Can You Replace An Integrated Graphics Card? [Know for Sure]

Written By Farhan Max

Playing Hogwarts Legacy might become a pain in the neck if integrated graphics is your only option. All the stuttering and lags will make you so nuts that you want to “Avada Kedavra,” the monitor.

To get out of this crazy crap, why not replace the integrated GPU?

Well, I won’t be surprised if this quick thought crosses your mind. The sad but bitter truth is you can’t change or upgrade the onboard graphics.

If you want to know why you can’t and the main reasons behind it, this article will answer all your questions. So, sit tight and start reading!can-you-replace-an-integrated-graphics-card

Check out the easiest way to disable Integrated Graphics.

What is Integrated GPU?

Integrated graphics, also known as iGPU, are directly soldered into the motherboard’s PCB or built into the CPU. These iGPUs share the CPU’s processing power to render graphics. Due to lacking VRAM, it uses the system’s RAM as a shared GPU memory.integrated-gpu

Since this type of GPU does graphical calculations using the CPU’s power, they consume power in a small amount. That’s why integrated graphics snatched the Poor GPU title.

Contrarily, the dedicated GPU is powerful because it has its own processors for rendering graphics.

And with VRAM (Video Random Access Memory), dedicated GPUs can process graphics faster, and this VRAM differs from the system’s RAM.

But integrated GPUs don’t have all this, and it’s fully dependent on the CPU; you can also call it onboard graphics. However, recent processors merged with more powerful iGPUs. And you can play almost entry to mid-level games by lowering gameplay settings.

Not bad, right?

Moreover, integrated graphics can handle typical day-to-day graphics intense work easily. But don’t think of throwing any high-graphics intensive jobs in it.

Is it Possible to Replace the Integrated Graphics Card?

Since integrated graphics is a part of the CPU, it’s impossible to replace it. However, if you are hell-bent on changing the iGPU, you cannot do much besides changing the entire processor. Go for a high-end CPU that’s fused with powerful integrated graphics.possible-to-replace-integrated-gpu

Onboard graphics are weak and slow because it needs a little from the CPU’s processing power.

It’s like iGPU is the weed of a tree, where the CPU being the mother tree and weeds like integrated graphics suck out the living mechanism (power) from it. Since this iGPU can’t deliver enough graphics rendering power, you must shift to a powerful onboard GPU-embedded CPU.

But you must buy a motherboard if you are up for a new powerful CPU because each new processor has a new socket type because the CPU’s architecture changes yearly.

So, get the CPU and MOBO when you’re desperate to replace the iGPU!

Why do Processors Come with iGPU in it?

Processors use iGPU to handle minimal graphics loads when the system lacks a dedicated GPU. Not all processors have integrated graphics; only a few series come with integrated graphics on the same silicon die. Ironically, these integrated graphics are weak.processors-with-igpu

For those who don’t need additional dedicated GPUs, AMD & Intel offer onboard graphics-enabled processors for them. They target non-gamers and basic computer task user professionals to sell these iGPU merged processors.

Basic computer tasks like internet surfing, running MS Office apps, watching movies and videos, etc. For general PC users, iGPU is more than enough. Plus, you can play entry-level games with it.

You can only use the integrated graphics from the motherboard’s back I/O panel. You’ll find HDMI, VGA, or DisplayPort in the back to connect your monitor through a cable.

The monitor will show nothing when the CPU lacks onboard graphics, and the monitor gets connected through the motherboard’s HDMI or DisplayPort.

As I stated, iGPU-based processors are available from Intel & AMD, but you won’t get that in all series. For intel, “F” series CPUs don’t have any onboard graphics. For AMD, only the APU models with the letter “G” in the end only have integrated graphics.

Surprisingly, Ryzen’s latest 7000 series all APUs have RDNA 2 GPU with two graphics cores. Instead of naming it CPU, AMD calls their processors APUs.

Which Type of GPU can you Replace?

You can’t replace the iGPU by any means, but it’s possible to replace the dedicated graphics card.  If your laptop has an MXM slot to mount dGPUs, you can change the card. But desktop motherboards have one or multiple dedicated PCIe x16 slots to mount dedicated GPUs.pcie-x16-slot

So, it’s possible to change desktop and laptops dedicated graphics cards. Desktops support mounting multiple graphics cards; you can interlink those GPUs together for better performance.

It’s a plus point for the desktop user.

AMD and Nvidia support connecting multiple cards to achieve beast-level graphics rendering power. Nvidia named this tech SLI, whereas AMD called its multiple graphics combining tech CrossFire. But you won’t see SLI or crossfire technology in recent cards.

Sadly, there are some difficulties in upgrading graphics cards in laptops, so before buying one, ensure the possibility of upgrading the laptop’s GPU.

Moreover, you must choose the right GPU for your CPU because the game won’t be that much enjoyable if you don’t get the perfect CPU and GPU combo.


Can I Replace an integrated GPU with the dedicated one?

You can mount a dedicated graphics card to your desktop. When you install the driver, the system will select it as the primary GPU and deactivate the iGPU.

Can I change my laptop’s integrated graphics?

You can’t change your laptop’s iGPU because it’s part of the CPU. The integrated graphics get soldered with the CPU’s silicon die. However, if you want to change, you must replace the laptop.

Can I game with integrated graphics?

The integrated or onboard GPU is not made for gaming because it’s weak and can’t render heavy 3D graphics. Plus, it lacks video memory (VRAM) and a graphics processor.

Wrapping Up

I believe it’s clear to you that you can’t change the onboard graphics. This is clearly an impossible task because this GPU is a part of the processor as a chip. So, if the graphics upgradation is all that matters to you, go for a dedicated graphics card.

And for the laptop segment, at least buy a laptop with a dedicated GPU to handle all your graphics workloads without hassle. I believe you got all the points. Best of luck!

About The Author
Farhan Max is a tech geek with a particular interest in computer hardware. He's been fascinated by gaming since childhood and is now completing his undergraduate studies while researching and testing the latest tech innovations. Alongside his love for all things geeky, Farhan is also a skilled photographer.

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