GPU. That said, it’s important to note that it’s no substitute for the real thing, and as such, we recommend tempering expectations – you won’t be playing the most performance-intensive games with Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics.
Nevertheless, it boasts some impressive specifications, including fifth generation Vega architecture, 1250 MHz clock speed, 11 compute units with 704 shaders, and dual-channel DDR4-2400 RAM. It also features support DirectX 12 thanks to the Raven Ridge architecture. On top of this, AMD’s 14nm process means there are also efficiency gains with a TDP of 65 Watt. In terms of performance, Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics shine brightest at 720p with the settings gravitating between low and medium.
In Gearbox’s most recent Borderlands 3, you can hit just shy of 60 fps. In Apex Legends, you’re looking at above 60 fps. In certain games like Overwatch and Rocket League, Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics is more than capable of 60 fps at 1080p, but this remains an oddity rather than something you should expect with all games.
Intel UHD 630 Graphics
Intel’s desktop integrated graphics have come along way over the last several years, with the latest iteration having the potential to offer some performance in extremely low-level gaming titles. Whilst this is by no means a solution for gamers wanting to get good FPS, it is a great option to have if you have literally no GPU – or your graphics cards decides to pack in.
Codenamed ‘Gen9.5 LP GT2’, the latest version of Intel’s graphics supersedes their HD graphics 630 from before 2017. That being said, the latest version doesn’t actually offer anything different, with only a small boost in clock speeds separating the two.
UHD graphics were introduced back in 2017 alongside the 8th generation Coffee Lake processors, giving them what seemed like a graphical bolster right out of the box. However, when compared to the likes of Vega 11 and 8, it’s clear that Intel are still miles behind in this particular area.
Intel Iris Pro Graphics P580
The Intel Iris Pro Graphics P580 doesn’t quite reach the heights of Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics but represents Intel’s best attempt to date at equipping its CPUs with gaming-capable integrated graphics.
Intel Iris Pro Graphics P580 boasts 72 execute units, 576 shading units, 128 MB of eDRAM, boost clock speed of 1000 MHz, and a max Teraflop reading of 1152. Alongside the eDRAM, Intel Iris Pro Graphics P580 can also tap into the CPU’s main memory, 64-bit DDR-2133, for an extra boost of power. The power efficiency is also excellent at a relatively low TDP of 45 Watt. It also supports DirectX 12.
Much like Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics, performance is generally limited to 720p with the settings on low, but on certain games like Rise of the Tomb Raider, the integrated graphics can reach 1080p at over 30 fps.
The only real downside to the Intel Iris Pro Graphics P580 is that it was launched five years ago and no longer features in most modern Intel CPU models. This means finding one can be a bit difficult, but not impossible thanks to the second-hand market. Another issue is that as an Intel product, the price is steeper than buying an AMD counterpart.
Intel Iris Plus Graphics
In terms of widely available Intel-made integrated graphics, Intel Iris Plus Graphics is by far the best around. It doesn’t reach the heights of the Intel Iris Pro Graphics P580, it has to be said, but is the best we can get from Intel before it pushes out 11th generation CPUs in the coming years.
Looking at the specifications, Intel Iris Plus Graphics includes 64 compute units, a 300 MHz base clock speed, 1050 to 1100 boost clock speed, 64 MB of eDRAM, Dual-channel LPDDR4X-3733, and a top Teraflop rating of around 1126. It can be found in a decent selection of Intel Core i3, i5, and i7 CPUs, which gives us options when eyeing up a CPU that suits our needs and budget.
When gaming, the Intel Iris Plus Graphics can hit 1080p in games like Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege and Dirt Rally 2.0, but don’t expect frame rates any higher than 30 fps and remember to lower the settings way down. Much like other integrated graphics solutions, you’re looking at 720p for most games.
In terms of negatives, the CPU/Intel Iris Plus Graphics package is generally more expensive than the better Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics. Still, if you are set on an Intel CPU, there isn’t anything better than you can order right away from a hardware component retailer.
There you have it, our pick of the best integrated graphics available on the market today. If reading through a block of text isn’t your cup of tea, we’ve scaled it down to a much shorter version for easy reference.
- If you want the best of the market today, then look no further than AMD’s Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics. In terms of price and performance, there’s nothing better out there.
- Although a little hard to come by, the Intel Iris Pro Graphics P580 is by far Intel’s best attempt at incorporating some gaming capability into its CPUs.
- Widely available and featuring Intel’s renowned CPU know-how, the Intel Iris Plus Graphics is the ideal solution for someone entrenched in the Intel camp and doesn’t want to shop around for older, although better, models.
That’s a wrap on the best integrated graphics on the market today. We hope our guide has helped you settle on the best option for your needs.
Don’t forget to leave a comment if we’ve missed anything or you have questions. Otherwise, you can drop by our Community Hub to discuss integrated graphics with other like-minded PC enthusiasts.