GPU Vs Graphics Card! What is the difference?

Many users are confused with the fact, or you can say, myth i.e. the difference between Graphics Card and GPU AKA GPU Vs Graphics Card. You, just like the majority of users, may think that both of them are the same thing and misuse those two terms but they obviously aren’t. A GPU is a little chip-like component placed in the Graphics Card. A Graphics card is a circuit board where necessary components like VRAMs, different ICs, regulators, controllers, inductors, etc. including GPU are placed. So GPU and Graphics card is not the same, right?

A Graphics Card Consist with an GPU. NVIDIA Founder Edition Graphics Card.
NVIDIA Founder Edition Graphics Card

Functions of GPU & Graphics Card

Both of their functions are very straight forward. All the graphics and display related tasks and functions are done by mainly GPU with the help of other components in the Graphics Card. So, you can say a GPU is the “Brain” of a Graphics Card.

GTX 1080 Graphics Card's GPU is GP 104
GP 104 GPU in a Graphics Card| Pic Credit: TechPowerUp

You can relate them with the Motherboard and CPU. Just like CPU is only a component within the Motherboard, GPU is also a component within the Graphics Card. Therefore, the conclusion is; GPU is not Graphics Card and that means, Graphics Card is container and GPU is simply a content with other components for operating the Graphics Card.

Basic understanding of GPU Vs Graphics Card
GPU Vs Graphics Card

Why “GPU Vs Graphics Card”?

The reason for this confusion is very simple. You can’t separate the GPU from the Graphics Card, unlike CPU which can be separated from the Motherboard. That’s why people think they both are the same thing. Let me give you an example to clear the foggy confusion and to enter the sunlight of the information. You may not know the thing that every Graphics Cards have their different GPUs with their different names. in the Graphics Card named NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080, the GPU is GP104-400-A1. On the other hand, the GPU of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 is, GP106-400-A1.

GTX 1060 Graphics Card| Pic Credit: TechPowerUp

If you want to know further about those Graphics Cards and their respective GPUs, click here to know in detail. After getting all this information regarding this, I hope you will not again be confused between Graphics Card and GPU as the same.

Who Designs GPU?

GPUs are designed by only NVIDIA and AMD whereas the Graphics Cards are developed by their partner companies like Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, Zotac, etc. Whenever NVIDIA or AMD launch a new graphics processor in the market, they also define that how the other components like VRAM, Power Phases, Inductors, Mosfets, etc should be placed on that Graphics Card which will use that particular GPU.

Credit: The Verge

Founder Edition Graphics Cards Vs Add In Board Graphics Cards

Now, if any partner company follow those references of requirements to launch a new Graphics Card, it is called Reference Card. But the concept of Reference Card has been changed when NVIDIA launched their 10 series cards. In the past, NVIDIA or AMD did not launch any Graphics Card in their own way but NVIDIA starts to do this from its 10 series cards and they launch cards in the market in their own way and style with labeling their brand name on the devices. 

NVIDIA's first founder edition graphics card
NVIDIA’s first founder edition graphics card

It doesn’t mean that the partner companies become worthless and stop their marketing on this. Those companies also introduce new Graphics Cards in the market with the GPUs of NVIDIA or AMD. In that case, the Graphics Cards, introduced by NVIDIA with their own brand name is called Founder Edition Graphics Cards and on the other side, the Graphics Cards, created by other manufacturers is called Add in Boards (AIB) Graphics Cards

RTX 2070 Graphics Card

The main advantage of AIB cards is custom design. That means those companies make changes in their Graphics Cards in their own way to make them more excellent. They change the coolers, twist the GPU clock, use more powerful high-quality capacitors, improve the power phrases and many more changes. 

AIB Graphics Card
AIB Card

AIB is more costly then Founder Edition Cards and also provides extra better performance because of its better coolers and twisted clock speed in GPU. An interesting point to know that when 10 series cards are available, the performance of NVIDIA cards becomes pretty low because of bad coolers but in recent 20 series cards, they upgrade their coolers hugely and so the performances. Now NVIDIA cards can easily compete with the partner companies Graphics Cards though AIB cards, of course, are always a little better than Founder Edition cards.


If you are reading this article without having any graphics card then congratulation, I have an article only for you: [Best] Games For 2GB RAM PC Without GPU: Play in 2020.

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