A graphics card is the backbone of a gaming PC. A powerful CPU, plenty of RAM, and sufficient storage all have their places but a decent graphics card unit (GPU) is at the center of it. The component is responsible for the quality of the visual elements or graphics seen on the screen.
If you are building a gaming machine or buying one, this is one area you should focus on. But if you don’t know what to look out for, it can be a difficult task to select a graphics card. The market has every kind of GPU.
From as little as less than a hundred dollars to upwards of a few thousand dollars, you can get your hands on one. How do you know how to pick the right card according to your budget? We have a few tips for you.
With matters graphics card, there are only two players in the market – AMD and NVIDIA. There are other sellers in the market but these are only distributors of AMD and NVIDIA GPUs. Both companies produce some of the best cards in the market.
As far as pricing is concerned, you are looking at spending approximately the same for equivalents. Two cards with the same features often fall in the same price bracket. However, high-end NVIDIA cards are much more expensive.
The reason is that there are no AMD equivalents of them out there. For instance, there is no AMD solution to the RTX 2020, Radeon VII, and Titan RTX. If you have an eye for any of them, plan on spending a pretty penny.
What types of games do you play?
According to Boost Hardware, the most important thing to consider when buying a GPU is the types of games played. It goes without saying that if you plan on playing power-hungry games, you need a powerful graphics card.
Examples of graphics-intensive games are PUBG, The Witcher 3, VR, and Battlefield 1. However, games like Minecraft, Dota 2, and League of Legends can run smoothly on less-costly entry-level graphics cards.
What about the monitor?
In addition to the types of games to play, the resolution of your monitor is also a big determinant when choosing a video card. In short, games played at higher resolutions always demand powerful GPUs.
The reason is simple – the higher the resolution on your screen, the more pixels rendered on each frame, and ultimately the harder the graphics card has to work.
If you are looking to play games on a 1080P monitor, you have the freedom of spending less for an affordable graphics card. On the other hand, if you plan on using a 4K monitor, you will need an expensive high-end card.
The brand, types of games played, and monitor used, are key when selecting a good graphics card. However, there are a few more things to consider. These include the following.
- Graphics memory: You need more memory for high-resolution packs and when playing with all settings turned up. More memory means more money.
- TDP: Thermal design power shows how much power to run the card. You need a high-wattage power supply unit if you are running a powerful card.
- PCIe connectors: High-end GPUs need more pins on the PCIe connector.
- Refresh rate: High refresh rate monitors need high-end graphics cards.
There you have it – tips for choosing the best graphics card according to your budget. Once you have an idea of what games to play, the rest of the puzzle will take shape. No matter your budget, you will get the right card that suits your needs.
Just stay focused and don’t be distracted by the flashy and trendy high-end video cards if you don’t have the money to splash.