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Graphics Cards Explained: How to Choose the Best GPU

Buying a graphics card doesn’t have to be complicated; we’ll go over everything you need to know about GPUs. Let’s get this party started.

The graphics card is one of your computers or laptop (also known as the GPU). GPUs are mostly utilized by gamers to render cutting-edge visuals at ultra-high resolutions.  They need this type of performance to enjoy the game at the top speeds. This can really be seen in the AAA-rated games.

They are also beneficial to creative professionals (or hobbyists). As a result of bitcoin mining, graphic cards have recently gained prominence. Every computer, whether high-end or not, requires a GPU.

So, what exactly is the purpose of a GPU? To begin with, if your PC or laptop did not have one, you would have difficulty using it because you would be unable to connect to a monitor and interact with the computer! As a result, a GPU can be found in almost every computer.

Furthermore, there are two types of GPUs: integrated and dedicated. An integrated graphics card is one that has the graphics processing unit integrated into the same chip as the processor (CPU). Almost every modern processor has integrated graphics, which provides numerous benefits. To begin with, it eliminates the need to purchase a GPU because one is built into the CPU.

Dedicated is a separate unit from the CPU but still a very important part of the computer.

Dedicated Graphics

These types of cards are not only more powerful, but they can also be purchased separately, allowing you to upgrade your PC in the future. This is a good way to future-proof your PC and ensure it can handle your creative workloads for the foreseeable future. Certain laptops (particularly gaming laptops) also include dedicated graphics cards, giving them the performance of a desktop PC.

Investing in a dedicated graphics card can significantly impact your creative work. Animation, game design, video editing, and 3D rendering all benefit from the extra power. What should you look for, though? Continue reading to cut through the jargon and explain everything there is to know about graphics cards.

Integrated Graphics

Integrated graphics cards use less power and are also smaller than dedicated graphics cards, making them ideal for light and thin laptops. In fact, integrated graphics will be used by the vast majority of laptops. Purchasing an integrated graphics PC or laptop is typically less expensive than purchasing one with a dedicated graphics card. AMD and Intel produce integrated graphics for their respective processors. Apple’s current iMacs and MacBooks use the company’s own M1 chip, which combines the GPU and CPU.

While integrated graphics are adequate for everyday use, they are insufficient for modern gaming advanced 3D applications. They may also struggle with high-resolution video rendering.

So, if you want more power, you should go with dedicated graphics. These graphics cards provide a significant boost in graphical performance.  They plug into your PC’s motherboard– and they’re made by AMD and Nvidia, two of the most well-known names in discrete graphics.

Memory for videos

The amount of video memory (also known as VRAM) on a graphics card is one of the most important specs. A video card’s memory stores data for easy access and is dedicated to graphics tasks. The Z-buffer contains information about the depth of objects in a 3D space from various perspectives and is used to create CGI effects for films and computer games.

While this may appear to be quite complicated, the more VRAM a graphics card has, the better it performs. Nvidia’s flagship GeForce RTX 3090 graphics card has a memory capacity of 24GB. GDDR6 video memory is the most recent generation. Choosing a GPU with a large amount of GDDR6 (or the faster GDDR6X) memory is a sure way to get excellent performance.

The rate of the clock.

The clock speeds of graphics cards are another important spec that you’ll hear about when discussing them. Megahertz (MHz) is the measurement of speed. Essentially, it tells you how quickly the unit can render graphics – thus, the higher the MHz, the faster the graphics card, the better it will be for rendering and gaming.

Overclocking graphics cards allows many people to extract even more performance from them. This is a complicated procedure that entails forcing the GPUs to run at higher clock speeds. Experienced users should only attempt it, but it may be worth looking into if you want a free boost to your GPU’s performance.

GPU manufacturers have released apps that make overclocking the graphics simple and relatively safe for people with some technical knowledge. You can also purchase factory overclocked versions of many manufacturers’ graphic cards. These are graphic cards that have already overclocked when they are shipped. These are distinguished by the letter ‘OC’ in their model name, meaning “overclocked.”

Outputs

A graphics card’s outputs are also important because they determine what (and how many) displays you can connect – as well as what resolutions they support.

An HDMI port should be present on all modern graphics cards. This standard port allows you to connect any modern projector, TV, or monitor. Most HDMI ports can support up to 4K (3840 x 2160) resolution at 60Hz. HDMI 2.1 supports up to 8K resolution (7680 x 4320) at 30Hz and starts at 4K resolution at 144Hz.

Another popular video out port is DisplayPort, which supports 8K at 30Hz and 4K up to 120Hz.

DVI and VGA connections are still available on some GPUs. Although they are not ideal, some people still use these older monitors.  This is fine for those that are not looking for peak performance out of their graphics cards.  Some situations, such as working with emails and online tasks, wouldn’t require a graphic card or top-performing monitors.  Some video cameras will take USB-C connections, and those are also available.

Be sure that you consider everything that was explained here when choosing your GPU. If you have questions, reach out to us, as we would be happy to assist.

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