Are mobos w/ onboard video necessarily inferior??

By phkhgh ยท 10 replies
Sep 8, 2007
  1. Are mobos w/ onboard video necessarily inferior, other than the graphics, to boards w/ no onboard video - all other things being equal?

    Looking at my 1st build. To save $$, thought about getting a board w/ onboard video and buy a GPU when it's really on sale. Don't really use it for gaming, but will probably use for occasional, light video editing. Otherwise, just want a solid, fast PC.

    Leaning mostly toward Intel C2D E-6750 or C2Q Q6600.

    Any suggestions for stable, dependable mobos to look at for non gaming? Not saying I'd never OC it, but it's not a priority.

    I'll probably be running XP home or Linux on it for now.

  2. samjohnson

    samjohnson TS Maniac Posts: 238

    If I where you I would just go for a motherboard with no onboard video. You can get a Geforece 7600GT for $80. Right now its got a rebate for $15 from If your not going to game heavily then that I think would be a good choice. I have it and it works good for gaming to though. :D
    I don't know about the motherboard choice, I would say go for a ASUS though. I would go for AMD instead of Intel but I guess that is a user preference.
  3. phkhgh

    phkhgh TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 70

    Thanks Sam,
    I guess the question is, why specifically would you go for the mobo w/o onboard video, as opposed to one w/ it & add a GPU later?

    What is it about a board w/ onboard video (in general) that, once a GPU has been added, would still be clearly inferior to a board having similar specs w/o onboard video?

    Is there a real electronic / manufacturing explanation, or do real enthusiasts just kind of look down on them?
  4. kpo6969

    kpo6969 TS Maniac Posts: 710

    On-board video "takes" the ram it needs to function from the system's ram so you will be with less available ram the amount being used by the on-board video. If Vista is in your future to run it effectively: 2GB ram with a 256mb dedicated video card. The dedicated video card also frees up resources your cpu would have to use if using on-board.
    Always keep your options open and get a mobo that has PCIe capability.
  5. phkhgh

    phkhgh TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 70

    I understand about what you mentioned. What I was asking was
    Unless the components in a mobo that has onboard video are inferior to one that doesn't, or other than the onboard graphics, the boards are designed in completely different ways, it makes no sense (to me) that once the GPU is added, there would still be a significant difference in performance.

    I'm talking about both are the same form factor (ATX), same mfg, same general price range, etc. Maybe that's the prob? Maybe can't find a good mobo w/ onboard video that's NOT mATX, or...????
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,967   +2,524

    I Will Now Open The Can of Worms.....

    You are comparing apples and oranges. Given the same manufacturer and chipset I don't necessarily think a board with onboard graphics is better or worse than a board without. But, they are designed to do different things. Speaking of my own mobo (Intel DG965WHMK) which is a media board, with onboard graphics, it's probably as good as any other Intel (manufactured) 965 chipset board. The onboard graphics auto switch off when a graphics card is detected, so you've actually got backup should your graphics card fail.
    Now Intel's boards are not overclockable, so they might be not what the average modder/gamer is looking for. It doesn't make them "inferior" since they are well constructed and quite stable. It does make sense for manufacturers to make their best boards without graphics, since they realize people in this purchasing category wouldn't be happy with the onboard GPU. I believe that a Celeron is as well made as a Core 2 Duo, the C2D just does more, and a whole lot faster. One could easily draw the same conclusion about other categories of parts.
    I would recommend the DG965WH to you, but I suspect after you upgraded the graphics card, you might be looking to overclock and you'd be dead in the water.
  7. phkhgh

    phkhgh TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 70

    Thanks Captain.
  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    If you aren't gaming or doing 3D CAD work you'd probably be smart to grab a board with onboard video. Saves you a ton of money and you aren't going to notice any difference. I ran a GF2MX card in a 3Ghz Pentium D machine for a while, and I couldn't tell any difference between it and a 7800GS in XP for non gaming programs, and current onboard video are leagues above that GF2 card. The only other time you'll possibly want something better is if you are playing 1080 HD content. Just about any modern processor (well probably any except the Via ones) can handle 720 HD by themselves, you just might want a better video setup for 1080, but really with a 6600 or a 6750 you can probably take care of 1080 on just the processor.

    In short, you'd be fine with onboard video.
  9. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    IMO it depends on the onboard GPU. The latest Xpress 200 chipset mobos with onboard video are quite good, as are the ones with the GeForce 6100 onboard GPU. A crappy onboard GPU doesn't necessarily make the mobo crap, since onboard GPUs are designed only for providing basic functionality, not as replacements for video cards.
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,967   +2,524

    Does This Mean........

    I actually accidentally stumbled onto a decent Emachines?

    Prescott Celeron 3.06
    MSI 410 something or other mobo with ATI 200 chipset
    533Mhz RAM
    120 GB PATA Seagate "Barracuda" < (Hey, so it's PATA, the d****d thing was only $330.00 USD, (with 17" CRT monitor)).
  11. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    PATA doesn't have any major disadvantage (if any at all) over SATA. but it isn't these components you should be worried about if it's an eMachines. The PSU and mobo go first. ;)
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