How to choose a graphics card for PC

Hello, friends. We already know a lot about almost every component of a personal computer. There is very little left to complete this series of articles. Today’s topic will be a graphics card, or rather, how to choose a graphics card for a computer and how to do it right. As always, we will discuss the main characteristics and main manufacturers.

How to choose a graphics card for PC

RTX 3090

I can already foresee that the vast majority of readers of this article are looking for a gaming graphics card. Indeed, in fact, a discrete graphics card is needed just for games, with the exception of some working moments since there are many professions in which the graphics card is an important component of a computer.

  1. How to build a computer for beginners (overall) 
  2. How to choose a PC case
  3. How to choose power supply for PC
  4. How to choose a motherboard
  5. How to choose a CPU
  6. What is RAM? 
  7. How to choose graphics card [you are here now]

What brand is better to choose a video card for a computer

Before we talk about what brand to choose a graphics card for a computer, let’s clarify one moment. When you say graphics card brand, you mean the manufacturer of graphics cards or the company that develops chipset. These are completely different concepts, since there are only two main developers of chipsets for graphics cards. More precisely, there are only two chipset brands who can be considered when choosing a graphics card. But manufacturers of cards are dozens. And each manufacturer can produce graphics cards based on different chipset.

So,which one have you to choose amd or nvidia gpu chipset?

nvidia or amd chipset

Choose one

So, as I said, we will consider only two main chipset developers. nVidia GeForce occupies about 45% of the entire market. AMD RADEON occupies about 40% of the market. AMD RADEON used to be called ATI RADEON until AMD bought it out.

If you’re looking for a graphics card for gaming, you should definitely look into the nVidia GeForce, because they have more contact with video game manufacturers and optimize their chips specifically for those games. But if your budget is limited, then take a closer look at AMD RADEON, because they are much cheaper. Besides, judging by the latest trends, AMD RADEON is not much inferior to its rival in terms of characteristics and quality of its chips.

Graphics card manufacturing companies

There are a lot of them. I’ll just mention the best manufacturers. So, the top three deservedly include such manufacturers as MSI, ASUS and Gigabyte. They are immediately followed (and not far behind in terms of quality) – Zotac, Palit, Sapphair. All six of them are ranked from the best manufacturer to the worst (not worst at all), and do not pay attention to other manufacturers at all, there may be problems in terms of compatibility with the system or they will fail in the shortest possible time.

Graphic processor unit (GPU)

graphics card chipset

Graphics card chipset (nVidia)

GPUs are used to reduce the load on the computer’s CPU. Its characteristics are essentially the same as those of the central processor (roughly speaking), except that you should also pay attention to the number of shader processors. The number of shader processors is directly proportional to the performance of the graphics card. This is a very important parameter for a graphics card, most importantly at the level of core clock speed and video memory size.

Graphics card memory

The memory of the graphics card has quite a lot of characteristics. To answer the question of how to choose a graphics card for a computer, you need to deal with its memory. It is necessary to pay attention to the type of memory of the video card, the video memory size, the clock frequency of video memory, as well as the bit depth of the memory interface. Not too bad, right? Let’s try to understand everything in order.

Graphics card memory type and frequency

There is nothing difficult here. There are not many types of video memory in gradation from old to newer and more advanced. When choosing a video card, just make sure that it has at least GDDR5 type. So, the types are: GDDR3, GDDR4, GDDR5, GDDR5X (for nVidia) and HBM (for AMD), GDDR6 (since 2018).

The GDDR6 type is the most popular today and will most likely remain so for a long time to come.

GDDR6 video memory first appeared in the 20th generation of nVidia graphics cards in August 2018. The data exchange rate of such video memory exceeds the previous generation by as much as 40% and is 14000 MHz.

How much memory does a computer graphics card need

The amount of video memory is, of course, an important parameter, but the performance of the video card does not directly depend on it. Performance is more dependent on the clock speed of the GPU and on the memory interface (later in the article), as well as on the number of shaders.

Therefore, when answering the question of how much memory a video card needs, you need to understand that not all games require a large video memory size. Although some games do. For example GTA5 need quite a lot of video memory (minimum 4 GB (and this was in 2013)).


GTA 5 (2013)

Thus, if you trying to choose modern gaming graphics card, then pay attention to video memory size. For the latest games and those that are about to be released, aim for 8 GB of VRAM or more.

If you choose a graphics card for a working computer. Then the video memory size is not so critical for you. In any case, the manufacturer will put the amount of memory NOT lower than that which would correspond to the power level of your graphics card.

Video memory interface (bus bit width)

The bit width of the video memory bus affects the speed of data exchange between the GPU and the computer’s RAM. Measured in bits. The more bits, the higher the performance of the video card.

But, I want to note that recently the clock of video memory is so high (above 14000 MHz) that manufacturers neglect the bitness of the bus. However, keep this parameter in mind when comparing graphics cards. And remember that a gaming graphics card for a computer should have a bus with a bit rate higher then 128 bits.

That’s probably all, now you know how to choose a graphics card for your computer! If you have any questions, you can ask them in the comments below the article.

Author of the article: Цифровой
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