Building a High-Performance Gaming PC Without a Graphics Card


With the ongoing shortages and high prices of graphics cards, many PC gamers find themselves asking, "Is it possible to build a high-performance gaming PC without a graphics card?" Fortunately, the answer is yes. Welcome to our comprehensive guide where we walk you through the journey of creating a powerful gaming rig sans the traditional graphics card.

Understanding Integrated Graphics

When discussing gaming PCs without graphics cards, the term you’ll commonly encounter is integrated graphics. It denotes graphics output capabilities directly implanted into your computer’s CPU. Manufacturers, notably Intel and AMD, significantly improved integrated graphics in the last decade, enabling realistic gameplay, vivid graphics, and more responsive experiences.

Choosing the Right CPU for Gaming Without a Graphics Card

Your CPU will play a critical role when building a gaming PC without a graphics card. You want to ensure that the CPU’s integrated GPU is robust enough to handle modern games.

The AMD Ryzen 5 3400G: This is the go-to choice for many PC builders. Featuring four cores, eight threads, and 11 GPU cores, it’s capable of supporting most modern games at reasonable settings.

The Intel Core i5-11600K: It is ideal for users who prefer Intel processors. With six cores, 12 threads, and Intel UHD Graphics 750, it’s highly adept at running demanding games.

Sorting the Memory Configuration

For gaming PCs without standalone GPUs, your system’s RAM plays a big part in ensuring smooth gaming experiences. Hence, two crucial aspects to consider are RAM size and speed.

RAM Size: We recommend at least 16GB of RAM for such PCs.

RAM Speed: For integrated graphics systems, faster RAM usually equals better performance. Therefore, consider DDR4 3200MHz RAM at the minimum.

Picking the Right Motherboard

Your motherboard should be compatible with your chosen CPU. It ensures stable system performance and prepares your PC for potential future upgrades. AMD users might lean towards a B450 or B550 motherboard, while Intel users might want to consider a B560 motherboard.

Choosing the Storage

Your choice of storage can significantly improve your gaming experience, particularly game load times. A solid-state drive (SSD) is preferable due to its high read and write speeds.

Optimizing Game Settings for Integrated Graphics

While integrated graphics have improved considerably, they still trail dedicated GPUs in raw performance. However, by making a few tweaks to your game settings, you can enjoy a satisfying gaming experience.

Resolution Management: Playing at a lower resolution can contribute significantly to better frame rates.

Settings Adjustment: The settings like shadows, textures, and anti-aliasing consume a lot of resources. Lowering these settings can substantially increase your game’s FPS.

Power Management: Ensure to set your system’s power settings to ‘High performance’. It enables the PC to utilize all resources optimally.

Overclocking: Overclocking your CPU and integrated GPU could deliver an extra performance boost but beware of the accompanying heat buildup.


Building a gaming PC without a graphics card certainly has its hurdles. However, by selecting the right hardware and configuring your system appropriately, you can create a gratifying gaming experience. While it may not match a PC with a top-of-the-line GPU, it can certainly hold its own in the current gaming landscape.

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