Can I Use Integrated And Dedicated Graphics Together?

Can i use integrated graphics and dedicated graphics together? The graphics card that you install in your computer allows you to play different kinds of video games. The video memory in your computer allows you to render different kinds of graphics and other videos on your computer.

A powerful graphics card is required if you plan on running heavy games on your computer. However, if you buy a modern day computer that doesn’t come with a graphics card, it will have what is called an integrated graphics card.

Intel, for instance, provides its own integrated graphics card in your device. It provides a convenient way of watching videos on your computer and also offers limited freedom when playing games. For instance, the Intel HD Graphics controller is capable of playing some old games, but if you think that you can play the latest iterations without a hitch, you are thinking over the top.

Now, in order to play the newest games on the market, you will want to upgrade to a better and a more powerful graphics card. The dedicated graphics card in your computer is installed separately, and the drivers must be installed as well. Once the graphics card has been installed, you will notice a serious improvement in terms of performance, and a variety of new options will open up for you as well. However, what if you could boost the memory of your graphics card by making both the integrated and the dedicated graphics card work together? It may seem simple, but it’s actually not.

Can I Use Integrated Graphics And Dedicated Graphics Together?

The first question that comes to the minds of most people is how they can check both of the cards and determine whether or not the two are performing well. The simple way to check this is to open the “Run” option from Start, and then write “dxdiag” and press Enter.

You will be taken to a diagnostics screen that lists all of the important information regarding your computer. At the top, you will see a few tabs. Click on the tab that says “Display” and you will see all of the integrated and dedicated graphics cards that are installed in your computer. Checking both of the cards is a great way to determine whether the two are functioning properly and smoothly or if there is something wrong with one or the other.

But what if you wanted to use both of them together in order to boost memory and performance? Most people think that they can, and the answer is also partially yes, but not in the way you might be thinking. For starters, there are a number of things that you need to know about the combination of the integrated graphics controller and the dedicated graphics card.

How to Combine the Two

First and foremost, you need to understand that the two can’t just power up and work together on their own. You can, however, utilize the integrated graphics card to accelerate a few applications on your device like the Intel QuickSync allows, but when you sit down to play a game or want to enhance viewport rendering within an application, you cannot do that.

However, by adding additional monitors to the video outputs in your motherboard, you can easily run those through the integrated graphics controller provided in your CPU, while the output from the dedicated graphics card can be used to power up all of the applications and the main programs that you will be using on them.

This is one of the most common ways of integrating and using the two cards together. However, if you own an AMD APU integrated graphics card, and an entry level dedicated GPU from AMD, you can use the two together using the hybrid crossfire mode to improve performance. However, this feature is limited to AMD only, and even then, the performance won’t be as good as you think.

There are several reasons why companies don’t allow you to use the two together. The short answer is that the dedicated graphics card, which is a much faster unit, will end up hitting a bottleneck every time it delegates performance to the slower card, which will be your integrated controller. The rest of your system will then continue to play catch up in order to improve your frames per second rate.

In the simplest of terms, you should know that only high end GPUs can be connected in tandem with each other. In essence, multiple GPU tech hasn’t really become mainstream yet, so there are a variety of problems that you are likely to experience along the way.  The only way that you can use the same brand of GPUs together is via DirectX 12, and even then, only developer access is provided.

There are a few very heavy games that require multiple graphics cards working together. Because these games have so many things going on the screen, it’s difficult for them to rely on only one graphics card. However, even then, they are not going to use the integrated controller. It’s recommended that you check carefully before installing another graphics card to ensure that it’s compatible.

For GPUs of a similar brand, you have the SLI technology for Nvidia, and the Crossfire for AMD. Each card is allowed to render alternating frames, but both should be compatible with each other. If you don’t have a compatible card that works, the bridged connection will be broken and you won’t be able to use the application.

Therefore, in a nutshell, it is easy to say that the integrated graphics card and the dedicated graphics card can work together, but not in the way that you might think. If you really want to get the best performance out of your dedicated graphics card, you might want to add another to the fray to improve the frame rate and render multiple things at once. These are just a few things that you should know about making the two work together.

Avatar of David
About David

Hey there, I'm David. I recently joined the Spacehop team from Tech Devised, and love writing about all things TECH! When I'm not writing, you can find me enjoying the great outdoors with my golden retriever Lucy or enjoying a pint at my local Irish pub.

Leave a Comment


Can I Use 4GB And 8GB RAM Together? (8GB & 16GB RAM)

Can I Use A Different Brand Charger For My Laptop?