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Dedicated GPU Vs Integrated Graphics Card for Video Editing

Dedicated GPU Vs Integrated Graphics Card for Video Editing

If you've been looking for the differences between a dedicated GPU and an integrated GPU well then you're in the right place. In this article, we're gonna talk about the best use cases for each one how they work where they're situated within a laptop and all of the surrounding important information.

What is the physical difference?

Well, a dedicated GPU has its own position and peripherals on the motherboard. It is a separate component. An integrated GPU is where the CPU and the GPU live in harmony together within the same die. A processor die is a single continuous piece of semiconductor material usually made out of silicone. Now when I first got into learning about all this computer techie stuff I thought of a dedicated GPU as really just the one inside of a desktop computer. It had these usually big fans on top had its own heat pipes inside. I was just this huge chunky piece of the component.

But then when I really thought about I thought how do you fit something like that inside of a laptop? To point out the differences? That is not the GPU that is the entire component. The GPU is actually a smaller chip within that massive hunk of equipment right there. Okay but then integrated GPUs actually fit within the CPU. The entire chip it contains both the CPU and the integrated GPU.

This is what it looks like the inside of a laptop. So right here you see the GPU in the CPU as two separate components. This is what a dedicated GPU would look like in your laptop. Now as you see there's no dedicated fan or heat pipes on top of or within this dedicated GPU. They're using the fans or it's using the fans. Or whoever made this laptop is using the fans to cool the whole system. So that's one of the negatives of a dedicated GPU is they are going to be quite a bit warmer than an integrated GPU. But we'll get into that more in just a little bit.

Dedicated GPU Vs Integrated Graphics Card for Video Editing

Big performance differences

Right off the bat, a dedicated GPUs sole purpose is to display and process graphical information. So this is either rendering, motion design project, or displaying 4K playback on your screen while editing in the timeline of saying DaVinci Resolve or Premiere Pro. An integrated GPU. The iGPU is a part of the CPU and it can only produce so much power. The dedicated GPU die is actually a lot of times bigger than the CPU as a whole. So it's hard to fit all of that GPU power into a CPU.

What an integrated GPU looks like packaged within a CPU?

You're looking at a 6 core CPU with integrated graphics. So this is what it looks like. This is an integrated GPU.

Now Intel has more and more and more developed their process of integrating GPUs and making them more efficient. And so that's why an i7 7700HQ inside of my Dell XPS15 with a GTX 1050 dedicated GPU gets about the same power and torque as this i7 1165 g7 without a dedicated GPU. So Intel has really been working on optimizing their integrated GPU systems. And there's a lot of benchmark tests that I've run where an integrated GPU chip keeps up with a dedicated GPU. But that is not as common now but I feel like it will be more and more in the future.

Some of the limitations of a dedicated GPU and an integrated GPU

So first and foremost transistors, transistors are basically what makes up a CPU and what makes up a GPU. The little bits that are set on top of the CPU or GPU and they would actually give them the semiconductor the power it needs to do its task. Transistors get smaller and smaller every year. And what that means is it gives the opportunity for a component producer to put more of the transistors on the CPU or GPU which then ultimately gives them more power.

So rather than making the GPU smaller they just make them more powerful by adding more transistors on the semiconductor. GPUs get hot which is why dedicated GPUs and desktop PCs come with their own fan systems. Your laptop is trying to do this with heat pipes and small built-in fans. So that's why when you have a dedicated GP you're going to have a laptop that runs hotter. And when you have an integrated GPU you're going to have a laptop that predominantly runs cooler in mass-market averages.

Memory limitations

This is something that a dedicated GPU will not have because it has its own dedicated GDDR5 or GDDR6. Now that we have series out. Dedicated Ram memory or Ram or memory separate never say it together. All the computer geeks will hate you for it versus the CPU system's main memory being shared with the integrated GPU. So that means that the memory sticks that come within your computer the two sticks or one stick that's in your computer that's separate from the CPU is actually what the integrated GPU is using to receive some of the information. So that's another limitation of integrated GPU is it shares memory with the CPU.


CPUs can be made far more affordable without massive integrated GPUs. And this is more financially viable for computer companies. Being the fact that most of these laptops are for business people and students it really doesn't make sense to beef up the integrated GPU.

Which Should You Buy as a Video Editor?

It makes more sense for somebody like myself and yourself who's a creative professional perhaps to buy a laptop with a CPU and a dedicated GPU. Now over time like I said the technology might get better and that no longer makes sense. But at the moment that's why you don't see integrated GPU laptops being really strong and beefy because the mass market is not needing that type of technology.

3 ways that video editing utilizes your GPU- playback rendering and encoding

Playback is the timeline inside a Premier Pro. Eventually, resolve, after-effects as you're editing. Rendering is rendering motion graphics or visual elements in the video. So Let's say you have different motion effects that take place on your video editing project. When you click Enter and then your program renders those out to be get ready for exporting or just make your playback smoother. That's rendering and then encoding. When exporting out of the video editing software you can Select hardware encoding which will allow the GPU to support the export and hopefully make it a faster exporting time. So those are the ways that video editing utilizes the GPU.

Comparing the performance

Dedicated GPU Vs Integrated Graphics Card for Video Editing

Let's look at Intel integrated XE graphics versus an Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti. Now both of these are Intel products the Legion 5i versus the HP Pro Book 630 g8. So Intel graphics processor is going to be i7 1165 g7. And this is Video GTX 1660 ti inside of the Legion 5i is going to be the i7 10750 h. The exports time out of 4K is about 6 minutes and 56 seconds. And then we see with the dedicated graphics we got about 5:13. So saving you well over a minute in export time.

Now to render out motion graphics about 7240 motion graphics frames with integrated graphics takes about 9 minutes and 57 seconds and about half that time in 5 minutes and 2 seconds. Now, this is where things get really interesting.

Look at the playback. This is full quality 4K playback. In Premiere Pro we have to drop 9465 frames out of the 16177 frames in total that's how many frames the actual project had so it dropped over two-thirds of the frames that existed whereas the full quality 4K playback with the dedicated GPU only dropped frames. So pretty amazing.

Next, we have DaVinci Resolve Export time 32 minutes and 15 seconds out of the integrated graphics and 11 minutes and 7 seconds out of the dedicated graphics. Finally, I really wanted to show this because this is something that I think is very important. If you notice the Photoshop benchmark is only about 30 ish points away. Okay, so what this means is if you're a photo editor or graphic designer you don't need a dedicated GPU. It's mainly for the video motion design type of use cases.

And that's really a big bonus for you. If you're a graphic designer or photographer you can save a little money. Get maybe a more thin and light laptop gets a better battery life so on and so forth.

How much Ram do you need?

Let's say you decide you want to get a dedicated GPU. How much VRAM do you need for your use cases? If you're editing math has 6K projects from a red camera. We're doing complex motion graphics at 5, 10 15 minutes long projects. You will definitely want to get as much GPU VRAM as you can afford. But if you're working on basic and 1080P projects maybe some 4K with basic transitions and overlays you don't need as much VRAM. And if you're using 1080p you might not even need VRAM you might be fine with integrated graphics within the CPU.

Here's a quick run-through of the Nvidia GeForce GPU lineup.

Dedicated GPU Vs Integrated Graphics Card for Video Editing

If you're somebody who's wanting to get a dedicated GPU, Here's the cores and threads the VRAM connected to it. And this is the original Dell XPS15 I was talking about earlier. I had 2 gigs of Ram and like I said the Intel Iris XE graphics with the I7 1165 G7 is basically equivalent to the power of this type of machine. As as we move up the line with CUDA cores Ram you're just going to be able to do a heck of a lot more with all that power. So 1080P is my recommendation. Let some light 4K here some heavier 4K. Once we get into the 1660 Ti some 6K and then just I can do anything that you want with me the RTX 3080 which is just an absolute beast but a very expensive GPU.

Benefits of Integrated Vs Dedicated GPU

First and foremost the integrated graphics are going to run cooler because it produces less heat. Secondly, it's going to be quieter because it produces less heat. There's less fan noise. The third thing is going to be thinner and lighter form factors. You don't have to have as much room around that dedicated GPU. You don't have to have as many thick fans. You can get a lighter and thinner form factor with better battery life you're not going to be sucking all that power from the big beefy dedicated GPU and then usually better build materials for the same price just because they're not putting more money into by putting a dedicated GPU in there.

It's only using one CPU, GPU combined semiconductor so they can save a little money maybe do some better aluminum build materials and things along those lines.

Dedicated graphics benefits obviously faster export times out of Premiere Pro and DaVinci resolve smoother timeline playback in that two software. Higher quality screen resolution vastly better live stream capabilities whether you're a gamer or you live stream to YouTube your content whatever it might be. And then also it frees up the CPUs workload to do the tasks which ultimately will make your computer overall a little faster as a whole.

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