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I'm buying a new PC on a relatively tight budget so I decided to reuse my old GPU and get a new one later. I'm now considering getting an i5-4460 as my CPU and I noticed it comes with an integrated graphics card, the Intel HD Graphics 4600.

What I would like to know is how does that compare to my old Geforce 9600 GT? More specifically, is the integrated GPU so good that it makes keeping my old GPU unnecessary?

I'll be using my PC for gaming (Skyrim, League of Legends, Crusader Kings 2, etc.) as well as more serious work. Possibly a bit of video editing if I ever get into that. And as mentioned, I'm planing to get a decent modern GPU as soon as I can afford it.

Links:
1. i5-4460 and Intel HD 4600 specifications
2. Geforce 9600 GT specifications

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    I suggest looking it up on videocardbenchmark.net if you want to compare 2 GPUs... if you want to compare the CPUs go to cpubenchmark.net. In both cases look for the score of them. If you want to compare technologies... Intel's HD won't compare to a GPU. But for your case, those game can be run @Medium - High settings – Adrian Pop Nov 11 '15 at 15:29
  • It appears my old GPU has a 5% better G3D mark, but I presume those results are for a brand new one and not for one that's been in use for over 7 years. So essentially it seem the integrated GPU is at least as good and there is no point in reusing the GeForce. – Neophyte Nov 11 '15 at 18:32
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    @Neophyte First of all GPUs performance does not degrade over he years, what made you think of that? Also, that site isn't exceedingly reliable, so I'd be careful about that small difference. The 9600 GT is practically the same, and you should only use videocardbenchmark.com for comparing drastically different cards in my opinion – Rubydesic Nov 12 '15 at 1:28
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    I'd actually try testing this, considering you arn't spending any money testing an old card, which has about the same resale value as a smart potato anyway. Run some benchmarks etc. I'd also consider the fact that the newer integrated GPU has some advantages, like quicksync and your output options. – Journeyman Geek Nov 12 '15 at 2:27
  • If you plan on doing video editing, some video editors support heterogeneous GPUs and also CPU+GPU at the same time. Perhaps having the 9600 GT might be useful. – Rubydesic Nov 15 '15 at 21:09
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Integrated GPU's will never be as good as a dedicated graphics card because of the space constraint: when the GPU is integrated with the CPU, there is far less space for the GPU to fit into, so not as much graphics processing power can fit in it.

I believe the HD 4600 is two generations above what I have in my laptop, the HD 4400. My graphics card is suitable for playing old games (~7 years) on high settings, or for playing games that aren't graphics-intensive on OK settings. It will not play modern games like Fallout 4, Just Cause 3 or GTA V.

If you're looking into building a dedicated gaming platform, I would highly recommend that you get a dedicated graphics card. If you want to future-proof your system, get something top of the range. If you want a balance between future proofing and cost, I'd recommend something like the Nvidia GTX 970 or the AMD R9-280.

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  • Yes, I will be getting a dedicated graphic card eventually. Reusing my old GPU was always intended as only a temporary solution while I save up money for a decent modern graphics card. – Neophyte Nov 11 '15 at 18:50
  • The GTX 970 and R9 280 are first of all not similar in terms of performance. Furthermore, with "3.5GB issue" that nVidia still hasn't fixed, hasn't fixed, the GTX 970 is not the greatest GPU, not to mention the fact that it is last generation. The R9 280 is simply much weaker than the GTX 970 and a lot of other graphics cards, and shouldn't be taken into consideration if you want to "future-proof" your computer. – Rubydesic Jun 26 '16 at 12:00
  • I would personally recommend getting an RX 480 when it comes out, since it's price is equivalent to that of a GTX 960 ($199) and it's performance betters the GTX 970 all the while having no VRAM issues (if what we hear from AMD is true) – Rubydesic Jun 26 '16 at 12:03
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The answer is "it depends". The Tomshardware graphics hierarchy places your 9600 GT seven steps above a HD 4600, where three steps is the minimum worthwhile upgrade. However, the hierarchy is strictly about pixel-pushing ability. Your 9600 GT only supports DirectX 10 and OpenGL 2.1, and doesn't support OpenCL at all. In contrast, the integrated GPU supports DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.3, and OpenCL 1.2.

If you're doing things that require the new functionality (say, playing newly-released games), it doesn't matter that the 9600 is much faster than the 4600: the 9600 is simply unable to do what's needed of it.

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