How to Choose a Graphics Card
When your built-in graphics card is not enough and you want to get the most out of your computer, a new, powerful graphics card can open up amazing possibilities for you. But in order not to be disappointed in the purchase you should know how to choose the right video card.
Most people use a computer to perform simple tasks: surfing the Internet, working with office applications and watching videos. In this case, users have enough power of the built-in (integrated) video card. However, if you need to use complex programs such as graphic or video editors, 3D modeling programs and, especially, resource-demanding games, you can’t do without a modern graphics card.
Key parameters of the graphics card
So, in order for you to understand what we are talking about, let’s start with the basics. A graphics card is a part of a computer that is responsible for creating a high-quality picture and broadcasting it to the user’s monitor. Video cards come in one of two types: built-in (integrated) and discrete. The former are delivered together with the computer and their power is usually enough for simple, everyday tasks.
But if your PC is to perform tasks of particular complexity, that is, to work with really heavy programs or games, the built-in graphics card will not be able to cope easily anymore. Then the question of buying a video card rises tall.
Discrete video cards may be called differently on different websites: Graphics aссelerator, 3D aссelerator, Graphics card, Video adapter, Display adapter. Let this not mislead you. In any case, these are names of the same part. And there are many good video card manufacturing companies on the market in our time. Among them the leading positions are occupied by these brands: NVIDIA GeForce, ASUS, ATI/AMD Radeon, HP, ASRock, ZOTAC, Sapphire, GIGABYTE.
However, knowing the name of the most popular brands is not enough to buy a good video card. Let’s take a look at the main parameters of the video card, which you should focus on when buying. These are:
- Graphics processor;
- Memory capacity;
- Memory type;
- Data bus;
- DirectX support;
- Video connectors.
The high-quality graphics processor is one of the two most important indicators of a video card’s power. The higher the GPU frequency (measured in Hz), the better the performance of the graphics card.
Memory capacity is the second important indicator when choosing a video card. Choosing a video adapter on this parameter, you should know that the memory size of 1GB is still suitable for not very demanding tasks, but if you want a really powerful video adapter, choose a memory size of at least 4-8 GB.
Yet, it’s not only the amount of memory that matters. Its type has a significant impact on the power of the video adapter. Today the best memory types are GDDR6 and GDDR6X. Keep this in mind, among other things.
Data bus: the bandwidth of this channel of data exchange between the video chip and memory largely determines the speed of the video card. It should be 256 bits or more.
DirectX support matters as well. DirectX technology is familiar to all fans of PC games. With this aspect it’s quite simple: the higher the version of DirectX, supported by the video card – the better. DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 are the newest ones.
And, last but not least, video connectors. Despite the fact that the presence of ports does not affect the performance of the video adapter, it is yet another important thing to pay attention to when buying a video card. In particular, HDMI, VGA and DVI ports are absolutely necessary for modern video adapters.
Video card cooling
Of course, as with any part of the computer, cooling is very important for the video card. Keep in mind that the more powerful your video adapter is, the better the cooling system should be. There are two types of video adapter cooling: passive (silent) and active (with coolers).
Passive cooling is close to unacceptable, and it is better to buy a video card with an active cooling system, which is noisy but effective. Also, if you can not buy a device with a good cooling system right away, you can always improve the cooling system separately at some point.
Buying a modern graphics card is a responsible step and, quite likely, a significant blow to your budget. Therefore, to make the right choice and buy a video card that will satisfy your needs for a long time you should follow experts’ tips. Thoughtful approach will help you get the maximum pleasure from gaming and great efficiency when working.
And, of course, should something happen to the graphics card or any other components of your PC, contact the experts. This will extend the life of your device. Professional technicians like the Repairs Bay team – experts in computer repairs from Brooklyn – are ready to help you at any time. This is important to keep in mind, because malfunctions can make your workflow noticeably more complicated for a while. At the same time, a healthy PC is the key to a good mood in gaming and work alike.