Graphics Cards Vs. Video Cards: What’s the Difference?


Graphics cards and video cards are two terms often thrown around in the computer world. They are elements of the computer system, but it can be tricky to tell the two apart if you’re unfamiliar with these pieces and what they do for this technology. What’s the difference between these two items? Are they different at all?

There are a few differences between traditional video and graphics cards. These include:

  • The use for each card
  • The placement of each card
  • The price of each card

These differences, along with many more, separate the two cards from each other.

Read on to learn more about the differences between graphics cards and video cards. By having a foundational understanding of these materials, you can better utilize your computer and be familiar with the parts that make it work well. This knowledge can assist with fixing and operating your system.

Are Graphics Cards and Video Cards the Same?


In some computers, the graphics card and video card are referred to under the same name. This combination is especially true for modern laptops. These cards are both responsible for handling what you see on the screen. However, the graphics card holds two components and has distinct differences that separate it from the video card.

Though these items now function as the same thing in many personal modern systems, most older multimedia devices utilize video and graphics cards as separate pieces. They are distinct in what they do for the visuals.

Differences Between Graphics Cards and Video Cards

Three differences separate the graphics card from the video card. Though they may not be obvious at first glance, these technologies are capable of different powerful tasks. Your computer would not be the same if you only had one of them.

Understanding each of these separations will help your overall multimedia experience as a user. Once you know what sets them apart, you will know your computer visual system that most people do not have. Cards are a critical part of exploring the digital world and discovering all it has to offer.

Use for Each Card

Inside a computer, there are two different uses for video cards and graphics cards. Although they both assist with the visuals, they do so in varying ways that complement each other in operation. Each plays a critical role in the quality of the multimedia you are dealing with, especially if it is in a format that requires motion.

Each card is responsible for the following:

  • Video card: The video card is typically used for video editing and any projects that include multimedia pieces. It processes basic video elements that appear on the screen.
  • Graphics card: The graphics card comes in handy when video games or movies are displayed on the screen, as they require more intense processing. Gamers frequently invest in high-end graphics cards for their systems.

These responsibilities assist your overall view of what appears on the screen.

The use for each card is just one of the traits that set them apart. They work within the same part of a multimedia system, but they help us see things in a different light. Keep reading to learn more about the differences in each card’s physical placement within a computer system.

Placement in a System


In a computer system, the video card and the graphic card reside in varying locations. Although it might not seem like a critical item to mention, the placement of each card in the system impacts the overall price of each piece. It also affects your ability to replace the parts yourself.

In a multimedia system, these pieces live in the following locations:

  • Video card: These are typically integrated into the system, hardwired within the computer. It takes a little digging to find them.
  • Graphics card: These are separate components that can be attached to the motherboard’s expansion. It’s a little easier to separate and replace a graphics card.

Each location is critical to the operation of each card in a working multimedia system.

If you need to replace one of these cards, knowing where each lives in a digital system will serve you well. When you need to replace each in your computer, you should have no trouble deciphering where the replacements should go.

Overall Price


Between the video card and the graphics card, the prices are very different. One is more expensive than the other. If you need to replace it, it can be handy to know how much each one costs. A video card will take a different amount from your pocket than a graphics card.

On average, each of these cards cost the following amounts:

  • Video card: High-end video cards, such as this one from Gigabyte, can cost anywhere from $500-$2000.
  • Graphics card: Graphics cards, such as this one from Zotac Gaming, can cost around $300, though the price fluctuates with quality and brand.

The price will fluctuate depending on the quality of the product and the brand selling the card.

Graphics cards are more affordable than video cards, but that doesn’t mean you can choose one over the other. Both of them are needed for your multimedia system to work at an efficient level. If you need to replace one, there are affordable options on the market with great reviews. 


There are many differences between the graphics card and the video card of a traditional computer system. They both have different roles in a multimedia device, especially when dealing with computers that are not laptops. Each ensures the visuals are up to par in a unique way, whether you’re gaming or watching a movie.

Both of these cards are responsible for managing what you see on the screen in front of you. Now that you know the roles that video and graphics cards play, you can tell the difference between the two pieces of technology in reality. There are many critical parts in a computer, and these cards are just two of them.


John Hammer

Hi i'm John Hammer, Founder and Author of Gizbuyer Guide. Ever since the original Xbox, PlayStation, and iPhone I've purchased and worked on all kinds of consumer tech products, gaming gadgets and operating system softwares. To this day my curiosity has never left, and my aim is to guide and share my knowledge on technology as I continue to experience the latest of the consumer electronics industry.

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