Graphics processing unit#Integrated graphics solutions

As an integrated graphics processor (IGP ) (english integrated graphics processor ) refers to graphics processing units (GPUs ), which are integrated in the chipset of the motherboard. They are also referred to as onboard graphics card and normally access back to the main memory of the system, since they, in contrast to dedicated graphics cards usually do not have a local store.

IGPs offer the same features as dedicated graphics cards, but have 3D illustrations a much lower speed. The connection to the Northbridge is internal, as with dedicated graphics card, via PCI, PCI Express or AGP realized. They often come in your notebook, and office computers and servers to use.

Compared with dedicated graphics cards


  • Reduced energy consumption and resulting increased runtime on notebooks and better environmental compatibility.
  • IGPs can often be passively cooled because they produce less heat.
  • Systems with IGPs are cheaper, since they usually do not use their own memory and do not own board.
  • Saving of space, since the IGPs are often integrated into the northbridge of the chipset.
  • The 2D graphics performance for Office and similar applications is no different from dedicated graphics cards.


  • In the GPU defective the entire motherboard needs to be replaced or a graphics card using plug-in card (AGP, PCI ( e)) can be connected.
  • Integrated GPUs do not have a store in the rule and therefore use the main memory of the system. The size of the so-called shared memory can be set mostly in the BIOS. This memory is then available to the user no more than memory available. Default values ​​are 8 MiB to 1.5 MiB, although some systems may dynamically adjust the claimed graphics memory as needed. In addition, the IGP permanently loaded the bandwidth of the memory bus.
  • The 3D graphics performance of integrated GPUs is usually rather weak and only lasts for desktop compositing and games with low graphics requirements.


Known manufacturers of IGPs are AMD (formerly ATI Technologies), Intel, Nvidia, SiS and VIA Technologies. Widely used are Intel Graphics Media Accelerator, Nvidia nForce and ATI Radeon Xpress.

Due to the spread of integrated graphics solutions, Intel is the market leader in graphics chips to have without a dedicated graphics card in the offer. In the third quarter of 2008 accounted for 49.4 % (2006: 34.8 % 2003: 35 % ) of the graphic units sold in the overall market to Intel, Nvidia and 27.8% to 20.6% to AMD.


  • Chipset
  • Graphics Card
  • Graphics chip