A graphics card is a crucial component of a computer because it renders images and video for the display. A good graphics card can significantly improve a computer’s performance in tasks involving graphics-intensive operations, such as video editing, 3D rendering, and gaming. A high-quality graphics card can also enable a computer to display higher-resolution graphics and support multiple displays. If you are interested in playing the latest games or doing work that requires a lot of graphical processing power, it is vital to have a good graphics card.

You must Invest in the best graphics card when constructing a custom PC or purchase a high-quality gaming PC already embedded with good graphics. Another reason for selecting a suitable gaming graphics card since it also affects the CPU performance. Unfortunately, figuring out how to choose a graphics card might take a lot of work. You have to consider many factors, like the monitor type, the size of your PC case, and your expected gaming resolution. Still, there is a lot to consider for a graphics card. Read this post to uncover all such factors.  

What budget do you have for the graphics?

Incredibly cheap video cards can be found for about $100, while high-end versions, like the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti, can cost up to $2,000 or more. As is frequently the case, expensive top-end cards are only worth it if you need the highest performance or work in a field where a 10% increase in performance will pay for itself over time. The value of the money will be significantly increased by going down a level or two. 

For instance, an RTX 3080 12GB is now available for under $1,000. That costs half as much as the RTX 3090 Ti and offers, on average, 15% less performance. The AMD side is the same. The RX 6700 XT is available for half the price of the RX 6900 XT, which costs approximately $1,050. The 6900 is undoubtedly faster, but is it worth spending twice as much? You are the only one who can make a choice.

Here is a list of the cards currently in the works and the best pricing we are currently following:

Graphics Cards Estimated Price Store
EVGA RTX 3090 TI $1,999.99 EVGA
MSI RTX 3090 $1,679.99 Newegg
MSI RTX 3080 TI $1,269.99 Newegg
EVGA RTX 3080 12GB $1,107.94 Amazon
EVGA RTX 3080 10GB $919.99 EVGA
EVGA RTX 3070 TI $759.99 EVGA
Gigabyte RTX 3070 $729.99 Newegg
MSI RTX 3060 TI $579.99 Newegg
PNY RTX 3060 $488.99 Amazon
EVGA RTX 3050 $249.99 EVGA
MSI RX 6900 XT $1,019.99 Newegg
Sapphire RX 6800 XT $859.00 Newegg
ASRock RX 6800 $799.99 Newegg
ASRock RX 6700 XT $528.99 Newegg
XFX RX 6600 XT $429.99 Newegg
ASRock RX 6600 $335.99 Newegg
PowerColor RX 6500 XT $199.99 Amazon
XFX RX 6400 $179.99 Neweg

What do the model numbers mean?

Both AMD and NVIDIA classify their products using several categorizations. In the case of AMD cards, a higher series number indicates that the graphics cards are more recent than cards with lower series numbers. The same is for the Nvidia; a card with a higher number is designed for gaming, while a card with a lower number is for everyday use. Both AMD and NVIDIA produce graphics cards for laptops and desktop computers. You must use the model number, research, and check the official website to learn more about the card. 

How to choose a graphics card?

This post section will look at multiple factors you must consider when selecting a graphics card. These will help you decide whether a particular graphics card is suitable for your computer and needs. Those factors are included as follows:

Discrete vs integrated graphics: Although integrated graphics are also used in desktop PCs, they are more common in smaller form factor devices like laptops. They use less power or battery life or produce as much heat as their discrete competitors. You need to invest in a discrete graphics card to use your PC for graphically demanding activities like high-resolution gaming or content creation. On the other hand, integrated graphics aren’t made to handle extreme graphics workloads. Instead, these are for regular graphics use.

Desktop vs laptop graphics card: Graphics cards on laptops and desktops come with different requirements. Because desktop cards have less compact hardware and hence less expensive manufacturing costs, they are more inexpensive. Since your GPU needs to fit inside a laptop’s narrow chassis, smaller components are required. Laptop cards can increase the weight of your laptop, cause it to run hot, and reduce its portability.

GPU memory (important): A graphics card’s VRAM size or graphics memory directly influences your computer’s graphics capabilities or performance. For 1080p gaming, get a card with at least 6GB, ideally 8GB or more. You’ll need more memory if you install high-resolution texture packs or play with all the settings turned up. More than 8GB is great if you play games with high resolutions, like HD and 4k.

Clock speed (Slightly significant): A tiny 3-5% variance in frame rates may result from the manufacturer overclocking of cards with the same GPU (for example, an RTX 3060 Ti). However, memory speed, the number of cores, and the architecture must also be taken into account, so clock speed is only part of it. On cards with the same GPU, better cooling usually overclock speed.

Memory bandwidth and speed (Slightly significant): Faster memory can make one card faster than another, similar to a higher clock speed. Because of the improved memory bandwidth, the GTX 1650 GDDR6 is, for instance, 15% quicker than the GTX 1650 GDDR5. The number of memory accesses can be decreased by features like AMD’s Infinity Cache on RDNA 2. Thus bandwidth is one of many things to take into account.

Ports (Essential): Some monitors use DisplayPort, others use HDMI, and some older models only have DVI. A few monitors can also route DisplayPort signals over USB Type-C. However, these are currently very uncommon. To avoid purchasing an adaptor or even a new display, make sure the card you plan to buy has the connectors you require for your monitor unless you want to.

TDP (Important): The term “thermal design power,” or TDP, refers to a measurement of thermal transfer that also provides an estimate of the amount of power needed to run your graphics card at its default settings. AMD and Nvidia appear to be moving toward TBP, or typical board power, which refers to the total power of the card. In any case, that is what most of us assume when discussing graphics power.

If you have a 95-watt overclocked CPU and a 400-watt power supply unit (PSU), and you want to add on a card with a 250-watt TDP, you almost indeed require a PSU upgrade. A 600W PSU was typically sufficient for many older cards. However, if you intend to overclock your RTX 3080/RX 6800 XT or higher graphics card, it is better to get a higher-wattage PSU. With GPUs like the RTX 3090 Ti and the potential for next-generation 600W GPUs, extreme users will likely require a 1200–1600W PSU. Yuck!

Power Connectors (Essential): All serious gaming cards use more power than the x16 PCIe slot’s typical 75W limit. Additional PCIe power connections, available in 6- and 8-pin types, are needed to connect these cards. The RTX 30-series cards by Nvidia have 12-pin connectors and 8-pin to 12-pin adapters.

There can be both 6- and 8-pin ports on the same card; some cards have one of these connectors, others two or even three. Upgrade your power supply if it lacks the additional connectors you require; adapters that depend on a few SATA or Molex connectors are not guided as long-term solutions.

CUDA Cores / Stream Processors (Slightly significant): Similar to clock speed, but only tells you a portion of what you need to know when attempting to estimate the GPU’s performance level. Core counts within the same architecture can be compared more meaningfully than core counts between different architectures.

TFLOPS and GFLOPS (Essential): A GPU’s highest possible theoretical performance is measured in TFLOPS, or trillions of floating-point operations per second. The GHz clock speed times the core count times two will give you the TFLOPS for a GPU. Comparing chips with the same design, TFLOPS often indicates how faster one chip is than another. Comparisons between different architectures, such as AMD Navi 10 vs Nvidia Turing TU106, either AMD Navi 10 vs AMD Vega 10, are less helpful.

Check for Ray-tracing

Ray tracing is one of the interesting new technologies found in more recent graphics cards. Ray tracing is a graphics method widely used in video games and creates extremely cool lighting effects. This is done by using an algorithm that represents the light that interacts with things in the real world by first tracing a path of light. Ray-tracing, representing how the human eye sees light reflections and shadows, is frequently used in games such as Cyberpunk 2077, Watch Dogs Legion, and Control. 

Although ray-tracing technology has yet to reach its full potential, game makers are actively utilizing it. Although the technology has long been employed by movie studios, particularly in high-budget action movies, it is more challenging to display in real-time in a PC game. Game developers have used Rasterization to convert 3D polygonal models into 2D images and pre-render lighting effects. You may still expect outstanding performance from current graphics cards, even with the early stages of ray tracing. 

A few quick tips when buying a graphics card

Here are a few quick tips for users who have not purchased a graphics card earlier. Make sure to read these tips before you visit some online stores and the nearby computer market. Those tips are given as follows: 

  • First-time PC buyers should expect something other than top-tier graphics because they won’t perform as well in actual gaming. Spend less on the CPU since it will perform better on fake benchmarks, but real-world frame rates will suffer.

  • A powerful graphics card is required for games with 4K resolution and high settings. Most common cards are adequate for 1080p gaming at 30 to 60 frames per second.

  • You’ll need a strong graphics card and processor to get the most out of a display with a maximum refresh rate of up to 120,000.

  • Make sure the card you’re contemplating will fit in your PC case and that your power supply has extra watts available.

  • Before purchasing, check the card’s MSRP or launch price. Tools like CamelCamelCamel can help distinguish between genuine deals and offerings marked up and discounted.

  • Dual cards are not worth the cost. Multi-card SLI or CrossFire systems no longer have any games that support them. Purchase the best single card you can. In most cases, adding a second card is not worth the bother.

  • Don’t expect significant performance increases from overclocking. Purchase a more potent card if improved performance is required. Usually, only 5–10% of graphics cards have a small amount of overclocking headroom.

Conclusion

Choosing a good-quality graphics card is essential since it supervises a computer’s overall graphics capabilities and performance when playing games or doing content creation. Therefore, we have written this in-detail buying guide to purchase a suitable graphics card according to your needs. Make sure to read the quick tips, which are the article’s last section. This will guide you about some important factors a user must consider before visiting an online eCommerce store or the nearby market.

Abdullah Sarfraz
Myself Abdullah Sarfraz and I am an SEO. My hobby is reviewing the latest tech-related products. For the past few years, I am working on amazon affiliated sites therefore, I came to know my interest and chose this field, now I have good experience in it.