How To Choose A Graphics Card?

Once you have your central processing unit (CPU) dialed in, it’s time to focus on your graphics processing unit (GPU). You may wonder how much does your graphics card matter when it comes to optimizing your gaming experience? The answer is a lot. This component takes the data from your CPU and converts it into graphic images. Yes, the graphics card is a central part of any gaming experience!

Features to look for when choosing a graphics card or GPU

If you are a casual computer user, you won’t really have much need to belabor about choosing your GPU. In fact, if you are only using your computer for tasks like web browsing, lifestyle apps, and email, you likely won’t need a separate GPU at all.

However, this is a pivotal piece of equipment for gamers and professional videographers. The card you select will make a significant difference in your overall computer experience. There are many CPUs that contain a GPU component. Even the top of the line options in this category don’t measure up to stand-alone GPU options.

When you start looking at the stand-alone options, there are a variety of different price points. Entry-level models can be pretty budget-friendly while the high-end components can be priced in excess of $1,000. For many, a mid-range model is sufficient for their needs.

There are different needs for users on a laptop versus those on a desktop. Mobile capabilities are not currently as robust as the laptop options, but that is well on the way to changing. For those who are obsessed with graphics, the breakthrough technology is real-time ray tracing. AMD and Nvidia are two producers at the forefront of this technology. It is thought that as the technology becomes more widespread, the cost of GPUs with real-time ray tracing will come down.

Upscaled technology including Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) and FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) are also becoming more widespread. Games must be written specifically to accommodate these advancements. And it’s also important to realize that FSR is open-source while DLSS is not.

Because GPUs take up a lot of energy, it’s important to consider Thermal Design Power (TDP) in the decision process. Most require the utilization of some mix of both six-pin and eight-pin connectors. This can vary from component to component, so it is something to make note of while you are considering your selection. 

When you have a game that you love or a specific purpose for your GPU, many will list the requirements that are necessary. This makes it a whole lot easier to select your component. You’ll also want to consider memory and interface needs when you are narrowing down your choices.

GPUs are a central part of gaming, and choosing the right one is important. Fortunately, you can always make changes if you don’t get it right the first time. But, knowing the requirements inherent in your favorite games will make this task a whole lot easier. 

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