Silly question relating to graphics cards?

Liam Proven lproven at
Wed Sep 5 11:39:26 UTC 2012

On 5 September 2012 11:47, David Fletcher <dave at> wrote:
> Maybe, maybe not, but I'm not afraid to ask!
> Sort of related to my troubles with LibreOffice.
> Why is it that the only PCI-E graphics cards available seem to be either
> Nvidia or ATI based?
> When I run jockey-gtk on this desktop with the nvidia card, sure enough
> it lists proprietary drivers.
> When I run it on my lovely little Toshiba NB520 it's blank - "no
> proprietary drivers installed" and everything works beautifully - even
> the SD card reader slot.
> Now for the potentially silly question - I know that the graphics in the
> NB520 is Intel, so why isn't there an Intel based PCI-E graphics card
> for putting into desktop computers?

They do exist but they are rare.

The reasons are 2 fold & quite simple:

[a] In recent years, Intel GPUs are built into the CPU itself and
before that into the motherboard chipset; they are not discrete

[b] Intel GPUs are so poor in performance nobody would buy one as an
upgrade. :¬)

But they used to exist.

There are or were also graphics cards from many other vendors -
Matrox, 3DFX, S3, SIS, Hercules, Via and dozens of others. However all
were poor compared to the high-end 3D GPUs that came out of ATI and
nVidia. In the end,  by the PCI-E era, everyone else gave up.

Liam Proven • Profile:
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