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Sunday, 19 May 2013

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How to choose the Right Graphic Card

Modern Graphic Cards are intimidating pieces of hardwares with a lot of stuff packed under their hood. Though they are tiny maybe huge even these days but they all come with a lot of confusion making it really very difficult to buy the right one.
So today we'll take a look at a few things that will help us choose the right graphic card for our PC. Before we proceed let me tell you come key features that are the basics of a graphic card:
  • A DDR5 memory GPU is always better than a DDR3 or DDR2, higher the number means that faster is the processing of that card.
  • Greater the Clock speed faster and better the card, a 810Mhz GPU is better than a 675Mhz one.
  • Connecting your graphic card through the HDMI port to the monitor is a better option than VGA or DVI port.
  • Brands like AMD/ATI have a series based production so the higher the first two digits in their graphic cards the better & latest the card will be like AMD HD6450 is an older and slower card than AMD HD7970. So always look at the series like HD6XXX, HD7XXX etc
Now that we are clear with the basics lets look at the most important points. Here are six important ones:
  1. What types of games do you play?
  2. What other applications do you run?
  3. What is your budget for a graphics card?
  4. What is your monitor's display resolution?
  5. What is your PC's performance level?
  6. What is the Power Supply?

  1. What Types of Games Do You Play?

    Some types of games demand more of a graphics card than others do. Here are rules of thumb that generally (but by no means always) hold true.
    If you play First Person shooter games like Crysis

    3 or Resident Evil 6 then these games demand a lot of video memory and push the GPU to its extent when running in all their glory and at high-ultra high settings. So a decent mid-range Graphic Card in the price range of Rs 5000 to Rs 8000 or definitely a High-end graphic card is recommended.

    Strategy games like DOTA or Command and Conquer, online free to play games or casual games like Angry Birds don't really need much of a graphic card so you can settle for an entry level graphic card for these.
     
  2. What other applications do you run?

    GPU-accelerated apps are becoming more common. The earliest use of GPU acceleration for consumer applications was for video transcoding. Applications such as CyberLink's Media Expresso have added support for additional graphics hardware and application programming interfaces (APIs) over time.
    Latest software like Photoshop CS6 uses OpenGL for most of its rendering and GPU compute for accelerating the filters in the blur gallery, putting more load and hence increasing the need of a decent GPU/Graphic Card. Windows8 and Office 2010 and above need a solid Graphic Memory to work at their best.
    Modern Browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and IE9 use the GPU to accelerate 2D page rendering
    So, f you use your GPU for nothing more than accelerating Windows and Web browsers, modern integrated graphics such as Intel's HD 4000 (included with all mobile Ivy Bridge processors) and AMD's Radeon GPU integrated into all A-series processors are good enough. But if you do more-demanding work, you may want a discrete graphics card. Even then, however, for most normal desktop use, you don't need to spend a bundle; a card priced at between Rs 3500 and Rs 5000 is definitely good enough.
     
  3. What is your budget for a graphics card?

    Economic reality may constrain even the most discriminating hardcore gamer. Unless you have a deep pocket, you'll need to balance your desires versus your wallet. Look for discounts and sales, both online and retail. And bear in mind that your monitor may strongly affect your graphics card choices.
     
  4. What is your monitor's display resolution?

    If you have an older, 1680x1050 pixel monitor, an entry-level Rs 3000-Rs 5000 card is the most you'll need, even if you enable performance-sucking features such as antialiasing. 
    But today 1920x1080 pixel resolution monitors are getting common so if that id your case then go for a mid-range Graphic Card at minimum or defintely a high-end one costing somehwere Rs 8000-Rs 12000. 
     
  5. What is your PC's performance level?

    If you are running an old PC with a Celeron or Athelon II CPU then upgrading to a new Graphic Card, no matter how high-end, would only increase the performance slightly as the GPU would still be waiting for the CPU to process and pass on the commands. An ideal GPU is a total waste of money.
    Also if your motherboard is still with a PCI-E 1.0 slot then spending anything more than Rs 4000 on a new Graphic Card would be a waste of money so just save some money instead to buy a new processor along with a new motherboard to support your new GPU better and make full use of it instead.
     
  6. What is the Power Supply?

    You should always buy a Graphic Card that has a matching power requirement as that of your PSU. A GPU working under low power will lead to downgraded performance and will put an extra load on itself as well as on the other components by conflicting with their allocated power quota. In worst cases it can even damage your whole system.
    So always choose a Graphic Card in accordance with your PSU or ugrade your Power Supply instead before buying a new Graphic Card is they don't match.


    NOTE: The best GPU or Graphic Card manufactureres are Sapphire, ATI, Nvidia, MSI or AMD. Anyone except these are cheap but come with a substandard performance, bad or no technical support atall. So always go for anyone of the above mentioned brands.

    For any more information and assistance feel free to contact and comment, your problem would be solved ASAP.

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22 comments:

  1. hi..Im student from Informatics engineering, this article is very informative, thanks for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm happy that you liked it, keep visiting.

      Delete
  2. Hello sir. I am building a new rig for gaming & 3D softwear rendering purposes. Would you please kindly review the components I have choosen?
    Processor AMD FX6300 3.5ghz

    Graphic card AMD Radeon R7 250 with Boost 1GB DDR5

    Ram 2 x 4 gb (please suggest a decent in budget RAM)

    Cabinet Antec V1

    PSU Cooler Master Thunder 500W

    Monitor Dell IN2030 20inch LED

    Motherboard Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3 (rev. 5.0)

    Please advice me if anything is incorrect. Your suggestions would be really helpfull.

    Thank you :)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For gaming purposes its a very sound configuration.
      For 3D rendering it will suffice but perform better with a Nvidia graphic card as most of the rendering softwares use cuda cores which is an exclusive Nvidia feature on which their whol GPU architecture is based upon.
      So if you can stretch your budget get the ZOTAC GTX 650 Ti Synergy Edition 2GB 128-bit DDR5 otherwise this card is best for the budget.

      The cheapest you can get with no heat or performance issue is the Corsair Vengeance DDR3 4 GB, if you want any cheaper one then do inform me.....

      Delete
  3. Thank you for replying :).
    Yes, i considered gtx 650ti, but as of already I am walking thin line of budget here. but still will consider it again given that it is one time investment for me.
    As for the RAM you suggested, I think I'll go for it :). But still please give suggestions for cheaper one without much performance loss if possible.
    I still have few more queries.
    Will the motherboard I stated above support windows 8.1?
    AND
    If I go for a 22inch LED monitor, will it affect the gaming performance in higher resolution like 1920 x 1080? Will the game lag??
    And just probably the last thing :P, please suugest a decent monitor. As if what monitor you would use for this specific rig.
    Awaiting our reply :)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can buy the Sapphire r7 250 if you are running a little thin on budget, I suggested the 650ti for extreme cases if you render a high def model which will require quite a lot of resources.
      Yes you can install windows 8.1 on the same mobo.
      Yes it will drastically effect your gaming performance when you'll try to run any high end game like Battelfield4 or Crysis3 etc on maximum resolution and expect high to ultra high graphic quality the game will lag or amy not be playable at all.
      This resolution with high settings is meant for extreme cards like the sapphire toxic or the 750ti etc.
      Go for the Viewsonic 21.5 inch LED Backlit LCD as you are already on budget.

      Delete
  4. Then should I go for a 20inch LED monitor? I dont understand this thing about monitors. If I get a 22inch monitor, and play games on low resolution, will the game run in cropped mode or something? Or for safer side should I buy a 20inch monitor? Also I have choosen a seagate 1TB internal hard disk. Please suggest if there is better one than seagate. Also suggest a 20inch monitor. I am thinking Dell 2020m 20inch LED.
    Really sorry to bother you like this.
    Sincere thank you:).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No the physical size doesn't play any role during game play, the resolution at which your computer is running through your graphic card driver will determine it n also how the game accepts it. For eg a game may leave dark black borders on the side at 1280x720 resolution but will show full screen at the 600 pixel range!
      You can buy any monitor that you may deem necessary no issues with the game running cropped or anything.
      No Seagate is good I personally use it myself.
      Yes that monitor is even good buy it if you like.

      Delete
  5. Thanks a ton..
    You have been of immense help.
    Your comments from other articles also have been of huge help. Got to know many things.
    Also will post the pics of my rig on your FB page.
    Thanks again for your time :)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Always a pleasure, happy to be if dome help to you.
      Sure I'll be waiting for the final pics.
      Keep visiting.

      Delete
  6. Hey just one more thing..
    I am confused here between HD7770 & R7 250 1GB DDR5..which is the better one? please help!
    And also is snapdeal a trusted website? planing to buy FX6300 & a cabby form there.
    Please help!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Radeon HD 7770 by far if wattage and power consumption is not a problem for you.
      The 7770 has less clock speed that the r7 250 at boost clock 1150vs1125 but that doesn't make much difference and has an extremely higher pixel rate of 16Gp/sec vs 8Gp/sec.
      Go for the HD7770 undoubtedly.

      Yes the reviews are mixed but you can order it from there even, i recommend ebay for both though.

      Delete
  7. Ahh..This is turning out to be a headache! Now my friend is suggesting me zotac GTX750 1GB DDR5 which is also in your top graphcs card article .
    HD7770 OR GTX750??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a common confusion don't worry.
      You can buy either one of them the GTX 750 is a bit faster than the HD 7770 but is on the down side when it comes to more texture filters making the HD 7770 a superior choice.
      In your case buy the HD 7770 as you will use it with a FX 6300 processor and AMD components are optimized to perform with each other making it a better choice for you.
      You will notice a performance increase instantly by coupling them together.

      Delete
  8. Man, thanks a ton!
    also I have heard that HD 7770 needs more power. So a 450Watt PSU is enough?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it does require more power but your 450w PSU will suffice if it's from a reputed brand giving atleast 20A on the 12v rail.
      Also try to upgrade it to 500W or more as you are going to use FX 6300 which is a high power consuming processor.

      Delete
  9. This one?
    http://www.snapdeal.com/product/antec-vp450p-smps/1251897
    OR
    http://www.flipkart.com/corsair-vs550-550-watt-psu/p/itmdg36xx8yzgjrs?pid=PSUDG34775NHYDHK&otracker=from-search&srno=t_2&query=corsair+smps&ref=3efdfe89-1e8e-4c6d-8848-566df7772488
    I have heard that antec is 450w, but still is very efficient
    still recommend a suitable PSU for me.
    If not the above ones, please suggest whichever you want to :)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes antec is good and highly recommend n trusted for PSU.
      But I personally use n suggest the Corsair 550w....
      I've tried n used it myself n found it to be the most effective amongst all the other manufacturers except for cooler master.

      Delete
  10. Will go for Corsair 550w then :).
    will get back to you if there is any more confusion :P..
    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anytime happy to be of some help to you.

      Delete
  11. Hello Sir, Need Some Help. I want to build cpu for Gaming(all new games should play well) and Video Editing. My budget is around Rs50000.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello,
      For Rs 50K the following would be a great build as per your needs and requirements -

      CPU - AMD R5 1500
      Motherboard - MSI B350 Gaming Plus
      RAM - G.Skill RipJaws V 16GB 2400 MHz
      HDD - Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM
      Graphics Card - Asus GTX 1050 Ti 4GB GDDR5
      Cabinet - Cooler Master K380
      PSU - Antec VP500PC 500W

      This will cost you in or a bit over your budget but is very competent as a whole and will work well for all your gaming and editing needs.

      Delete