The CPU with an integrated graphics card isn’t a new concept. Still, we see the CPU with the integrated graphics card (or IGP) as a solution for non-demanding users like office work, internet surfing, or video streaming. The real gamer immediately frowned and shivered at the mention of the CPU-integrated graphics card, as I was years ago.
Every more advanced user wants to put a more advanced discrete graphics card in their PC to have the best performance-price ratio. In light of today’s market situation, an excellent discrete graphics card has two procurement issues – it’s hard to come by and expensive if you find it.
It doesn’t make sense to put up to 2/3 of the PC configuration price on a mediocre graphics card ( if you find one). Fortunately, the performance of CPU-integrated graphics cards is at a much higher level than a few years ago.
Many users (gamers) consider whether IGP can serve as a transitional solution to purchase a decent discrete graphics card at a reasonable price. First of all, we need to consider what led to the shortage and rise in the price of graphics cards and what you can do if you are now embarking on building a new PC for gaming.
Why is there a shortage of discrete graphics cards?
You may be wondering why it’s so hard to find a new graphics card lately.
You started your first PC gaming build, but when you look for a graphics card, they are the following problems:
- either not in stock at all, or
- their prices are so high that they immediately deter you from buying.
Since the beginning of 2021, it has been almost impossible to find new NVIDIA graphics cards like RTX 3080, 3070, or even 3060. It is a new series of NVIDIA, but you can’t find weaker graphics cards in sufficient quantity and recommended price. The same goes for the latest AMD models, RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT and lower.
Graphics cards are almost instantly selling out anywhere to appear, given the incredible demand and amounts that were practically unimaginable to pay for a single graphics card. Older graphics cards (AMD RX 570, RX 580, NVIDIA GTX 1060, GTX 1070, etc.) also sold out.
In early 2021, AMD and NVIDIA promised to pay special attention to gamers’ needs and provide sufficient quantities at recommended prices. However, everything remained on the promise. One amount goes to OEM partners who sell graphics cards exclusively within prebuilt configurations and the rest to end consumers. In general, the demand is much higher than the supply itself.
Mining and Semiconductors
One of the reasons for the shortage of graphics cards is certainly mining cryptocurrencies via GPU. However, it may be unclear why AMD and NVIDIA don’t mass-produce graphics cards for mining (e.g., NVIDIA GPU 106-100). They are cheaper to make due to the lack of video ports.
The possible answer lies in another problem that has come to the fore this year: the lack of semiconductors. The demand for smartphones is constant, but the need for gaming consoles, computers, and laptops is also growing. The semiconductor industry cannot keep up with the great demand. This crisis has led to problems in the supply of prominent producers and, thus, smaller deliveries to end consumers.
As the end of 2021 approaches, the situation hasn’t improved. According to the forecasts, no better condition can be seen during 2022 either.
What are the best CPU-integrated graphics?
You can find many descriptions and tests of different IGPs on the Internet. However, I will not unnecessarily drag you into the same story but immediately move on to the specific answer I found after testing.
The best IGP you can currently find is the AMD Ryzen 5 5600G and Ryzen 7 5700G, with Radeon Vega RX integrated graphics.
AMD Ryzen 5 5600G
AMD Ryzen 7 5700G
Intel Core i5 11600K
Intel UHD 750 Graphics
For testing, I will take the new Intel processor Core i5 11600K, which comes with an unlocked overclock multiplier, but what’s even more attractive to us, it has an integrated graphics card marked Intel UHD 750 Graphics.
The integrated graphics card is based on the new Intel Iris Xe architecture and supports DirectX 12_1. Intel also based its first discrete graphics cards on the Iris Xe architecture, which will appear in early 2022.
The Intel UHD 750 TDP is only 15 W and has a dynamic operating clock ranging from 350 to 1300 MHz. Also, the new Intel UHD 750 has 32 executive units (EU) or graphics cores, 256 shading units, 8 ROP, and 16 texture units.
Given that Intel has been lagging behind AMD solutions in the graphics segment for many years, this time, it has promised excellent performance compared to its previously integrated graphics cards, such as the UHD 630. The Intel UDH 750 also supports QuickSync, a particular hardware unit for video encoding and encoding.
AMD Ryzen 5 5600G (Radeon RX Vega 7) – Best Value CPU Integrated Graphics
The latest AMD CPU with integrated graphics (APU) belongs to the 4th generation of the successful Ryzen series. AMD CPU with an integrated graphics card has the suffix G at the end of the number, an abbreviation of Graphics.
AMD Ryzen 5xxx CPU (coded name Cezanne) is built in 7nm and belongs to Zen 3 desktop APU technology (AMD designates its integrated graphics CPUs as APUs) for desktop PC. Zen 3 Cezanne brings significant improvements in IGP compared to Zen 2 and twice the amount of L3 cache (16 compared to 8 MB). When building the Ryzen 5 5600G and 5700G processors, AMD focused on better energy efficiency, easier integration, and better (integrated) graphics performance.
Integrated graphics in the AMD APU work differently than the older generation. The Ryzen 5 3400G immediately takes up 2GB of system RAM, while the Ryzen 5 5600G dynamically uses RAM.
The Ryzen 5 5600G comes with 6 Cores and 12 processing threads. It runs at 4.4Gh with boost, is unlocked for overclocking, has 19 MB of cache, and supports 3200Mhz DDR4 RAM. You also get an excellent AMD Wraith Stealth cooler in the box package.
The specification is more than enough for everyday work in demanding applications that rely on CPU power. However, if you want to play with the processor overclocking, you need a better-quality aftermarket cooler. I recommend some water cooling like Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120L RGB V2.
Radeon RX Vega 7 Graphics
While we’re still waiting for AMD’s newer integrated graphics chips based on the RDNA architecture, the current AMD APUs in the Ryzen 5 5600G and 5700G are based on the older Vega architecture. Like the Intel UDH 750, AMD integrated Vega fully supports DirectX 12_1 and uses 3200 MHz shared DDR4 system memory (RAM).
When we compare technologies, Intel’s integrated graphics card is based on a newer architecture, but the Radeon RX Vega has far more shading units and runs at a higher clock speed. AMD RX Vega comes with 7 CU-s running at 19oo MHz. All Zen 3 processors, unlike the older architecture, switch from DDR4 2933 to DDR3 3200 Mhz, which contributes the most to the performance of games with AMD APUs.
AMD Ryzen 7 5700G (Radeon RX Vega 7) – Fastest CPU Integrated graphics
AMD Ryzen 7 5700G is an excellent AMD IGP (APU) with eight cores and 16 threads for processing. The base clock of 3.8 GHz can reach 4.6 GHz via boost. The CPU also has a more significant 16 MB L3 cache. So, a great AMD CPU also comes with an integrated graphics card, Radeon Vega RX 8.
We can say that the Ryzen 5 5600G and Ryzen 7 5700G use very similar RX Vega graphics chips and the main difference is in the number of shading units and the clock speed of the graphics processor.
The AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 comes with 8-CU units with a maximum clock speed of 2000 MHz. The RX Vega 7 has 448 shading units, while the RX Vega 8 has 512. The number of ROP and texture units is identical (8/32).
How did I test?
For testing purposes, I used two different configurations depending on the processor. The Intel test computer has an Intel Core i5 11600K CPU on MSI MPG B560I GAMING EDGE WiFi motherboard. AMD test computer uses Ryzen APUs on the Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Impact motherboard.
Both configurations used quality Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 3200MHz memory in a dual-channel mode. Also, both PCs have new Windows 10 Pro 21H1 installed with the latest drivers for AMD and Intel IGP. I didn’t overclock anything for more realistic test results. I performed the tests with the nominal clock values of all processors.
For testing, I chose a few newer and more demanding games such as Assassins Creed Valhalla, Godfall, Far Cry 5, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and the popular online game Fortnite. Aside from realistic game testing, I couldn’t get around the popular 3DMark testing program either.
The resolution used for the games is 1280×720 (720p) and 1920×1080 (1080p) with DX12 or DX11 included and low-level details. I left the drivers to allocate the required amount of RAM dynamically, so I didn’t touch those settings.
Core i5 11600K
Ryzen 5 5600G
Ryzen 7 5700G
Radeon RX Vega 7
Radeon RX Vega 8
1080p, DX12, low
720p, DX12, low
1080p, DX12, low
720p, DX12, low
1080p, DX12, low
720p, DX12, low
1080p, DX11, low
720p, DX11, low
1080p, DX11, low
720p, DX11, low
Comment on test results for Intel UHD 750
If you own or plan to buy an Intel CPU with UHD 750 Graphics, one thing is clear; you won’t be playing newer games. Intel IGP fails to deliver enough FPS, especially in Godfall and Assassins Creed Valhalla. It all looks like a slide show, and least of all – good gaming.
Intel shows a little more in older games, such as Far Cry 5, but that’s not enough because the low clock speed and a modest number of shaders affected the performance. If you’re embarking on the newer Fortnite game with the UHD 750, know that here, too, you have to use 720p resolution and low detail for some enjoyable gaming.
So, if you want gaming on Intel UHD 750, you can do it without annoyance, only with older game titles or some newer online games, but in low resolution and details.
Comment on test results for AMD Ryzen RX Vega
AMD stands much better with results than Intel IGP. With Ryzen 5 APU, you will use 720p for comfortable gaming. If you switch to 1080p, it can still be playable depending on the game, but it won’t be a delightful gaming experience.
AMD Ryzen APUs did quite well in Fortnite, providing excellent 720p and 1080p resolution performance. The 5700G is the fastest IGP, but not that drastically big difference compared to the 5600G. So, if you want to play more or less comfortably and with the latest game titles, choose one of the AMD IGPs.
Could it be better?
Further, you can take performance to the next level by overclocking the processor and RAM. The performance of an integrated graphics card depends a lot on the speed of the system memory (part of RAM is also VRAM for IGP). Use as fast RAM as possible. For example, DDR4 3600 Mhz will offer up to 10% faster performance than DDR4 3200 Mhz.
In addition to faster RAM, you can try the OC graphics processor at AMD IGP. I will note that this is only possible with AMD (not Intel), and the OC is set exclusively via the motherboard BIOS. This way, it’s possible to get an additional 10% better performance, which can mean better performance for some more demanding games.
AMD is a pleasant surprise in terms of the quality of its drivers (Adrenaline software) and various settings, unlike the spartan interface at Intel. At the same time, AMD behaved much more stably in operation, with better image quality, while I noticed a couple of anomalies in some games at Intel. Intel should probably work on its drivers and software quality because it seems pretty unpolished.
AMD desktop IGP has more powerful integrated graphics processors, unlike Intel. If you haven’t planned a discrete graphics card or are currently unable to get one, for the reason I mentioned earlier, the best solution is the new AMD IGP.
Unfortunately, the only drawback I can mention is that AMD Cezanne doesn’t support PCI 4.0, so for some users, Intel IGP could be a better choice, even though it has lower graphics performance.
Although AMD’s current integrated graphics solutions are desirable, they aren’t enough for smooth gaming in 1080p with high detail. The good thing is that the new Intel and AMD IGP support DirectX12, and thanks to that, you can run all the latest games. However, you must agree to a compromise in the form of lower resolution and details.
Looking at every dollar and value for money, the Ryzen 5 5600G is the best value option. As for the integrated graphics processor, it’s not much slower than the more expensive and more powerful 5700G. Older games and popular newer online games like CS: GO or Fortnite will work satisfactorily on AMD IGP. If you decide on a new PC build, it makes sense to take a CPU with integrated graphics.
Please see my recommendations for the best PC configurations with Ryzen IGP in different price categories $ 500, $ 600, and $ 700. Ultimately, with computers like this, you will get great multimedia features and the possibility of casual gaming.
If you have any questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate and leave a comment.