What is a graphics processing unit (GPU)?

When buying a new PC / laptop it is very useful to understand all important internal components, thanks to which computers actually work.

knowing about the principles of their work, you can easily understand whether the computer in question has suitable characteristics, even before making a purchase!

Today we will look at a very important internal component of any PC: GPU, or a graphics processor. We will tell you what it is what it differs from the video card, as well as several other details that it is important to know. Go!

What is GPU?

GPU deciphered as Graphics Processing Unit, that is graphics processor. This type of processor that is responsible for rendering graphs (creating images that you see on the screen).

The graphics processor is very important for any computing tasks, in particular, such as 3D rendering and games.

Therefore, when buying a PC or laptop for games or creating various content, it is important to pay attention to the type of graphics processor, as it has a direct impact on the quality of the picture and on the speed of tasks.

Graphic processor and video card - the same?

In the conversational speech, the graphics processor is often used as synonym for a video card. But technically it is not quite right.

The graphics processor is actually part of the video card. It is responsible for rendering graphs, and the video card provides the necessary power and access to high-speed memory.

In addition, the video card connects the graphics processor itself to other parts of the computer, which require access to it (the central processor, system memory and drive) to perform the necessary tasks.

What is an integrated graphics processor?

IGPU is an integrated graphics processor. In other words, it is a GPU embedded in the central processor.

  • Almost all Intel processors (with the exception of the F series) have integrated graphics, so they have iGPUs.
  • AMD only equips iGPUs with its line of hybrid processors (APUs).

With integrated graphics, the main processor shares memory with the graphics processor, reducing power consumption and overall PC load.

The integrated graphics processor is great for general day-to-day tasks (such as web browsing and word processing). But if you need a powerful computer for gaming or video editing, then you need to consider buying a device with a discrete graphics processor, or dGPU.

What is a discrete GPU?

dGPU - Discrete GPU. It is placed separately from the main processor and has its own dedicated memory, which is not transferred to the CPU.

Typically, discrete graphics systems provide better performance and are able to handle more intensive tasks. But they also use more energy and generate more heat.

Some laptops have discrete graphics, but these processors are most commonly found on desktops.

How do I know which graphics processor is installed in my computer?

You can get information about the graphics processor on your computer in the device settings.

If you have Windows 10, you need to go to "Device Manager", then select "Display adapters", where you will see a complete list of GPUs installed on the computer.

Then you need to google the name to see if the processor is embedded or discrete.

You can obtain more detailed information about your PC's GPU and other specifications by other means, including using third-party programs.


Now you know a little more about GPUs. The main plus is that you can use this knowledge when buying a new PC / laptop.

Let's go over the main points again:

  • The graphics processor is an internal component of the computer responsible for rendering graphics.
  • There are two types of GPUs: discrete and integrated.
  • If you are a video game lover or often create various content, then by all means buy a laptop / PC with a discrete GPU.
  • If you do not perform demanding tasks, but only you work with text or view web pages in the browser, then there will be enough and built-in graphics processor, which, by the way, is much cheaper than discrete.