I need to build a new desktop Ubuntu 14.04, for low-end kind of usage. Do I really need to add an Nvidia graphics card for it? I came across some threads e.g. this one, implying things work quite well without it. Some mentions went as far as saying that heat dissipation or power utilization would actually be better without it.

What exactly would be the user experience relying on the built-in Intel card rather than Nvidia? gaming capabilities are not required, browsing vanilla internet sites is. Using a graphical desktop also is required.


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    No, you don't. What exactly are the integrated GPU specs? – int_ua Oct 29 '14 at 22:18
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    The link that you have provided is for a hybrid graphics card setup in laptops, which is being shipped by OEMs for better battery management. If you are considering buying a desktop with a graphics card, you would be connecting your monitor to either the intel VGA output or the nVidia output(unless you are going for a multi monitor setup) and life becomes simpler if there is no nvidia graphics card involved. – astrob0t Oct 29 '14 at 22:29
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    @int_ua - I am looking at Intel® HD Graphics 4400 - how can I figure from the specs (e.g. for Intel® HD Graphics 4400, wherever they are hiding out there) whether it can support dual monitor? I guess Wikipedia is the only source I could find coming close to a spec... – matanster Oct 30 '14 at 8:35
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    Sandy Bridge (2011) and Ivy Bridge (2012) models already supported two monitors, the newer Haswell generation you are talking about supports even three monitors. I switched from Nvidia to Intel in 2012 and my experience has been better regarding setting up dualscreen support and running Unity. – LiveWireBT Oct 30 '14 at 10:03

Integrated GPUs are capable of sufficient 2D and 3D acceleration, the user experience will be about the same for all normal usecases except gaming.

So no, you do not need a dedicated GPU.

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