Laptops with dedicated Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) are popular with gamers and digital artists because of the extra computing power they bring to the desk/lap.
These laptops are purposely built to take in huge workloads such as 3D rendering, video editing, and serious gaming.
Their glorious performance can be traced to the inclusion of a dedicated GPU in the motherboard.
What is a dedicated GPU?
A dedicated GPU is a separate processor optimized for manipulating complex mathematical algorithms that drive images and videos to your laptop display. In short, it is a specialized processor that handles display functions.
Dedicated GPUs come with their own memory reserves. This means your system RAM is set aside entirely for you to use in other tasks. A GPU also lessens the workload of the central processing unit (CPU), leaving ample room for multitasking.
What about laptops without dedicated GPUs?
Laptops without dedicated GPUs rely on Integrated GPUs such as Intel® HD Graphics 3000 which are built in the Central Processing Unit (CPU). These are powerful enough to run basic graphics tasks like streaming, and although they can run less demanding games at modest frame rates, their performance is greatly limited in complex 3D tasks.
A laptop that runs integrated graphics can run light games like minecraft, but it won’t do you any good if you’re the kind who like to play AAA titles like Zelda and Call of Duty.
For this reason, devoted gamers and digital artists who like to create on the go should go for laptops with dedicated GPUs.
Laptop GPU Manufacturers
When it comes to dedicated GPUs, NVidia and AMD dominate the market. Each company creates offerings that are tailored for specific consumer segments, starting from budget and mid-range, to high-end users.
Budget and mid-range gamers typically stick to 1080p resolution and middling performance, while their high-end counterparts often go for the best features that the market can offer, such as real-time raytracing, 4k resolution, and super-fast refresh rates.
Currently, Nvidia is leading the GPU trail with its RTX 20 series which boasts real-time raytracing capabilities and dedicated cores for deep learning acceleration.
AMD is not sleeping on its job though. The Santa Clara-based company is building its Navi lineup of graphics cards based on a revolutionary graphics architecture called RDNA, and industry-leading 7nm fabrication process. When combined, these innovations are helping AMD to raise the performance of its graphics units without increasing power requirements significantly.
‘GPU wars’ between Nvidia and AMD are expected to continue in the future with the launch of more sophisticated GPU architectures. According to tech blog Wccftech, Nvidia is already working on its RTX 3000 series, based on 7nm technology and the rumored Ampere microarchitecture. Meanwhile, AMD is preparing its 2nd Gen Navi army.
If you are looking to accelerate your workflow on the go, a laptop with a discrete GPU is what you’re looking for. Some of the best product lines include ASUS ROG, MSI Alpha, Lenovo Legion, Dell’s Alienware, and Acer Nitro series.