If you listen to many computer users, a graphics card is an absolutely essential component. But, do you really need one? Is it possible to build a decent PC without a graphics card? Can you play games on a PC that doesn’t have a graphics card? Keep reading and we’ll tell you the answers.
What will you be using your computer for?
Whether or not you need a graphics card for PC is very much determined by what you’ll be using it for.
If you’re just going to be using your PC for general tasks like browsing the web, word processing, and answering emails, then no, you can build your PC without a GPU.
On the other hand, if you intend to do things like gaming, video editing, or graphic design, then we’d say that yes, you do require a graphics card in your PC.
There is one hitch though; graphics cards are currently in short supply, and as a result, are very expensive.
So, what can you do if you want to do some gaming without a graphics card?
Luckily, there are a number of ways in which you can play games on a PC without a graphics card.
The first answer comes in the form of ‘integrated graphics’.
Integrated graphics refers to CPUs (processors) that have an integrated graphical processing element.
If you fit one of these CPUs to your PC, then you’ll be able to play some games without having to add a graphics card to your system.
Intel offers a range of CPUs with integrated graphics capabilities. Simply look at the CPU’s product name. If it has an ‘F’ designator at the end, then it does not have integrated graphics.
AMD also offers a number of processors with integrated graphics. These include the Ryzen 7 5700G (The ‘G’ designator indicates that it has integrated graphics). The Ryzen 5 5600G also has integrated graphics.
If you spot an AMD CPU with an ‘X’ designator, this means that it will require a dedicated graphics card.
Gaming streaming services
Are you determined to play high-end AAA games on your PC without spending hundreds (or even thousands!) on a graphics card?
Then there is an alternative to CPUs with integrated graphics; gaming streaming services.
Gaming streaming services allow you to play top AAA games without requiring a particularly sophisticated PC. This is because they host the games on massive servers and then stream them to you.
The gaming streaming services which are receiving the most attention from gamers at present include:
- Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
- Amazon Luna.
- NVIDIA GeForce Now.
- Sony Playstation Now.
So, yes, the answer is that it’s entirely possible to build a PC without a graphics card and still be able to play the latest games.
Of course, if you’re going to be getting into gaming seriously, it can be worth investing in a gaming PC with a dedicated graphics card and other high-end components.