Learn how to choose the best gaming video card when upgrading or building your custom gaming computer with our following buying guide.
The video card (also known as a graphics card, or GPU for short for Graphics Processing Unit) is THE most crucial component of all when it comes to how your games and other visually demanding applications will work, and therefore with what of fun you will have with your gaming system .
Choosing the best video card for your budget is no easy task, especially if you are new and new to it. Like most computer parts, there are tons of different models in different price ranges, all with different specifications and features. It’s enough to make your head spin, even if you’re a bit of a techie.
We’re here to make things as easy as possible and to help you understand and navigate today’s GPU world with greater ease so that you can choose the best gaming video card for your wishes and needs.
GPU battle: AMD vs NVIDIA
Much like choosing the best processor , you have two main choices when choosing the best gaming video card : AMD or Nvidia.
NVIDIA dominates the market for high-end GPUs for 4k gaming , but also offers great value for mid-range cards. AMD (formerly ATI, but AMD bought them out) is a serious competitor to Nvidia in the years to come.
So which one to choose?
From now on, it’s a simple decision if you’re looking for the best: as we said above Nvidia is dominating the high end of the market and has been for a long time.
But if you are looking for good value in the lower to mid-range level, the choice is difficult and it relates to the exact budget you want to spend. The specific models of the two manufacturers should be compared against each other over a comparable period of time.
Beyond comparing prices in a similar price range of graphics cards, for some people, it comes down to personal preference. There are a lot of players who only buy AMD because they want to support Nvidia’s challenger. Each of the two manufacturers has their own specificities but both companies produce excellent cards with excellent design, good cooling performance and of course gaming performance.
Finally, some specific games may run better on AMD or Nvidia cards due to better optimization. So if you are planning on building your PC for a specific game, you can look at benchmarks to see if there is a clear winner. For example, with a flight simulator like P3D, Nvidia cards have the preferences of the players.
How much to spend on your graphics card?
As a PC gamer, the graphics card is the most important part of all , followed closely by your processor, so choose wisely and in general aim to get the best graphics card you can afford. buy.
A good portion of your budget, 20-30%, should be spent on purchasing this component. Hands do not bet your entire budget on this component to the detriment of others. You have to think about buying a gaming PC with components balanced between them. Remember that the performance of your gaming computer will depend on the performance of the weakest of its internal components.
Features to consider for your GPU
GPUs contain a lot of features, options, connections, etc. Here are the main ones that you should keep in mind when choosing the best gaming video card for your PC:
Video memory (VRAM) is the amount of memory your video card has onboard for processing 3D images, and the more the better. The minimum for modern gaming these days would be 2 GB, with 4 GB being ideal for a system that is intended to be sustainable. Above 4GB, it becomes luxury. But keep in mind that you shouldn’t base your decision on this alone, as the performance in the majority of games won’t be much different if you have more video memory.
Make sure your gaming video card supports the latest DirectX technology, DirectX 12, so it will stand the test of time for years to come.
SLI and CrossFire
SLI and CrossFire are technologies that allow you to pair two or more NVIDIA or AMD video cards for extreme system performance. Only suggested for the advanced and experienced, if you are going to be using either technology then you will need to make sure your GPU and motherboard supports it.
This is a high definition output used with newer monitors and some high end televisions. Connecting to your monitor via DVI provides better picture quality than the standard VGA connection. If you want to take advantage of DVI, buy a graphics card and monitor that supports it.
HDMI is the default connection on new HDTVs, Blu-ray players, Apple TVs, many new computers and graphics cards, and a range of other video devices. If you need to connect your video card to a TV via HDMI, of course check that your video card has this feature.
If you want to split your video output across two monitors , you will need dual monitor support on your graphics card. This feature is useful for developers, engineers, designers, and multitasking users who want to view multiple windows at once on their desktop. Sometimes one output will be VGA and the other DVI. To learn more about dual screen video card configurations , click here .
The more powerful a card, the more power it needs, so you need to keep that in mind and make sure that your gaming computer’s power supply is strong enough to power your card (s).
Then there’s the actual size of your video card, which can be a problem especially if it’s a large graphics card and you have a smaller case. Make sure that your chassis will adapt to your new machine by checking the dimensions of your graphics card against the specifications of the case which will have to determine the optimal size of the card. Power-hungry users should also consider interior space (and motherboard PCI-E connections) if you plan to add a second (or more) card in the future.
Powerful video cards
Choosing the best gaming video card depends largely on the resolution you’re going to play in, as larger resolutions like QHD and UHD require more pixels to be rendered on the screen than HD or FHD (full HD).
We’ve broken down our picks for the best cards at the best price in different resolutions, and included two categories in each resolution as well because not all gamers have the same performance expectations. Not everyone is obsessed with FPS (frames per second).
An enjoyable gaming experience with perhaps occasional visual slowdown at times of high action and intensity of the game without destroying your gaming experience.
For hardcore gamers who want nothing less than the best possible experience.
In addition, our following suggestions assume that you will be maximizing the game (ie increasing the graphics settings to the maximum to the “ultra” level in general).
And if you’re new to PC gaming and wondering which resolution to choose, switch to 1080p which is very popular today and up to date.
Without further ado, here are the best gaming video cards right now in terms of performance: