Do you need a new graphics card but don’t know where to begin? Here are five things you need to do as you begin your search.
As with most things in life, the biggest restriction on what kind of graphics card you choose is going to be the budget. It goes without saying that the more money you have to invest, the better the graphics card you’ll be able to buy. Remember, you don’t have to spend all your available budget on your graphics card.
Before you commit to any purchase, you should do an audit of your entire system. This is important because your components do not exist in isolation. Your computer is a single system; every part of it has to be able to work in harmony. Even though two different components in your PC might be doing very different jobs, they still need to be able to work together. Therefore, your budget should be a guide to prevent overspending. You should always aim to come under budget where possible.
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Be honest with yourself about what you will actually use your graphics card for. If you aren’t going to be playing any graphically intense games or doing specialized tasks like video encoding, you don’t need a top of the line card. On the other hand, if you are building a system with a view to making it as powerful as possible, and you require all that power for complex computing tasks, you will want to investigate features like Nvidia’s CUDA.
When you’re considering your needs, think about your future requirements as well as your current ones. Remember, if you spend less now, you will likely end up paying for it later. Either you will need to upgrade your graphics card again before long, or your productivity might slow because of the slower card. In either case, spending more money upfront avoids the issue.
Whether you are adding a new graphics card to an existing system, or you’re building a new system entirely, make sure that there aren’t any known conflicts between your components. These conflicts are rare, but they can throw an immovable spanner in the works and bring an otherwise perfect system to its knees.
It is also important that you avoid bottlenecks. A bottleneck is caused by one component in your system being notably faster or slower than the others. If your GPU is much faster, the processor won’t be able to handle its request and the RAM won’t have enough space for the high-quality graphics. If it is too slow, the rest of your system won’t be taxed at all. In either case, you are wasting energy and resources.
Special Offers and Bundles
You can often find special offers on new graphics cards, if you know where to look, of course. It is worth checking out all the big-name GPU manufacturers, as many of them will bundle a game with the card to show off its power. You can often hear about great deals form news sites like Gpu Nerd.
Buying a new GPU is a big investment, but it is worth it for the benefits it brings. Whether you are a casual PC user or a hardcore gamer, the more you know, the easier it will be to choose the right GPU for you. Make sure to research as much as you can beforehand.