How To Buy The Right Graphics Card

Are you thinking about purchasing a gaming computer? This short guide will familiarize you with some of the fundamentals you should consider to buy the right graphics card. Let’s dive in.

You might be confused about which card you should invest in. With so many different options available, it can become an intimidating decision.

Before making your choice, you need to consider several aspects such as power, memory, clock speed, bandwidth, and your monitor’s resolution. Much like the processor, your graphics card plays a crucial role in the performance of your gaming PC. Make sure you research the subject thoroughly before making a final decision.

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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.

There are currently two leading manufacturers that create graphics cards: AMD and NVIDIA. These two graphics cards giants then license other companies to sell their GPUs, including MSI, ASUS, EVGA, and many others. Both companies offer different types of software, cooling solutions, and clock rates on their cards.

The most important question is: which company ultimately makes the best GPUs? Both companies have their pros and cons and offer several different series of graphics cards. For some budgets, NVIDIA provides better performance and value, while on other tiers you might find better options by choosing AMD.

AMD is renowned for offering affordable mid to upper-range graphics cards. Their recent AMD Navi RX 5000 series cards provide serious competition to NVIDIA in terms of power.

When it comes to high-end graphics cards, however, NVIDIA is the leader. Their top-end RTX cards were considered the best graphics cards in 2020, always in very high demand.

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 types of games you want to play are a key factor for determining what you need to look for to buy the right graphics card. 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 most popular GPU-intensive games. If you aren’t interested in playing GPU-intensive PC games, you will be able to save a lot of money by choosing an affordable entry-level graphics card instead.

Your Display’s Resolution

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

It’s also essential to know which resolution you will be playing your games at. The higher your monitor’s resolution, the more powerful your graphics processing unit will need to be to make the most of it.

PC games become more demanding at higher resolutions. If, for example, you have a 4K monitor, you will need a high-end graphics card to enjoy 4K visuals.

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

In addition to resolution, you also need to consider the refresh rate of your monitor when choosing a graphics card. The refresh rate refers to the number of times your monitor can update with new images each second. For example, a 60Hz refresh rate means your monitor updates its picture 60 times per second. 

If your monitor has a high refresh rate, you will need a powerful graphics card to make the most of it.

Compatibility With Your Power Supply

850W power supply unit with cable

When choosing a graphics card for your gaming PC, you also need to check its compatibility with your power supply. As graphics cards consume more power than other components in your PC, we recommend that you choose a power supply strong enough to handle this.

Don’t forget to check the compatibility of your graphics card with your computer’s motherboard, RAM, and other key components.

Conclusion

This guide has described the most important factors to consider when choosing a graphics card for your gaming PC. These tips should help you buy your ideal graphics card.

If you want to expand your knowledge of graphics cards, GPUs, and video cards, it’s worth taking the time to browse our other resources.

We are committed to helping users find the right graphics card to match their budget and individual needs.

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Aleksandar Cosic
Aleksandar Cosic

Alex is a Computer Science student and a former game designer. That has enabled him to develop skills in critical thinking and fair analysis. As a CS student, Aleksandar has very in-depth technical knowledge about computers, and he also likes to stay current with new technologies.