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Best Motherboards with Integrated Graphics in 2023

best motherboards with integrated graphics

If you are low on budget or if you do not care much for gaming or a high-performance PC, then there is absolutely no point in investing on an expensive dedicated graphics card.

In such cases, integrated graphics make the most sense. However, note that motherboards with TRUE integrated graphics or onboard graphics chipsets have been ABSENT for quite some time.

Instead, the motherboards now rely on the integrated graphics cards on the processor to power up the basic video functions such as the ports on the I/O panel.

In other words, in the truest of meaning, there is no such thing as a motherboard with an integrated graphics card. However, you CAN consider motherboards that are MOST SUITABLE for CPUs with an integrated graphics card.

Relying on an integrated graphics card alone brings the cost of the PC down significantly yet still allows you to perform average tasks like word processing, office work, casual work, etc. and even editing and designing without any hassle.

Thus in this article, I will aim to mention some motherboards that can be best used for a CPU with an integrated GPU.

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Points to Note

Here we will assume that you are building a budget PC since only a budget PC relies upon integrated graphics alone.

Gaming or performance-based desktops require a dedicated graphics card.

You Do NOT Need Expensive Motherboards

The entire point of getting a motherboard suitable for an integrated graphics card is to go for the most affordable possible. 

A PC build that uses iGPU as the primary source of the display isn’t a PC you’d use for gaming or for tougher tasks, hence spending on an expensive motherboard that offers multiple PCIe slots or powerful VRMs and heatsinks would be a wasted potential.

To choose the right motherboard for your iGPU build, you need to first decide on whether you are going for the Intel or the AMD route.

Intel Route

Going the Intel Route

If going for the Intel route then the socket or the generation of the CPU matters a lot because, unlike AMD, Intel changes the sockets every couple of generations.

So for 10th or 11th Gen Intel CPUs, you can stick with the 500 series chipset. 

However, if you are building a brand new PC, you’d obviously want to go for the newer 12th or 13th Gen CPUs. 

Every Intel motherboard line is divided into categories and so is the latest 700 series for the 12th and 13th gen CPUs such that:

  • H710 Chipset – Most Basic
  • B760 Chipset – Budget
  • H770 Chipset – Mid Range
  • Z790 Chipset – High End

For the purpose of building an affordable PC featuring an iGPU, you can stick with the budget B760 chipset. Now there are many motherboards featuring this chipset. However, you can simply choose one that offers at least a single PCIe x16 slot, a couple of M.2 slots, and of course, support for Gen 4 SSDs.

Sale
GIGABYTE B760M DS3H

LGA1700 | 2 x M.2 | PCIe 4.0 | USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C

The point again is that for a PC featuring a mere iGPU, you do not need to have a high-end motherboard at all.

Any good budget motherboard should do just fine and the aforementioned options are great for such builds.

But here you need to realize that if you do a head-to-head analysis of the iGPU’s performance, Intel iGPUs are far weaker as compared to the iGPUs on the AMD CPUs.

Take for instance the Intel UHD 730 found on mid-range 13th Gen Intel CPU and the Radeon Graphics found on the Mid Range AMD 5 5600G. The latter is more powerful according to the G3D Mark scores.

Graphics Comparison
Intel UHD 730 vs Ryzen 5 5600G Radeon

This brings us to the next route, the AMD route:

AMD Route

Going the AMD Route

While AMD iGPUs are considered more powerful given the same price bracket, one important point to note here is that for the AM4 based motherboards, only “G” Series processors like Ryzen 3 5300G, Ryzen 5 5600G etc. have integrated graphics.

The rest of the CPUs such as those featuring no suffix and or the x and xt suffix DO NOT feature an iGPU. Examples include the AMD Ryzen 5 5600, Ryzen 7 5800X.

On the newer AM5 based CPUs such as those from the 7000 series, you can find them featuring a weaker version of the Radeon integrated GPU, particularly for desktop variants.

So if going for an AM4 based CPU such as one from the Ryzen 3000G, 4000G or 5000G series CPUs, you can stick with a good affordable B550 chipset motherboard.

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GIGABYTE B550M

AM4 | 2 x M.2 | PCIe 4.0 | USB 3.2 Gen 1

I recommend this motherboard as the absolute least you should settle for, despite there being cheaper motherboards out there because the B550 chipset offers support for PCIe 4.0/Gen 4 SSDs.

There is only a very slight difference in price between a B550 and the cheaper A520 chipset variant of this motherboard. But the A520 is only limited to PCIe 3.0 generation and it offers a single M.2 slot.

Now if you plan on getting the newer and super powerful AM5 based 7000 series CPUs, you are obviously going for a performance build. Again, the iGPUs on these CPUs are weaker compared to the “G” series counterparts.

So for the AM5 based 7000 Series CPUs, I recommend a motherboard that combines affordability and quality. 

Sale
GIGABYTE B650M AORUS Elite AX

AM5 | 2 x M.2 | PCIe 4.0 / PCIe 5.0 | USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 | DDR5

While not the cheapest, it offers not just Gen 4 but Gen 5 SSD support and support for the newer DDR5 RAM. It also offers the coveted 20 Gb/s USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 port.

I assure you that the fact that all of the recommended motherboards mentioned here are from the Gigabyte brand is pure co-coincidence. In the budget range, they truly do shine out.

There are some even cheaper motherboards from ASRock, but they are far less popular, and ASRock not being among the top tier motherboard brands, I rarely recommend it. 

Can You Game Using Integrated Graphics Cards?

integrated graphics card graphics

The answer to that question depends upon three factors:

  1. The choice of the game
  2. The graphics settings you prefer
  3. The iGPU you have

For starters, the choice of the game matter. If the game in question is one of the latest AAA games like one from the Call of Duty series, Elden Ring, Cyberpunk 2077 etc, then no. You’ll be thoroughly disappointed by the iGPUs.

If the choice of the game happens to be an indie title or an eSports title like League of Legends, Minecraft, DOTA, Rocket League etc, then yes, the iGPUs should do well.

Of course, your preference for graphics settings also matters. You cannot expect integrated graphics cards to support games at ultra-high graphics, 2K or 4K resolution, and maintain frame rates close to 60 or higher.

And finally, not all iGPUs are made the same. Some are more powerful than others as clarified below.

iGPU G3DMark Performance Score
NVIDIA GTX 1050 5055
(Lower-mid level dedicated GPU for Reference)
AMD Radeon 
(Ryzen 7 5700G)
2810
AMD Radeon 
(Ryzen 5 5600G)
2589
AMD Radeon 
(Ryzen 5 4600G
2537
Intel UHD 770
(Intel 13th Gen i7/i5)
1791
Intel UHD 730
(Intel 13th Gen i3)
1675
NVIDIA GT 730 823
(Entry-level dedicated GPU for Reference)

Motherboard DO NOT Have Integrated Graphics – CPUs Do

The simple answer is NO! Motherboards, nowadays, do not have integrated graphics of their own. Meaning, they do not have a separate chipset installed right on top of the mainboard that facilitates graphics processing.

There was a time when motherboards did feature true “onboard graphics chipsets”. However, that changed when AMD and Intel started making processors with the integrated graphics card.

Currently, almost all of the Intel processors have integrated graphics, whereas, AMD has a separate series of processors in each generation with a “G” designation like AMD Ryzen 3200G which feature integrated graphics cards.

So What Does “Onboard Graphics” Mean in the Motherboard Specifications?

best motherboards with integrated graphics
Unlike older motherboards, motherboards of today are powered by integrated graphics found in the processors.

It is understandable why you must be so confused if the motherboard spec sheet says it has ‘Onboard Graphics’ yet doesn’t really offer a dedicated video chipset.

Basically, this has to do with older terminology. The term ‘onboard graphics’ has been carried over since the time when motherboards ACTUALLY used to have a dedicated graphics chipset.

These days it just means that the motherboard has the PORTS to connect to a monitor as well as the ability to handle the PROCESSORS that have integrated graphics.

Do All Processors have Integrated Graphics?

onboard graphics
ASRock 985GM-GS3 FX, motherboard with onboard graphics.

No, not all processors have integrated graphics. For instance, when talking about AMD’s AM4 based Ryzen CPUs, only the “G” designated processors have integrated graphics.

Processors like Ryzen 5 5600X, or the Ryzen 7 3800X do not feature integrated graphics. If you install these on an AMD motherboard, you will NOT be able to use its onboard video-out ports.

Furthermore, some of the older processors may lack integrated graphics. Processors like the AMD FX 4170 released almost a decade ago, is an example of a processor not having an iGPU at all.

The motherboard for the AMD FX 4170 utilized the AM3+ socket. The motherboard with this socket had a dedicated chipset for onboard graphics. ASRock 985-GS3 FX is an example of an older motherboard with AM3+ socket featuring onboard graphics.

Fortunately, though, most, if not all, of the Intel processors do come with integrated graphics.

The recently AM5-based Ryzen CPUs, however, such as those from the 7000 series do feature an iGPU – albeit a weaker one compared to the “G” series CPUs. 

So it seems AMD has finally come to terms with the fact that having an iGPU in all CPUs is a necessity for basic video output capability.

Some Motherboards DO NOT Have Video Output Ports

While most do have video output ports, there are some that do not feature video out ports at all and thus would not work the CPU’s iGPU.  

In order for the integrated GPUs to display stuff, your motherboard needs to have video output ports. It if doesn’t then you will be forced to procure a dedicated graphics card for basic display.

So essentially it works both ways. You need a CPU with an iGPU for the motherboard’s video output ports to work and alternatively, you need to have output ports on the motherboard to justify even having an iGPU on your CPU in the first place.

Why Don’t Motherboard Feature their Own Graphics Cards?

As mentioned earlier, MOBOs used to have a dedicated graphics chipset. That changed when processors started featuring integrated graphics.

There is no point in having redundant low-level graphics cards i.e MOBO ‘onboard graphics’ and processor ‘integrated graphics’ at the same time since it only adds to useless costs.

Onboard Graphics vs CPU Integrated Graphics

Again, onboard graphics is just a term used on a motherboard to indicate that it has the PORTs to connect to a display and also the ability to support a CPU with an integrated graphics card.

The confusion stems from the way specifications are written.

Onboard Graphics
Specsheet for a motherboard says On-board Graphics

For instance, the spec sheet above for a motherboard says that it has ‘onboard graphics’ without stating that it does not have a chipset of its own.

To add to the confusion it also says ‘integrated graphics processor-Intel HD Graphics’, this just adds more to confusion since a normal person would understand this as the motherboard in fact having an integrated chipset.

However, on the bottom, it actually sheds some light by clarifying that the actual support varies from CPU to CPU thus indicating that the onboard graphics does actually depend on the CPU.

The point is, actual ‘Onboard Graphics’ does not exist.

Integrated graphics, on the other hand, like the Intel HD series iGPU or the AMD VEGA series iGPUs are actually built into the processor. You don’t pay an extra amount for these when buying a new processor.

Can These MOBO Support 4K Resolution?

hdmi 2.1 port
An HDMI 2.1 port can support 4k output

While the integrated graphics do support 4k resolution, whether the motherboard can output it or not depends on the PORTs AVAILABLE.

Basically, your motherboard will need to have at least one HDMI, DisplayPort, or Thunderbolt 3.0 port in order to display 4k resolution.

You must also note that HDMI 1.4 is different from HDMI 2.0 or HDMI 2.1. While they all can display 4k resolution, the HDMI 1.4 can only output 4K resolution at a 30Hz refresh rate, while the more recent HDMI 2.0 can handle 4K resolution at a 60Hz refresh rate.

HDMI 2.1 can display 4K and even 8K resolution at 120Hz or higher.

Is Onboard / Integrated Graphics Sufficient for Your System?

If you do CPU-intensive work, then the iGPU should suffice. In fact, even some of the more professional work like CAD designing, photo editing, and video editing can be sufficiently performed on an iGPU.

Basic to intermediate levels of work can be handled by an iGPU. Once you go into the professional sphere, that is when a dedicated GPU becomes a necessity.

The requirements, however, depend entirely on the software you use, the complexity of the project you work on, and your levels of expertise.

graphics card performance
Source: Pudgetsystems.com

The chart above, for instance, shows the benchmark of the different graphics cards on Adobe Photoshop V0.92. The blue bar at the bottom is the benchmark for the integrated “Onboard” Intel UHD 630.

While there is a visible difference between the integrated Intel UHD 630 as well as a mid-range dedicated Radeon RX 5700XT in terms of performance, the iGPU should suffice if your work is limited to Full HD resolution on a single screen only.

Once you go into 4k/8k designing and particularly 3D designing, that is when a good dedicated GPU would become integral.

This article by Puget Systems details the Adobe Photoshop benchmarks.

Final Words

The first thing to note is that the motherboards nowadays DO NOT actually have a graphics chipset of their own (unlike the older motherboards). The emphasis is on the word “nowadays”. They USED to have a graphics chipset a few years back.

Instead, these motherboards have output ports to connect to a monitor such as HDMI, DP, DVI, etc as well as support PROCESSORS that have integrated graphics cards like the Intel HD or the AMD VEGA.

Hence the best motherboards with integrated graphics listed here are just models that have support for iGPU. This allows your PC to function without needing a dedicated graphics card.

The best motherboards with integrated graphics support reviewed here were all rather affordable. We haven’t opted for any high-end performance or premium gaming-based MOBO since only a low-grade PC build would rely solely on integrated graphics.

However, if you need expandability for the future or if you need more features like built-in WiFi, then you must be ready to dish out some extra cash.

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