Everything You Need To Know Before Buying A Graphics Card

Oct 30, 2018 Guide
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Oh yes, we are talking about the most important computer component for every gamer, the GPU. This guide will be very helpful to you if you are building your first rig and you don’t know much about GPUs or other computer components (see our motherboard guide). If you plan to use your future computer to play GTA 5 on ULTRA settings but you bought too weak and cheap graphics card, you won’t have a great time playing video games. Now let’s get started with this guide.

The first thing you need to ask yourself are two questions:

  1. How much money do I want to spend on a GPU
  2. Which video games I want to play and on what settings

You also need to be realistic you can’t spend only 150$ and think you can play Witcher 3 on ultra-settings, it’s not so cheap. Later in this guide we will talk about GPUs with best price to performance ratio. The most demanding setting is the resolution, if you want to play at 720p, 1080p, 1440p or 4K plays a great role which GPU you will buy. For VR gaming GPU is also the most important component so you should take that also in consideration when buying the GPU, but if you are going for VR the headset will also be very expensive and you would need a high budget for that.

The prices go from 80$ dollars for very cheap GPUs up to 1500$+ for enthusiasts.

Class

Price Range

Some of GPUs in this class

Low-end

80$-150$

Radeon RX 550

Budget GPUs

150$-200$

GTX 1050, Radeon RX 560, GTX 1050 Ti

Mid-range

200$-400$

Radeon RX 570, GTX 1060, Radeon RX 580

High-end

450$-800$

GTX 1070, Radeon RX Vega 56, GTX 1070 Ti, Radeon RX Vega 64, GTX 1080, GTX 1080 Ti, RTX 2080

Extreme

1200$-3000$

Titan XP, RTX 2080 Ti, Titan V

 

Low-end

Only for people who play older games, play very little or don’t play at all. This is best if the computer isn’t going to be used for gaming, but your CPU doesn’t have integrated graphics.

Budget GPUs

Good gaming at 720p and decent gaming at 1080p. Good GPUs for mediocre gamers who don’t need to play games on high settings and is satisfied with low medium settings. This class of GPUs will support games like GTA V or Witcher 3 on medium settings.

Mid-range

This class we recommend to most gamers because today with this GPUs you will be able to play any game on high and ultra settings at 1080p resolution. This GPUs are best buy for 1080p gaming and with this GPUs VR compatibility starts to kick in.

High-end

Graphics Cards for gamers who want to play in VR, 1440p and 4K resolution. VR and 1440p gaming with this GPUs will be excellent. 4K gaming is also very good but with next class it can go even better but we think that this is also more than enough for 4K

Extreme

Only for the craziest enthusiast who want to build the rig of their dreams. Best 4K gaming and best gaming in general with this GPUs. The RTX cards also support new ray-tracing and A.I. tech.

Things you should also take into account?

If you’re planning to play at 1080p you will want to get a graphics card with at least 3GB of memory, but 4GB would be ideal. For gaming at higher resolutions like 1440p or 4K you should get a card with 8GB or more memory. When you are buying a GPU, you will need to check the power consumption and based on what your card needs you will know what power supply you will buy (but we will make a guide for that soon). For example, if your GPU needs 200W and your CPU 150W then you want to buy a PSU with 500W or if you want to play extra safe 600W. You also want to check if your PSU has the power connectors to power your GPU because some cards use two eight-pin connectors, some two six-pin and some combine six and eight-pin connectors. If your PSU doesn’t have the connectors that the GPU needs, you threw your money away for nothing.

Check the dimensions of the graphics card so you can make sure that there is room in the case for your GPU. Some graphics cards will also use more expansion slots (most GPUs take two slots), so if you are also buying a sound card make sure there is room for it on the motherboard and in the case. Many manufacturers are providing you with the same GPU but with different prices dimensions, number of fans, different clock and memory speeds. The fans are here for cooling the GPU, so if you won’t be overclocking you won’t need that beefy GPU with three fans. The different clock and memory speeds can make a difference in frame rates. Same GPU with a higher clock speed will be slightly faster but it will also be more expensive so make sure that you get the most of your money (that difference in most cases is very small).



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