Graphic Cards & How to Select the Best One for Your Needs
Have you ever experienced poor performance when playing video games? Or maybe you have trouble with video rendering? If so, it’s time to upgrade your video card. To do this firstly you need to understand the basic terminology and then to investigate your available options.
Initially, we need to find out if our graphic card can be upgraded. This can be done by opening computer and checking the interface of the card, the type of slot on the motherboard and the capacity of your computers power supply.
Nowadays, the size of graphic cards are huge, so as a precaution its best to see if there is enough space on your computer to accommodate an upgraded card. Graphic cards have power requirements in their detailed specifications; this also needs to be compared with the capacity of power supply.
The main terminology you must know before choosing a graphic card is as follows:
- Graphic Processing Unit stands for GPU. It’s a processor on your graphics card that manipulates the memory to create images on your screen.
- Core Clock. This is a measurement of the speed of the GPU. A higher clock speed means faster processing.
- VideoRam- VRAM generally refers to all forms of random access memory RAM used to store image data for a computer display. Higher VRAM impacts frame rate less than the clock speed, however also helps with rendering at higher resolutions.
For gaming and 3D modeling, you should focus more on bandwidth than RAM. Bandwidth is typically measured in megahertz or gigahertz (MHz, GHz) while RAM is measured in Gigabytes (GB).
Most software, especially games, will have a minimum and recommended hardware requirement for running smoothly. So referring to this will help to choose a suitable graphics card.
SLI Connections are not always a Good Choice
Nvidia and AMD cards have features that link graphic cards together to increase performance. On Geforce cards it is called SLI and on Radeon cards its called а CrossFire.
Many tests have shown that a second video card does not double performance; rather it outputs approximately 30% more performance. This advantage diminishes even further with three and four GPU configurations. Two or more video cards expend considerably more power with little results; they can create a lot of noise and sometimes multiple cards can even suffer from inconsistencies.
Maybe it’s a good choice when you have two or three 4k displays, then it becomes necessary. However don’t waste your money for only one monitor, it can become overkill.
Hardware and software evolve quickly; every year there is a better product on the market. A cheap card may become obsolete quickly, while the latest cards will drop in price fast. Real gamers and 3D designers can find a good quality video card for their requirements for less than €450 euros. The latest video card prices can reach in excess of thousand euros. However spending such large amounts of money is not necessary for the majority of people.