Discrete Fail: Why Do so Few PCs Feature Graphics Cards?

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DanDog

I bought a  $650' ish PC back in 2007, with an integrated graphics chip. I planned to upgrade to a discrete graphics card, but then the Recession hit. Now, in 2010, I'm at last going to buy a real GPU. Look out Modern Warefare 2, here I come!

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Grandpa

As a former power user and now Wal-Mart worker, I think I know why people buy under-powered, onboard video computers.  Many people buy xboxes and cut corners on their internet computer. $1300 total looks alot better than 3 grand or more when you are making Wal-Mart type wages.  Until Americans start voting with their empty pockets in mind instead of their "values" and "no taxes for the rich" crap, this trend will only continue.  Have you noticed a huge increase in smartphone sales?  They are the new computer for Wal-Mart type wage earners.  Look for sales of computers to start tapering off as the next unexplained trend.

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davidflory

It seems many of you here have a believe that you are the average user (this is normal for you) but that is not the case.  The average user is that person who keeps asking you to fix their PC or show how to do something on it.  Most users of computers know just enough to get their email, surf the web, view the digital pictures, run MS Office, maybe remove the red eye from some of their pics, and watch a dvd or two.  A discrete GPU will do very little to improve performance or quality of these actions.  If you don't believe me fellow techies - go to your local Best Buy or large computer store and listen (a skill we techies need to work on) to what people are asking the sales reps or ask them what they want to do on their PCs.  You will then be educated in the realm of low- to mid- range PC marketing.

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nekollx

 except even a $50 card will make that dvd playback smoother, let you run Aero and generally make things nicer. And as GPU Compute takes off eventually MS office with be GPU powered

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Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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Asabrand

It all comes down to two questions:
1. What am I going to be doing with this system?
2. How much do I want to spend on this system?

If a person is going to be running high end games, or working with graphics intensive projects, then there is a reason to spend the extra cash for a system with a discrete graphics card. However, the average consumer does not fall into either of those two groups and integrated graphics is sufficient for any application they wish to run.
So in the end, discrete graphics cards are for hardcore gamers and high-end users, not the average consumer.

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ubuwalker31

In addition to marketing video cards to gamers, market it to the iPhone / Mp3 player crowd:  Want to watch movies on your iPod, but it takes 2 hours to convert it to a format that your iPod can play?  Just use this GPU transcoder, and it will be done in 10 minutes.

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nekollx

 until GPU compute hits it's stride

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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JonPhillips

nHereGo: First off, thanks for the kudos on our website. As for your criticism, I'll only say that the purpose of the story was to report on a trend, not to explain GPU compute (which is a fascinating subject, by the way, especially with respect to scientific modeling). Also, please keep in mind that the article was on low- and mid-end consumer machines, not workstations that might actually benefit from GPU compute ... for this reason, the GPU compute angle bears less relevance to the story.

 That is, unless Photoshop Elements hooks into CUDA or OpenCL! ;-)

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nekollx

 well i do know photshop (full) cs4 does use GPU power, i sure it will come to Elements soon enough if not here already

 

now if only Windows Media Player used GPUs to render video, it's still CPU bound right? 

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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stradric

Ya, but the number of people interested in utilizing GPU power in photoshop is no doubt lower than the number of gamers interested in getting higher framerates.

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aviaggio

Yes, but Media Player Classic isn't ;)

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nHeroGo

The article mention 2 or 3 times that consumers are not properly educated.

The article mention 2 or 3 times that the general impression is that GPU is only for gamers.

The article contains approximately 608 words but only the last sentence contains 10 words "GPU compute for color correction, transcoding, video smoothing, and encryption" what it is all about.

The article is therefore a 1.67% hit and a 98.3% miss.

Bummer. I apologize for being so harsh.

I love this website by the way.

UPDATED: @JonPhillips - Yes, you are right. The article was about not selling the GPU-argument. I flipped the wrong switch in my head half way through the article as I expected the GPU-argument to be the punch line or part of the solution to the suggested problem - education.

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gendoikari1

I can't help but laugh when I see "Intel GMA" in a parts list. This is why more people should learn how to build a computer. 

Honorary Family Member:

Phenom II x4 925 2.8 GHz

XFX Radeon HD 5870

8GB G.Skill DDR2-800 RAM

ASUS M3A32-MVP Deluxe 

Seagate Barracuda 750GB HDD  

 

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COMMANDER_COOK

When I'm choosing a part or laptop, I never find all the info I want. 

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Donate blood!     http://www.redcrossblood.org/

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Jeffredo

Gamers are a minority.  Most people use their PCs for nothing more than internet surfing, digital photography, music, etc...  You don't need a discrete graphics card for those things.

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nekollx

 but even a $50 card would make video playback so much soomther, and if they use photoshop cs4....

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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stradric

There are simply way more gamers than photoshop gurus.  Not only that, but photoshop CS4 is ridiculously expensive.

Let's face it.  A modern video card is mostly for games.  Most apps don't support GPU computing anyway. 

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aviaggio

Not necessarily. Almost all of the IGPs made in the last 2 years will easily decode HD streams. And I think he was talking about quick and dirty photo editing using whatever bundled software comes with your digital camera or printer, not Photoshop work.

Bottom line is these days there isn't much of a need for a full graphics card if you're not gaming.

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nekollx

 but as GPU compute takes off ANY dedicated GPU will help imensly, even the $50 one

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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Jeffredo

double post

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zepontiff

They haven't been properly edumacated about the benefits of discrete graphics either. Most people in the "mainstream" are buying their crap from places like Best Buy which has morons selling anything.

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Lueke2006

i also agree, most people now dont do any research before they buy a computer, they just go to Best Buy and pick the shiniest cheapest computer.

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mothrpe

You can get a good pc for an excellent price at best buy, provided you don't mind decrapifying it and adding a gpu.  I got a dual core + monitor bundle awhile back, and cash vs. performance it was great.  Couldn't find a better deal at the time.

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nsk chaos

and they say only love goes skin deep..... =)

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jonahkirk

Yah, why don't they make the really high-end computers cheaper and shinier?

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wildboyz

couldnt agree with you more!

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