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I capture screen for hours every now and then - somebody mentioned a good GPU is needed for this..

I watch videos - sometimes they are HD.

I do web-design sometimes (not animation work though.)

Does onboard GPU that comes with sandy bridge suffice?

Edit: I have i7-2600 sandy bridge.

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You need to provide more detail about what Sandy Bridge you have. –  Dave Aug 14 '12 at 7:34
    
@DaveRook done! –  TPR Aug 14 '12 at 7:46

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This link shows some differences and that they can play HD but, it depends on your CPU model. http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Intel/Core_i5_2500K_GPU/

The chipset you have plays video at 24fps - the issue is video actually plays at 23.976 fps ... so what happens to a display that refreshes itself 24.000 times per second? You get a repeated frame approximately every 40 seconds to synchronize the source frame rate with the display frame rate. That repeated frame appears to your eyes as judder in motion, particularly evident in scenes involving a panning camera. How big of an issue this is depends on the user. Some can just ignore the judder, others will attempt to smooth it out by setting their display to 60Hz, while others will be driven absolutely insane by it.

Source

Now, to address your actual question, it seems you use the PC like me - I don't do games, but I do web / Photoshop / In Design (and even basic movie edits). I don't use a GPU - the built-in is fine.

However, I also don't care if my DVD plays in HD or not! As long as it's not pix-elated I'm happy, but this will be the only point of concern for you (if you need HD or not).

The only other thing which a GPU would allow is multiple monitors - for example, I brought a GPU simply because I wanted 3 monitors.

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I rarely use two monitors - forget three! I don't see how I can justify dedicated graphics card. Any youtube video of the "judder" you speak of? –  TPR Aug 14 '12 at 8:28
    
I don't have any problem on my netbook which has no dedicated GPU - and it's not even a good built in graphics processor, just the onboard. And I watch film on it, web/software dev and very basic graphics. IMO, you don't need it. –  Dave Aug 14 '12 at 8:29
    
what about recording screen for hours? Does gpu help in that at all? –  TPR Aug 20 '12 at 5:30
    
Makes no difference (if you are taking of screen capture devices). It may make a difference if you're recording it via a remote device like a camcorder though as a GPU may have more refresh rate optinos. –  Dave Aug 21 '12 at 7:06
    
Has your question been answered? –  Dave Aug 29 '12 at 10:23

Besides Gaming, most GPUs implement Video decoding algorithms, that fasten up HD video playback.

Now for example, if you have an laptop that boasts Blueray reader and you have a nice 50" screen at home. Non-accelerated environment would choke a lot when you'd playback your movie.

Since you've mentioned doing web-design, it depends on the software. I'm using Photoshop CS5 mostly, and, it has OpenGL rendering advantages, that require you to have a sufficent graphics card. And yes, that OpenGL rendering sure do speed up the processing of large projects.

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The physical size of the screen (50") has little influence on the performance. The same video would choke on the tiny laptop screen too, since its the resolution of the Blu-ray (input) that requires hardware-acceleration, not the output resolution. –  Muis Oct 2 '13 at 12:35

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