The primary factor to notice in PC gaming is that there is a ton of technical wordings involved. This can create a lot of confusion. Especially, if you are new to the gaming stuff and trying to figure it out all by yourself for the first time. One such difficult issue arises with GPU Vs Graphics Card. These two terms are thrown out often as synonyms but they aren’t the same. So, what are they? and how do they differ from one another? Read on till the end to find the actual answer.
What is GPU?
GPU(Graphics Processing Unit) is a specialized chip designed for onboard data processing. That is it performs the actual calculation needed to display the image on the screen. Earlier, GPUs are found solo on mobile phones, video players, gaming consoles, etc. Later Nvidia integrated them onto the motherboard after which, ATI put them directly to CPU standard. After all this, it is then made into a separate chip. So, GPU is also known as a single-chip responsible for visual image processing.
The data relating to graphics in computers are denoted as mathematical matrix operations. So, unlike the CPU, which contains few cores for series of data operations. The GPU consists of different cores operated by small instructions for multi-tasking. Thus, it solves the matrix operations to processes the image on the screen.
Note:- GPUs are designed by multinational technological corporations named Nvidia and AMD.
What is a Graphics Card?
A Graphics card is a hardware responsible for both graphics processing and image output on the screen. It is also called as display card, display adapter, and a Graphics adapter. It is connected to the computer motherboard on one end and the monitor to the other via connectors.
The graphics card takes the input data from the motherboard in binary format. Then it transforms this data into pixels and later displays them on the monitor. It also consists of a processor and its own memory, VRAM(Video Random Access memory). And comes with a BIOS chip that can store the settings of the card and can diagnose the input and output at the start.
Besides, it comes with power input connectors and its own cooling systems. Thus, it can prevent overclocking with the help of these inbuilt coolers.
Note:- The graphics cards are designed by the partner companies to Nvidia and AMD such as Asus, MSI, Gigabytes, etc.
GPU Vs Graphics Card- Key difference
As you read above, both the graphics card and GPU works to provide the display of the image on the screen. However, the main difference is that GPU is a single-chip that works only on image processing. But the graphics card does both processing and displaying the image. So, a graphics card will have a GPU for image processing and other components needed to display the image in it. Thus, GPU is an integral part of the Graphics card responsible for graphics processing.
Graphics card also has components other than GPU such as VRAM, connectors, DAC(digital to analog converter), and cooler settings. So, you can see that a single graphics card will have the same GPU, it can’t find different GPU options available. However, a GPU can find different options for graphics cards(based on different cooling systems, VRAM, color scheme, etc ). Besides, many graphics cards runs on GDDR SDRAM(Graphics double data rate Synchronous Dynamic Random Access memory).
Types of Graphics Card to know:
There are two types of graphics cards to choose from, an integrated graphics card and a dedicated graphics card. And it was certain that dedicated Graphics cards are more powerful than integrated graphics. But integrated graphics are also evolving to become more powerful these days.
Integrated Graphics Card:
The graphics processing unit works the same as the CPU except for the fact that it deals with graphics-related data. The CPU takes up other functions to perform. And the integrated graphics card integrates the GPU with the CPU. That is the processor has both CPU and GPU cores on the same chip.
So, here both the CPU and the GPU share the same memory, (RAM). Hence it reduces the potential of either CPU or GPU while working. So, it normally limits the potential of GPU so as not to affect the CPU performance.
Thus, Integrated graphics cards are not a good fit for high-performance gaming. Yet they can ve used for casual everyday activities of a system like browsing, warching vidoes, playing music, etc.
Dedicated Graphics Card:
On the flip side, a dedicated graphics card is also known as a discrete graphics card. It is a separate piece of hardware that connects to a computer via a PCle slot on the motherboard. Thus these cards will have their own memory, unlike integrated graphics.
So, it doesn’t limit the potential of either GPU or CPU. Hence, these are mostly used by serious gamers who want to play their games at a higher resolution. It can also improve your laptop’s gaming performance, taking close to the desk-top level.
Conclusion GPU Vs Graphics Card:
Thus, GPU is a coprocessor that is located in the graphics card. They both differ in their jobs to provide the best display experience to a gamer. Still, they are considered as the same unit. And a single Graphics card can have slots for multiple GPUs. But for now, we are using two GPU graphics cards named dual GPU graphics cards.