Top 5 Things to Know Before Buying a Graphics Card

A high-end, high-powered graphics card is the one component that can single-handedly transform the performance of your personal computer. A quality graphics card is identified by its high memory and fast processing speed. If you are a serious PC gamer, a good quality graphics card is the single most crucial component of computer hardware for you.

Investing in a top-of-the-line graphics card can improve your computer’s frame rate, thereby improving your gaming experience. However, when it comes to graphics card, the most advanced card is not the obvious best choice for every user. Here are five things to know before you invest in a graphics card.

1. Bandwidth Matters more than Size

Buying a graphics card for its size is like buying an ice-cream for its color. Most buyers have an uncanny fixation with RAM when it comes to buying computer hardware. However, it is important to know that RAM is inconsequential to performance of your graphics card.

What you should be focusing on instead is the bandwidth. Obviously, the higher a graphic card’s performance tier and price, better its bandwidth. However, you can get a good bandwidth in a limited budget too. The thumb rule to remember is – GDDR5 is always better than DDR3.Investing in a GDDR5 with lower memory is better than investing in a DDR3 with higher RAM.

2. Living with Bottlenecks

Though a graphics card undoubtedly remains a crucial factor in improving your gaming experience, its performance largely depends on the machine it is being used on. If you use an old processor based computer for gaming, investing in a high-end graphics card won’t serve any purpose. It is best to buy a mid-segment card from a reasonable performance tier to get the optimum experience from your existing machine.

3. Know Your Cards

There are seamless buying options for graphics cards in the market today. You can buy a basic graphics card for as less as $150 and go as high as $1,500. Some of the most reliable names in the graphics card market include Nvidia GeForce GTX 750Ti, AMD Radeon R9 295 X2, Nvidia GeForce GTX 960, AMD Radeon R9 280, Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 and Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan X.

4. Quality of GPU

Like any other computer hardware, the quality of the processor used in a graphics card plays a vital role in determining its performance. The graphics processor, or GPU, greatly impacts a card’s refresh speed and quality of image display.

As a basic premise, graphics card packed with powerful GPUs display better results than their low-quality counterparts. AMD and Nvidia are two most reliable producers of graphic processors in the world today. Make sure you pick a graphics card that uses either of the two processors.

5. One is Better than Two

Yes, most graphics processors offer the cross-linking feature that allows users to use multiple graphics card on one machine. However, such an arrangement often proves counter-productive especially if you are using a single 1920×1080 monitor. Contrary to popular perception, linking two cards together doesn’t give double the output; it merely augments the results by upto 50%.

When you consider the flip side of incompatibility, micro-stuttering, inconsistency, and loud noises resulting from such a set-up, the logical step is to invest in one high-end graphics card that caters to your needs instead of two mid-segment cards.

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