I am building my first desktop and before I order the parts I need to know if an integrated graphics core is needed in a CPU if I am going to use a high end graphics card attached through an expansion slot. If not is one required in the motherboard or can the graphics card just be plugged in?

  • Closed for off-topic might make sense, but "not-constructive"? No, the plug-in will often override the mobo GPU or you'll disable the on-board in BIOS. It's a simple yes/no question: on-board is not required. – msw Sep 26 '12 at 4:45

If you plan to only use a dedicated graphics card, then no - the internal graphics core of the CPU would be useless.

Maybe you would be able to use something like Nvidia Optimus to save power by only using the dedicated GPU for graphically intensive tasks like gaming or GPU computing, and automatically switching to the internal GPU for everything else. However, I don't know if that technology is available for desktop computers.

In any case, the internal core (even in combination with the dedicated GPU, if possible) could only be used if your motherboard provides the necessary connections from the CPU to the southbridge, and some kind of graphics ports (VGA, DVI, DisplayPort or HDMI).

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  • Optimus is only on laptops as far as I know – Simon Sheehan Sep 25 '12 at 22:26
  • Lucid's Virtu functionality is sort of similar, and is starting to pop up. – Shinrai Sep 25 '12 at 22:34
  • Thanks, I don't like to have everything ordered then find out that something has to be included in a part that I spent hundreds of dollars on. – James Lewis Sep 25 '12 at 23:19
  • @JamesLewis: The integrated cores on Intel's Ivy bridges aren't "extra money." A complementary non-GPU Intel does not exist for those CPUs. – surfasb Sep 25 '12 at 23:42
  • what i mean is that i don't like to pay for something then find out i ordered one that relied on something that isn't there because if something is missing i need to order a new one. this is because the CPU i wan't to order has no graphics core. – James Lewis Sep 26 '12 at 0:14

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