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Does a laptop need a GPU?


Looking for a new laptop can be difficult, and it can be hard to know what GPU your device actually needs.

As we all know, buying a new laptop is an overwhelming experience and it’s hard to know what internals you should even be looking for. Not only do you need to ensure that you have the right amount of RAM and the right amount of power, but you will also need to check that you’re looking at the correct types of CPU and GPU.

That being said, does your laptop even need a GPU? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about laptop GPUs and their uses.

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Does a laptop need a GPU?

The short answer here is a definitive yes. No matter what you’re going to be doing on your laptop you will need a GPU, as it is solely responsible for creating all the images you see on screen. From the start-up screen onwards, the GPU is outputting these images onto your display, which is a pretty vital part of the experience.

If you want a more in-depth look at GPUs overall, click on the link prior, as we break down what a GPU is and what is it used for, as well as the different types of GPUs out there. In a nutshell, every device you own that creates images – including your mobile phone, gaming consoles and tablets – needs a GPU to generate images on the screen. This is important regardless of the resolution or the intensity of the graphics.

The variable is how powerful your GPU needs to be, depending on what you intend to do on your laptop, you will need to make sure you have the right internals.

What GPU do I need?

Since you cannot actually remove and upgrade a laptop’s GPU, it’s not too hard to figure out what sort of GPU you will need.

If you are looking for a work or educational laptop, you will find that most models pack the appropriate internals without going overboard. For example, in our best list of laptops, the Dell XPS 13 OLED packs Intel Iris Xe Graphics, which is ideal for productivity work.

In our review, we noted that it can handle entry-level gaming, though you will want to upgrade to a laptop with a dedicated GPU (dGPU) if you are looking to play AAA games like Cyperpunk 2077 or Call of Duty: Vanguard.

Plus, the Acer Chromebook Spin 513 uses the Qualcomm Adreno 618, which is a GPU mainly used for mid-range devices. This means that it won’t be capable of graphically intensive tasks, but it will be perfectly serviceable for browsing the web and watching shows on Netflix.

Meanwhile, laptops like the Razer Blade 14 (2021) packs an Nvidia RTX 3070. This GPU was given a 5-star rating in our review since it can handle 1440p resolutions and can be used to play triple-A titles, making it a better choice for gamers since it is more powerful.

And if you’re after a creative device for tasks like 4K editing or 3D rendering, you will need to find a powerful GPU. The MacBook Pro 16-inch 2021 comes with either an M1 Pro or M1 Max chipset, which are a part of the M1 series in the Apple Silicon lineup.

The M1 Pro can be customised up to a 14-core GPU, with the M1 Max going up to a 32-core GPU. These cores allow for more power and thus a better performance, making it the better option for anyone looking to engage in graphically intensive work.

Generally, you will need to keep an eye out for what GPU your laptop has, though if you are searching for a laptop which a specific use case – such as education, gaming or graphic design – it will usually come with an appropriate GPU.

Intel® Evo™ – Laptops. Evolved

Intel® Evo™ – Laptops. Evolved

Enjoy a premium laptop experience with the Intel® Evo™ range of laptops. Get the features you need to help you get it all done.

Check out the range at Intel

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