One challenge that has faced those interested in using dedicated GPUs in recent years is that the latest models have been hard to attain, in part because market demand has outstripped supply, raising prices in recent years.
As Peddie explained, cost issues are generally not a problem at the high end, where the costs are more minuscule in comparison.
“They don’t waste time bickering about an add-in board’s price if it is $5,000 or $7,000, or even $10,000,” he said. “That’s noise compared to with the critical nature of the problem they are trying to solve.”
For consumer-level (or even some corporate-level) use cases, however, that has raised the question about whether integrated graphics can do the job.
While dedicated GPUs very much still very much have their place, GPU performance on integrated chipsets has improved greatly in recent years. Processors such as Apple’s M1 and M2 chipsets, AMD Ryzen APUs with Radeon graphics and Intel processors with built-in Xe graphics have helped to fill the gap in many end-user cases such as watching high-resolution video and image editing.
But improved performance in processors alone aren’t isn’t the only reasons why many might find integrated GPUs a good fit. In part, end users are benefiting from increasing GPU-bound computing capabilities in the cloud. AI technologies such as natural language processing rely on GPU-bound processing cycles — cycles that may not be happening on the machine itself.
And those use cases sneak into areas that may not seem obvious to the end users, but have a deep effect on their experience.
“American Express uses a new AI to detect fraud in credit card transactions in real time. Microsoft Teams uses NVIDIA AI to transcribe and caption meetings,” Kharya said. “The AI is everywhere.”
As a result, “Is is just a CPU alone powerful enough?” That may not be the right question for many businesses. A better question is, “How much GPU do you need, — and where do you need it?”
If that question has you flummoxed, it could be one to discuss with an IT partner, like CDW Amplified™ services, which can help you make sense of your computing stack.