How to Buy Graphics Cards

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How to Choose a Graphics Card....5

To buy a graphics card, look at the graphics processing unit, how much memory is on the card, how many core processors are in the card and how many textures can be processed per second. Update a computer graphics card for video gaming or video editing with advice from a network engineer and IT specialist in this free video on graphics cards.

Part of the Video Series: Computer Hardware Tips
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Video Transcript

When you're looking to buy a graphics card, you want to keep in mind that a graphics card is just simply a smaller version of your entire computer dedicated to only one job, processing graphics. Generally when people buy a graphics card, they are looking to do video editing or maybe even video gaming. More latter than the prior. So what you have to remember is that with the graphics card just like a computer, it has its own things like a GPU, which is a Graphics Processing Unit which runs at a certain frequency and then you have the memory on board the graphics card as well as the bus, how fast that processed information gets back to the rest of the computer. So to kind of go over that, I've pulled up a website to kind of look at this. The website is nVidia but there are also the primary competitor to nVidia is ATI which is owned by AMD now and those two have been in competition for many, many, many years and you'll have people that will swear by one versus the other but that's neither a here nor there, they're pretty much the same thing. So what you have to remember is that with the graphics card it has the GPU has like however many cores like a PC has so whether it have two cores or four cores, the more cores the better. And it operates at a certain speed, that's the frequency, that's the megahertz where they're probably approaching gigahertz by now. So this one here that I'm looking at is 600 megahertz. The, however many textures it can process at a per second is also something you want to look at. However many pipelines it has, so basically when the graphics card is drawing whatever image that it's drawing, however many things that can go in and out at the same time, the more obviously the better. If it's made for a certain DirectX version, DirectX is actually a software component inside of Windows so if the card can take advantage of a higher DirectX version, for instance 10, the new graphics cards are 10, the better. So if something is made for something that's a higher version obviously it's going to be a little bit better. We have the memory, how much is on board so currently we're at about a gigabyte that's on board for the high-end cards. For average gamers you want to take a look at probably around 256 to 512 which is not a hard thing to find. The frequency at which that memory runs, the higher the better. Also nVidia and both ATI use version numbers or model numbers for the graphic card to kind of give you what generation that graphics card is in. So say for instance generation 8 of the gForce models may not have a faster GPU but it may have the same amount of memory. So you kind of have to be careful about that, generally the model numbers will give you all the information that you need.


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