How to Choose a Graphics Card? – A Comprehensive Guide

How To Choose A Graphics Card A Comprehensive Guide
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With modern gaming becoming increasingly popular, playing games on a substandard graphics card can often turn out to be a so-so experience for the user. It is a fact that good graphic cards have a huge impact on the PC’s rendering capability, with the game appearing much more vivid and attractive than before.

However, choosing a graphics card is no easy task. You will find thousands of models in different shapes, speeds, and prices.

It is an investment, after all — a costly one at that. And it’s not something you should easily choose based on your whims. You want to get the most bang for your buck, don’t you?

Well, for your gaming, rendering, and other video-intensive needs, how can you choose the right GPU?

In this article, we will help you to choose a graphics card that best suits your PC and requirements.

  1. Laptop Vs Desktop GPUs

There’s pretty much no debate on this. You get better performance out of a separate desktop graphics card than an average laptop graphics card. There are rare cases where you can get a beefy enough laptop graphics card to match a decent desktop graphics card, but those are few and far between.

Thus, if you are looking to do heavy gaming or video editing, you need a desktop GPU that provides more power.

The Desktop GPU is more powerful as it prevents overheating. Laptops don’t come with the same cooling system. Gaming laptops, too, can have a higher GPU, but those are bulkier. Plus, you can’t upgrade the laptop GPU.

When it comes to pricing, desktop PC cards are more affordable as the hardware is less compact and less expensive to manufacture.

  1. Ray-tracing

A gaming graphics card with the ray-tracing technique will give you a deeper, more realistic experience. It produces amazingly realistic lighting effects helping games replicate the depth and detail of reality.

For instance, Battlefield V was the first game to offer real-time ray tracing support. The developers have now added real-time ray tracing settings with which you can control your consumption and performance.

If you are using a less powerful device, set the Low setting. Performance users can, however, get a better boost with Ultra.

Ray-tracing

  1. Graphics card memory amount

Graphics card memory is a crucial part of the graphic card and directly affects its performance. If you have a low amount of memory on the graphic card, it will hang and perform slowly on a high resolution.

For gaming at 1080p, you will need a card with at least 6 GB, and if possible, 8 GB or more. But if you are going to play with all the settings turned on or if you are going to install high-resolution texture packs such as 4K, go for graphic cards with more than 8GB memory.

  1. Thermal Design Power (TDP)

In case you want to choose a high-performance graphics card and install it on your computer, you should also pay attention to a heat problem. To avoid this issue as much as possible, you should understand how Thermal Design Power (TDP) works first.

Thermal Design Power or TDP can not only measure heat dissipation, but it will give you an estimate of how many watts are required for running your card at stock settings.

Companies like Nvidia are switching to TGP, Total Graphics Power. It will give you the measurement of the power of the entire card.

  1. Power connectors

When selecting a graphics card, one of the most often overlooked factors is the power connectors.

Since 75W, which is the standard maximum provided by the x16 PCIe slot, is not enough for serious gaming cards, these cards will need to connect supplemental PCIe power connectors that are available in 6- and 8-pin varieties.

  1. Ports

For the uninitiated, ports are essentially the little holes in a graphics card where your monitor’s cable gets plugged into. See that the card you are buying has the connectors you require for your monitor. Otherwise, you will have to purchase an adapter.

  1. TFLOPS/GFLOPS

TFLOPS – an abbreviated version of trillions of floating-point operations per second – refers to the maximum theoretical performance of a GPU.

  1. Can it support VR?

Virtual Reality (VR) is an immersive gaming experience that is changing the way people enjoy video games. VR graphics are improving every day, and you can’t play VR with an outdated graphics card. So it’s important that you plan ahead before upgrading your gaming PC’s graphics card.

For instance, to use your GPU with a PC VR HMD, you will require at any rate a mid-range card with optimal performance.

Graphic cards like Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition and AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT can support VR.

  1. Reference Card Vs Third Party Design

Nvidia manufactures and sells its own cards under the Founders Edition name for exclusive models. And AMD licenses its reference card design to other manufacturers. The GPUs of both companies appear in third-party cards.

You will find more expensive third-party cards with additional fans, elaborate coolers, and higher clock speeds. And the benefits of higher clock speeds are often minimal. However, better cooling features result in cooler, quieter operations.

That’s a Wrap!

In the end, you’re going to want a graphics card that fulfills your needs as much as possible. Is it strictly for gaming? Are you a designer or photographer? The needs of most gamers and designers will be different. That’s why it’s important to do your research when choosing a card.

If you’re not sure what to do, take some time and do your research. Check out online forums, review sites, and read some professional gaming hardware advertisements.

If you really want to get serious, you can even consult a computer technician or someone on staff at a local gaming store.

And even if you follow the advice we’ve shared here, you should be able to find the right graphics card for your needs in no time at all.

Thank you for reading!

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