Integrated graphics controllers

Integrated graphics ports Motherboards that have integrated graphics controllers have become quite common, and if you have purchased one of these, you need to be aware of one important point: they usually use system memory for graphics operations. You can usually assign a fixed amount of memory to the graphics controller in the system BIOS. This amount is taken out of your usable system memory. Say you have a 512MB system, and assign 32MB to graphics -- your system will then tell you it has only 480MB available. Note, also, that common system memory is often slower than the memory you find on dedicated graphics cards, which have specialised GDDR (graphics DDR) or eDRAM (embedded DRAM) to meet the heavy memory requirements of 3D graphics. Embedded chips using system memory will often perform poorly, especially in 3D.

This guide was last updated in July 2005

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