Selecting a graphics card isn’t a piece of cake for everyone, but it usually hinges on the use. But there’s still more to it, as there is a range of other aspects that count too. But what exactly does it take to find the perfect card for the job? If this is your quest, stick around to find out. Here are the aspects to look out for to choose graphic card that’s a best fit.
To get started on the right foot, find out if you can upgrade your system’s card. To do this, start by checking the computer’s documentation. Hence, you can identify the card’s interface, or simply the connection slots, also, check the power supply.
Keep in mind that these cards usually vary significantly in terms of size. This means considering the available space as you set out to choose graphic card. Mostly, the card’s power requirements will feature in the specs section. Use it to compare the power that the card needs and the juice that your system can produce.
Some computers, such as laptops, may have the cards soldered to the motherboard. This means replacing them can be virtually impossible. For instance, Mac laptops can be hard to replace the cards, so it’s always best to start by figuring this out.
Understanding the Jargon
With that sorted and out of the way, let’s now move to understand the different terminologies used in these cards’ world. The different aspects in could go a long way to giving you a hint on what the card can deliver, performance wise.
Graphics Processing is what they are all about. This processor helps to manipulate the memory, hence creating the images you see on the screen. The good thing about GPUs is that they have a upper hand in taking on graphical processing than the CPU.
Core clock is the other crucial aspect that’s worth understanding. This simply means the GPU speed, with the higher clocks meaning higher processing speed. And the opposite goes for the lower clocks – meaning lower speed.
The Video RAM or Random Access Memory is yet another aspect you need to understand. VRAM is responsible for image data storage. This memory doesn’t have as much effect on the framerate as the clock speed. However, it proves invaluable when it comes to rendering the images if you want a high-resolution display.
Memory bandwidth is yet another thing you definitely have to look into. This simply translates to the memory speed. It goes a long way to help you determine how fast the system can render objects. Besides, it has a substantial effect on the performance too.
How do you plan to use your card?
Now that you know a whole lot about these cards, it’s time to dive into the use you have for it. This means a lot, especially if you are to choose graphic card that can best fit your needs. Different uses call for the choice for different types of cards, and that’s why this is so crucial.
If you are into casual computing, then you won’t necessarily need much robust video processing performance. These are simple tasks that don’t take much toll on the card as such.
Such uses as the graphic design will definitely be a little more intense. So you will need some more features with your card. In this case, consider a high-resolution performance cards. Thankfully, most of the high-end cards support UltraHD and 4K display resolutions, giving you more detail. However, note that this might call for the use of a Display Port connector on your card.
Light gaming means the need for a higher performance option, as things start getting tough here. Consider getting a card that’s capable of offering 3D graphics or better. This will do for most games but solitaire, Candy Crush, and Tetris, which don’t necessarily need this acceleration. With those, you can use just about any graphics processor.
Intensive gaming calls for a little more than just any card out there. Choose graphic card with an outstanding robustness for the job. This is where the likes of GIGABYTE GV-N1030OC and other such high-end cards come into play. In essence, a card in this tier should take on 3D games with all the graphics details features on a stride. If you want to go further and try the 4K screen, then consider these top-of-the-line cards. A 4GB memory or more can be very handy here.
When compared to the bandwidth, the memory fades away to the background, as this aspect takes the front stage. Unless you plan on playing high 1920 x 1080 or higher resolution games, the RAM doesn’t count as much. But why does the bandwidth mean so much? This is essentially the performance bottleneck. Hence, getting it right could mean the difference between going for the ideal card and a junk one. You might be better off going for a 1GB GDDR5 rather than a 4GB with DDR3.
What the model number tells you
This aspect is by far one of the most essential determiners if you are to get that perfect card. Besides helping you choose graphic card for the job, this number further reflects the card’s capability. In essence, it packs in every crucial detail about the memory bandwidth, clock rate, and GPU. Don’t be deceived by the overclocked advertisements by some manufacturers, it’s about all you need to keep an eye on.
How compatible is it?
This might sound like a no-brainer, but it is as essential as it can ever get. First, you need to ensure that your card can work flawlessly with the monitor. Not all monitors are appropriate for every type of these cards out there. Match the monitor with any video card by checking on the cable ports at the back of the monitor. In most monitors, especially the older versions, you will find VGA ports. However, in some cases, you can come across a few DVI or HDMI ports as well.
Your card and motherboard should also work well, if not perfectly. One of the things that can easily hold you back during a card upgrade is the expansion ports. If you don’t have an integrated card, then the only other option at your disposal is using an open port. Thankfully, most modern systems come with a PCI-Express card slot, also known as an x16 slot.
But these slots have a wide variety too, ranging from 1.0 to 4.0, and the bandwidth level increases with an increase in the number. Nevertheless, they are largely backward compatible, so you can take advantage of that aspect too. You need to check whether your motherboard and the card you want can fit without a hassle.
All said and done, the road to choosing a perfect graphics card doesn’t have to be a bumpy one, as you can easily find a perfect fit. With the right card, although some of them can cost you pretty penny, you can get the bang for your buck. Just be on the lookout for all the aspects that matter. The installation should be super easy, but without compromising quality. It all starts with selecting a perfect card off the bat. You can go for your next graphics card with confidence.