Video:Tips for Buying a PC Video Cardwith Shane Murphy
When buying a PC video card, there are certain things to keep in mind, including price, clock speed and memory. Here are some tips for buying a PC video card.See Transcript
Transcript:Tips for Buying a PC Video CardHi, I'm Shane Murphy, your technology guru for About.com. Today we'll analyze all the factors to consider when buying a video card.
Price Matters But Brand Does Not When Buying a PC Video CardThe most singular consideration is price. There's no escaping it, if you want a premiere gaming experience you're going to have to spend hundreds of dollars. There are ways to cut corners, but it's still a matter of figuring out how much performance you can get based on your budget.
One thing that doesn't really matter is brand. Both Nvidia and AMD make quality graphics cards at competitive prices. Unless you're a true hardware expert, you won't be able to tell the difference in technologies employed while playing your game.
Higher Numbers Are Better When Buying a PC Video CardA very rough generalization can be made that the higher the number associated with the graphics card, the better the overall performance will be within that line of GPU's. GeForce GTX 590 is better than the 570, and the Radeon HD 6990 is superior to the 6870.
The higher the number in your graphics card name, the greater you can expect the "clock speeds" and "memory" to be. The greater your core's clock speed, the less you'll find your frames per second falling during intense moments. The more memory you have, the more easily your PC will be able to handle incredibly sophisticated images. Maximizing both numbers means better performance.
You'll need to properly research your card's power consumption. Those cards requiring a dedicated power connection (labeled as 6- or 8-pin) will have details on how many watts of power they require. Make sure your power supply on your custom rig can handle it, otherwise your PC won't boot.
Research Physical Characteris When Buying a PC Video CardThere are some purely physical requirements to cover too. Get the length to make sure your video card will fit in your casing. It's wise to research testimonies on how much heat an individual card creates, so you can plan for custom cooling options if necessary.
In general, you're not going to want your card surpassing 90 degrees Centigrade. You'll also need to make sure your video card has a port that corresponds with your monitor's input, not usually a problem unless you're using a screen that works on mini display. Similarly, you'll need to make sure there are multiple ports if you want to use multiple monitors.
Make Sure Card Meets All Requirements When Buying a PC Video CardThose are the basics, but you'll need to do additional research before you pursue complicated setups that involve a wall of monitors or 3D gaming. In all cases you should carefully research whether all the requirements are in place to achieve the level of gaming experience you're shooting for.
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