GPU vs Graphics Card – A Brief Guide

Have you commonly seen people around you calling a graphic card a GPU or thinking they are the same thing? Let us discuss in this guide about GPU vs Graphics Card – What Is the Difference?

This guide is for those willing to learn about gaming computer components and the complex terms surrounding you. You will get a short answer and a detailed explanation on this topic; read till the very end to get reliable information on this topic.

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GPU vs. Graphics Card – What Is the Difference?

Though they are different, you will see people use the three terms: graphic card, video card, and GPU as a replacement for each other. A graphic card is a fully functional piece of hardware that includes the GPU, which is the main chip on the graphic card. It also has VRAM, PCB, and other hardware elements as support to operate functions in your PC.

GPU vs. Graphics Card – What Is the Difference? Detailed guide:

The Graphics card is an integral part of our gaming computer, which is responsible for display on our monitor screen. GPU is a short form of the graphics processing unit responsible for graphical processing tasks. GPU is a chip on top of the graphic card; it is more efficient than the CPU and has more to do with the in-game graphics, making your gameplay an unforgettable experience.

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The graphic card also has other components; it doesn’t only consist of a GPU chip. The graphic card has various features like PCB, video memory, cooler, and connectors. GPU is manufactured by top gaming components seller brands AMD and NVidia. A graphic card is an overall product you finally buy for your gaming PC from different gaming components selling brands like Gigabyte, EVGA, ASUS, MSI, and many more.

You would also typically hear a graphic card termed a dedicated or discrete graphic card indicating the graphic card is separate hardware which is as important in your gaming PC, and its slot is present on the motherboard.

There are two types of graphic cards, one has an internal slot that is fixed, and the other one is external. Most of the gaming graphics cards are connected externally with a cable via a port named Thunderbolt 3. The external graphics card is used by laptop users playing games on their laptops to increase their gaming performance to as close to a desktop gaming performance.

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Now let us talk about integrated graphics or GPUs combined with CPUs on the same die. These integrated GPUs are power efficient as they do not carry additional space on the motherboard. 

If one is only looking for the best GPU for gaming, integrated graphics are for him. It is also capable of processing basic graphic tasks if you do not only want to use it for gaming. Integrated graphics help to reduce power and are cheaper as well. So it is also helpful for daily usages such as watching YouTube videos and internet surfing. 

An integrated graphics is also termed an APU or accelerated processing unit by one of the GPU benchmark manufacturers, AMD; it is the term used for CPU integrated with graphics. The most powerful integrated graphics card in 2022 is AMD’s Ryzen APUS. It is perfect for gaming purposes, and you can also play games at lower resolutions.

The guide: GPU vs. Graphics Card – What Is the Difference? I had some frequently asked questions, which we keep updating, that could help you further clarify your thoughts on this topic.

Frequently Asked Questions

GPU vs. CPU, what’s more important?

Both of them are extremely important for your gaming computer. Without GPU, your display won’t open, and the whole system won’t start without a CPU. So both are fundamental elements for your PC to operate.

What is an average gaming GPU price?

The price of a standard GPU would be between 250-400 dollars; it could be more depending on your overall budget for building your gaming computer.

Do I need a GPU and a graphics card?

You would require some graphic card on your laptop or gaming desktop; otherwise, there will be no image to be shown on your display. So yes, it is an integral part of your computer.

What difference does a graphics card make?

There’s a lot of difference between buying a cheap graphic card from an ordinary company and buying a little expensive one from a reputable brand because it would significantly increase your computer’s gaming ability. The best graphic card improves the quality of your display which helps you play your favourite game with improved video quality, and it also helps free unnecessary space. All the gaming computers, especially in 2022, will have their graphic card installed in them, and it could be built in the motherboard or a separate space where you could install or upgrade a new graphic card.

Are graphics cards and GPU the same?

You must have seen people say GPU, video card, and graphic card are the same thing. But to clarify, the complete form of the GPU is a graphics processing unit. A gaming computer uses GPU to render image quality, 2D or 3D video animations for quality display for your gaming.

Which is better: GPU or graphics card?

The three terms video card. Graphics card and GPU are terms used as a replacement for one another but are different. A graphic card is the main thing on which a GPU is present as the main chip on top. The fully functional piece is a graphic card supporting other hardware elements. It is called a video card because it increases the quality of your display; the better the graphic card is, the better your video quality will be.

Do I need a GPU or graphics card?

The first answer to your question would be: a graphic card is an integral part of your gaming PC, without which your display won’t even start. At the same time, the GPU cooks the image for better quality and produces signals your monitor can understand.

Final words:

I hope this guide: GPU vs Graphics Card – What Is the Difference? Has clarified many of your queries regarding this misunderstanding of terms GPU, graphic card and video card. If you have questions about any related gaming computer component terms, you may ask.

Thanks for reading!

Mathew Robinson
Mathew Robinson is an IT professional who has worked for 5 years in gaming PC industry. He has completed his MSc from Australia in advanced manufacturing and has a good grip in his field. He currently works on websites related to computer components to provide valuable information to buyers.