How To Buy The Right Graphics Card: The Best Graphics Card Guide For 2020

Are you thinking about purchasing a gaming computer? Perhaps you’re confused about which graphics card you should invest in. Choosing the proper graphics card is not easy since there are plenty of options available. You have to take things like power, memory, clock speed, bandwidth, and your monitor’s resolution into account before buying a graphics card. Similar to the processor, a graphics card plays an important role in the performance of your gaming PC, so make sure you do some adequate research before making a final purchase decision.

If you’re buying one for the first time, we recommend that you read this graphics card guide first. This short guide will familiarize you with a few fundamental things you should look for in a graphics card. So, without further ado, let’s dive in.

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AMD vs. NVIDIA: Which Is The Best Choice?

NVIDIA and AMD
NVIDIA is good for the high-end market and AMD is a more budget-friendly choice for the entry-level and mid-range market.

It’s crucial to know that there are only two leading manufacturers that make graphics cards. Nonetheless, they do license other companies, including MSI, ASUS, EVGA, and more, to sell their GPUs.

Both companies have different software, cooling solutions, and clock rates on their cards. However, the main question is this: which company makes the best GPUs?Well, both companies have their ins and outs, and they both offer several different series of graphics cards. For some graphics card series, NVIDIA provides better performance and price, while on other tiers, AMD might offer you better options.

AMD, for instance, is renowned for offering affordable and upper-midrange graphics cards. Their latest AMD Navi RX 5000 series cards are giving NVIDIA fierce competition on the power usage front. However, when it comes to high-end powerful graphics cards, NVIDIA takes the lead. Perhaps this is why their top-end RTX cards are high in demand and considered the best graphics cards in 2020.

The Types Of Games That You Play

battlefield 5
Battlefield 5 is a very popular FPS game, but it also requires a very powerful graphics card.

The type of games you play is another crucial factor that will determine the kind of graphics card you should buy. If you play GPU intensive games, you will need to invest in a robust graphics card.

PUBG, Far Cry 5, Project Cars 2, Metro Exodus, Battlefield 5, and Grand Theft Auto V,  are some of the more GPU-intensive games. Instead, if you don’t play many GPU-intensive PC games, you can save a lot of money by choosing an affordable entry-level graphics card.

Your Display’s Resolution

monitor resolutions
A comparison between popular screen resolutions, including 1080p, 1440p and 4K UHD.

It’s essential to know what resolution you will be playing your games at. Remember, the higher your monitor’s resolution is, the harder your graphics processing unit will have to work. 

In the simplest words, PC games become more demanding at higher resolutions. So, if you have a 4K monitor, you will need a high-end graphics card.

Your Monitor’s Refresh Rate

60Hz vs 144Hz
144Hz requires much more power than 60Hz because your GPU must pump out a lot more frames per second

Similar to resolution, you also need to think about the refresh rate of your monitor. For those who don’t know, a refresh rate is counted as the number of times your monitor updates with new images per second. For instance, a 60Hz refresh rate means your monitor updates its picture 60 times per second. 

If your monitor has a high refresh rate, you need a potent graphics card to fulfill your monitor’s demand.

Compatibility With Your Power Supply

850W power supply unit with cable

When buying a graphics card for your gaming PC, you need to check its compatibility with your power supply as well. Since graphics cards need more power than other components in your PC, choose a power supply that can handle it easily.

Additionally, check the compatibility of your card with the motherboard, RAM, and other significant components of your computer.

Conclusion

We’ve now explained the most important factors that you should consider when buying graphics cards for your gaming PC. Hopefully, these tips will help you pick the right card.

If you want to expand your knowledge on graphics cards, GPUs, and video cards, feel free to browse our other resources.

We are committed to helping users find the right graphics card that can fit their budget and needs.

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Christopher Lee
Christopher Lee

Christopher is currently the editor-in-chief for GPU Mag. He has worked as a computer technician for 3 years before landing a job at Dell where he is now currently working full-time remotely.