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As I'm thinking about getting a new computer, I really only have one question: Do I really need a graphics card? The computer I'm making would just be a family computer (Note: Windows 7) with only occasional gaming. I've always thought integrated works just fine for most people, especially since most people don't do gaming.

With me jumping from XP to Win 7 though, is a graphics card really necessary in my case?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by DavidPostill, fixer1234, ncdownpat, Fazer87, random Jul 28 at 13:50

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

You mean a discrete graphics card, right? An integrated graphics card is still a graphics card. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Nov 21 '10 at 19:03
@Ignacio Sorry about that, I've always considered integrated not a graphics card. Habit – TheLQ Nov 21 '10 at 19:24
@Ignacio - I agree with TheLQ. Integrated graphics are on the motherboard - not on a separate card. Then again, people call tape and floppy disk image files "ROMs", so language can be a funny thing. – Steve314 Nov 21 '10 at 19:28
If you have the option to buy a motherboard that has an integrated graphics card plus a PCI-E slot which you can use for upgrading, that would be better. – Isxek Nov 21 '10 at 21:56

5 Answers 5

up vote 5 down vote accepted

My view - these days, you worry about graphics performance in modern systems if you want to play games - and I don't mean "casual" games. But then again, I'm still using Windows XP. AFAIK, the Vista and Windows 7 pretties are well within the capabilities of any modern integrated graphics, ahem, card though. Unless you have a specific reason to be concerned about graphics performance, I say don't worry too much about it - but do check that your motherboard isn't a total dog for integrated graphics performance.

The worst that can happen - you buy a graphics card later.

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Onboard graphics card are not bad in these days. You will be forced to change it only if you care about 3d intensive game titles :)

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I wouldn't say a graphics card is necessary but it may make the glitter of Windows 7 (Aero effects) look a bit better. On board graphics have come a long way in the past few years, so I personally wouldn't be afraid of removing a GPU from my budget IF I had picked a suitable motherboard/CPU combo (I hear good graphics from the i5 processors).

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That depends on the quality of the onboard video chip.

I have seen Windows 7 computers with onboard video running Windows 7 and using Aero.

Although I don't believe that they would support a very demanding video game, for most games the video settings can be tweaked down.

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For general family needs, and some light gaming, an AMD APU would be the perfect solution.

The video core of APUs are usually more powerful than onboard graphics and Intel video cores in CPUs.

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