How to Choose a Graphics Card For Gaming

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How to Choose a Graphics Card For Gaming

8 Important Criteria for Choosing Graphics Card

Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) is a device that translates image information form the system and
sends them to display. And also it renders 3d graphics information from advanced games. 

More than other PC components it has direct impact on gaming. Not only in gaming it can show its effects on video rendering and image quality. Better the graphics card, better the visual experience. Therefore it is important to give enough attention to it than other components. Even though many desktop computers comes with integrated graphics, it is not powerful enough in handling todays games. To cope up with advanced games, graphics cards are launched frequently. A graphics card that is 10 years old will not be able to play todays games. 

Therefore the user has to upgrade by choosing the right video card. Not all graphics cards are compatible with the motherboard or the power supply. Choosing a wrong one may make them not to support or show poor performance on modern games. 

In this article, I am going to tell you the How to Choose a Graphics Card For Gaming. From this post you will know how to pick / select the best gpu.

Let's move to the topic,

1. Nvidia Vs AMD

There are 2 major gpu manufacturers, those are Nvidia and AMD. Even though both are roughly equal in performance, still Nvidia dominates the GPU market by taking the lead in overall performance. Comparing to Nvidia, AMD is less power efficient but cheap in terms of price. 

Using these 2 major technologies there are different models made by companies such as the Asus, EVGA, MSI, Gigabyte, Palit, Sapphire and Zotac. Depending on the model the graphics card quality can be changing. Best is to choose from the monitor using the Nvidia G-Sync or AMD free sync technologies. Your monitor can support either of these 2 technologies for their performance.

2. GPU Memory

GPU memory (also referred as the Frame Buffer) is used by the graphics card to store informations that is needed to be displayed. Games require having more RAM in the gpu in order to display large amount of onscreen images. More the RAM faster the information displaying on the screen. Therefore to play with highest settings you need to have more memory. 

Typically 3-4 GB is enough for 1080p and 4K resolution needs at least 8GB of memory. Apart from that the type of memory varies. There are 2 types of memory used in GPUs, those are the GDDR3, GDDR5 and GDDR6. GDDR5 gives you more bandwidth than the GDDR3. Bandwidth is an important performance metric. GDDR6 type of memories are used only in few high end graphics cards. 

3. Clock Speed

Clock Speed in graphics card is one factor which decides the Frames Per Second (FPS) in gaming. Higher the clock speed, faster the gaming will be. However by the method of overclocking you can increase this overclocking for a low performance card. Some graphics cards even comes with factory overclocked settings which perform more than the standard versions. 

4. Form Factor

Even though bigger cards are quiet and can conduct heat well, they take up more space in the casing. Some cards cannot be fitted inside the ports due to its size. Therefore it is essential to choose a graphics card according to the size of the CPU casing. Generally a graphics card can take the room up to 2 expansion slots. Before choosing a gpu, measure its length, width and thickness to avoid any space hindrances.

5. Power Consumption

More than the other computer component the graphics cards consume quiet lot of power. Therefore ensure that the power supply can provide enough power needed for the GPU. Power needed by the graphics card is always indicated in the GPU specifications. 

Whenever you choose a graphics card it is vital to consider its power consumption. When more power is consumed, more heat is generated. Therefore your computer must have a good cooling system in order to handle this heat. To measure the heat generated by the GPU, manufacturers use a term known as the Thermal Design Power (TDP) which is measure in Watts. 

6. Connection Ports

Graphics cards use different types of ports for their display output. Most of them will have either HDMI, DVI, Display ports or VGA. Most of the monitors today support the use of VGA port. It is crucial  for a user to know what type of connection ports are present on their GPU since some monitors support only one of them. However you can use a adapter to convert any type of signals.

7. Power Connectors

Low end graphics cards don't need to be connected to the power supply, they can be powered through the PCI express slots. Since the maximum power a PCI express slot can provide is 75 watts it is not sufficient for high end graphics cards. Therefore high end graphics cards depends on the power supply that connect through the PCIe connectors with 6-8 pins. 

Sometimes the GPU may require high number of pins from the power supply. Therefore make sure that the power supply has enough connectors to provide sufficient power to the GPU.

8. Multi GPU Support

Some graphics cards support the use of Multi GPUs on the same motherboard. Such setup for Nvidia is known as Nvidia SLI (Scalable Link Interface) and AMD as AMD Crossfire. This can show up a massive performance difference in gaming. Therefore next time when you select a graphics card ensure whether it supports Nvidia SLI or the AMD Crossfire. 

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