What are discrete graphics?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Boots, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. Boots

    Boots Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I'm leaning towards getting a Fujitsu T730, but then people keep talking about HP TM2's discrete graphics. What is it and what is it important for? I mainly want this for drawing. (I will be playing one game on it, along with Internet, Word processing, etc.)
     
  2. kylera

    kylera Pen Pal - Newbie

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    There are two types of graphic processors: discrete and integrated. A discrete GPU (short for graphic processor unit) means that there is a separate processor for anything related to graphic work whereas an integrated GPU means that it shares resources with the CPU to do graphic work.

    If I make a rough analogy with people, a PC with a discrete GPU would mean that there are two people -- one person does math and the other person draws. A PC with integrated GPU would mean there is only one person who does both.

    The upside of discrete is more horsepower to do stuff, which means the obvious downside would be battery usage. Going back to the people analogy, you'd need more food to feed two people compared to one person.

    The TM2 has switchable graphics -- when unplugged, it switches to integrated graphics. That is probably why you heard stuff about it.
     
  3. Agent 9

    Agent 9 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    The interesting thing about the intigrated graphics part of the Tm2 is that with the change to the Core-"i" series of chipset (ie: core i5), but still maintaining the CULV voltage; that the integrated portion is clocked down a very significant amount

    Here is an excerpt from notebook check -Intel Graphics Media Accelerator HD - Notebookcheck.net Tech-
    and that is just on the GPU side of things. On the CPU side the CULV in the Tm2 is pretty weak compared to a LV chip, and seems totally crippled compared to a full voltage chip.

    Sure, the ATI option for the Tm2 can be nice when trying to play a game, or do some Photoshop work; but it is only there to make up for the poor performance of the CULV processor (which has really poor integrated graphics)



    In terms of using Photoshop heavily, the ATI chip helps a lot on the Tm2, but with a more powerful processor you will get much smoother "brush strokes" and most all aspects of Photoshop will be much better (even my lowly 1.8Ghz C2D LV Photoshop ran better than my Tm2 that had ATI -which runs warm- hot even when not doing anything)- especially color quality is improved when getting a Tablet PC with a good screen (I tried time and again for ways to calibrate, or even swap out the Tm2's screen; but nothing yielded acceptable results. the Tm2's screen is just hopeless)
     
  4. Boots

    Boots Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thank you both, I think I understand now!
     
  5. NamelessPlayer

    NamelessPlayer Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Discrete/dedicated graphics mostly aids performance for:

    -Games
    -3D modeling/rendering programs

    Unfortunately for me, I do a lot of the former and will probably end up doing quite a bit of the latter as well to make some more of the former. That leaves me with the HP tm2 and...nothing else, because the Tablet PC manufacturers want to charge exorbitant prices and still handicap their business-class machines with integrated graphics. (Well, my E-295C has the Mobility Radeon HD 2300, but it sucks. Worse performance than the Intel GMA HD and horrid driver support. And since there's no MXM slot, I can't replace it. It's one of the main reasons I'm trying to not go crazy, break down, and get an HP tm2 already...and then find out that a newer model with a decent GPU for once just got released.)

    But for you, where hand-drawn art is the priority, you want something with a reasonably fast CPU and an IPS or AFFS+ LCD. (My E-295C delivers on the CPU, but the screen is cheap TN/CCFL crap.) You have a lot more options in this market to choose from, as a result. Think you could afford a T5010?
     
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