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I've been out of the hardware loop for a long time, and seeing as it's time for me to upgrade, I've been looking at the latest gear. The newest Intel processors appear to have integrated graphics chips on board. Since I use my computer primarily for gaming, I obviously want a dedicated card.

How do things work with two graphics chips like this? Is it an either-or situation, or do they work side by side? Do you essentially choose which one you want to use via BIOS? Or does merely plugging in a dedicated card "disable" the integrated chip?

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This depends on the motherboard, but typically with current Intel chips the integrated graphics will nicely exist alongside one or more dedicated GPUs. That is to say, for the vast majority of new motherboards you won't have to do a thing (or at worst you'll have to designate the offboard graphics as having priority over the onboard graphics, or if you want to use both explicitly tell it if it's a board that disables the onboard by default).

  • Keep in mind that mixing graphics cards/drivers hasn't been a problem for an OS for quite some time, so there's no particular reason for hardware vendors to lock you out of this. – Shinrai Dec 14 '12 at 23:57

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