Compare Laptop Graphics Chips

Use a dedicated graphics card for playing games or editing video on your laptop.

Laptops rely on energy-efficient graphics chips to keep system temperatures low. Laptop graphics chips are designed to balance the need for low power consumption and small footprint with the required level of performance.


There are two basic types of laptop graphics chip: integrated and dedicated. Integrated cards usually borrow from the computer’s main memory, while dedicated units have their own memory, which minimizes interference with other computer operations. Cards with “HyperMemory” or “TurboCache” features borrow from the main memory.


Dedicated cards tend to run hotter than integrated cards, resulting in faster battery drain. A chip’s thermal design power, or TDP, gives an indication of its heat production, and thus its efficiency. TDP is the maximum amount of power a unit can dissipate when running software. The lower the TDP, the cooler the chip.


There are three main elements to a laptop graphics chip’s processing power: speed (clock frequency), pipelines (shaders) and bus width. The faster the speed, the more times per second the unit executes software instructions. The more pipelines it has, the more pixels it can fill in simultaneously. The larger a chip’s bus width, the more data it can receive from the memory at a given time.

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