Are you looking for a top-notch video card that will make games run like butter? Do you feel confused by the large selection of GPUs available online? Leading tech experts agree that the graphics card you own plays a notable role in determining how smoothly a particular game will run on your PC. If you have plans to get your hands on a good graphics card, you must arm yourself with the necessary technical knowledge.
For playing graphically demanding games at the highest possible settings, you need a good GPU that is equipped with cutting-edge technologies. If you do not keep certain essential points in mind while browsing through the best available GPUs, making the right selection might prove to be tough. Whether you have a penchant for NVIDIA or AMD, this buying guide will simplify things and help you fulfill your quest of buying the best graphics card.
Factors to Look for When Picking a Graphics Card
Hundreds of different GPUs are being sold under the pretext of being the best and this is why you must be extra cautious while making the final purchase. Uninformed buyers who do not consider essential factors and invest in inefficient GPUs realize their mistake when it is too late. Without further ado, I will quickly throw some light on the 5 most vital factors you should take into account when shopping for your dream GPU.
First of all, video memory is the most important thing you should be focusing on when buying a graphics card for your gaming requirements. A GPU that is packed with ample video RAM will instantly bestow your PC a big leap in performance. You should always settle for a video card that boasts 6 to 12GB of graphics memory to run the latest titles at the highest FPS possible. Some of the best graphics card under 400 dollars come with memory in this range and provide amazing performance.
If you have a small budget and you cannot afford to shell out a lot of money, you should simply pick a GPU with at least 4GB of video memory, which is needed by most games nowadays. Most importantly, do not forget that GDDR6 memory technology is significantly faster and way more advanced than the GDDR5 mechanism.
Lastly, consider buying a graphics card that is loaded with innovative technologies and VR capabilities to future-proof your gaming PC.
Another critical factor is the size of the video card and this is something you should never ignore. You must choose a graphics card with the right dimensions based on the CPU case you have. Analyze the height, length, and width of your chosen GPU and also look for other important measurements before arriving at the final decision.
You should also find out how many expansion slots a particular graphics card would occupy. Regardless of which video card you choose, it should fit well into your computer case, otherwise, your hard-earned money would get wasted. If you want to get a graphics card that will perform with efficiency for years to come, select a high-end product that has been rated for its build quality.
If you want maximum value for your money, the GPU you end up selecting must boast the latest and most efficient architecture. Pascal and Turing are the two most popular architectures found in NVIDIA’s lineup of gaming graphics cards. There is no doubt that Turing architecture is ahead of Pascal as far as graphical performance is concerned.
Turing architecture is better at pixel processing and it offers ray tracing capabilities in real-time. You should carefully consider the clock speed and the number of cores to figure out the performance of the GPU you are planning to purchase. You would be surprised to know that even the energy efficiency of your graphics card will be determined based on the architecture it has.
The GPU you purchase should be compatible with both your monitor and motherboard. Opt for a graphics card that offers support for all the latest video output interfaces including HDMI and DisplayPort. Best of all, the majority of gaming graphics cards fit into the PCI Express x16 slot. So, make sure your motherboard has this slot.
Avoid buying a graphics card that is incompatible with your current system configurations as doing will only pave the way for regrets in the long run.
The biggest mistake that many PC users make is that they do not check the TDP of the graphics card before spending their money on it. In simple words, a video card’s TDP refers to the maximum power it can dissipate when under operation. The Thermal design power (TDP) of a GPU will help you determine what PSU wattage you will require to run the card at stock settings.
Since you are on the lookout for a gaming-grade graphics card, it would be best if you have a Power Supply Unit of 600 watts. But if you are a veteran overclocker planning to buy a high-end GPU like GeForce RTX 3080, be ready to spend extra from your pocket for upgrading your PSU. Take note that a PSU upgrade is needed mainly to meet the energy requirements of power-hungry GPUs.
When you can no longer stand poor visuals and laggy gameplay sessions, investing in a power-packed graphics card is the only way out. It must be noted that picking a video card is the most crucial aspect of building a gaming PC and no tech buff on planet earth will deny this fact. More important than all, visually rich games like Hitman, Metro Exodus, and GTA 5 demand the most advanced graphic technologies to run smoothly.
Once you bring home a strong GPU and install it in your CPU, you will get to witness a massive rise in the frame rates of your favorite games. A good video card will not only uplift your overall gaming experience but will also come in handy for running resource-heavy video editing programs. Having come this far, see to it you make a note of all the factors discussed above in this article to select the best graphics card for your daily gaming needs.