Integrated vs. Discrete/Dedicated

Michigan Tech

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Jul 18, 2016
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Hello fellow techies,

I am looking to buy a laptop for school. I do a lot of 3D modeling, particularly Creo from PTC. I am always moving and will need it everyday--therefore it needs to be small and light.

After 3 days of intense searching, I've come across one question that I cannot answer: Integrated or Discrete/Dedicated?

I understand that bigger is better, but in my form factor it is really hard to get discrete/dedicated graphics. But do I even need it?

A quad-core i7 is a given in this situation. I've come across two options; Dell XPS 13 (integrated graphics Intel HD 520), and MSI's phantom (discrete/dedicated Nvidida 1060).

What do you think? Nobody is comparing Intel HD graphics for 3D modeling, so this is going to be a tough one to solve. Thanks you guys, I really appreciate it. Have a wonderful day!
 

Mr Kagouris

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Sep 7, 2015
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A dGPU will be a significant help in any application that supports GPU acceleration, Intel's iGPUs are really just included to remove the need for a dGPU in certain machines like ultrabooks, mini-PCs et cetera. I'd go for the Phantom.
 

InvalidError

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May 18, 2007
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Nobody is comparing integrated graphics to high-end mainstream GPUs because there is no comparison to be done: where 3D performance is concerned, integrated graphics get destroyed by anything much above ~$100 entry-level discrete GPUs.

Going with integrated graphics will give you better battery life though.
 

Michigan Tech

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Jul 18, 2016
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Now that we've come to that conclusion, what laptop would you recommend? The Phantom is quite expensive, but I am not sure if in this market that is a lot or cheap.

Specs:
<13"
<~4lbs
Quad Core i7
Dedicated GPU
SSD (don't need a lot of storage, mostly cloud based)


Thank you all for the quick responses!
 
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