How to choose a video card for computer and laptop
Mar 25, 2018
Most often people buy a video card based on the advertising of manufacturers, but because of this they spend extra money on unnecessary functions. When choosing, you must first determine your goals, you need to understand what you will use the computer for. Below we will describe the main characteristics of the video card so that you can save and purchase a really high-quality model.
Today the article will consist of:
- How to choose a graphics card for a computer based on
- parameters What video card to choose for
- games How to choose a video card for a
laptop How to choose a video card for a computer by
- parameters Professional or amateur video card
At the moment there are professional and amateur models, The former are used to work in programs with high system requirements, and the latter for video games and ordinary office applications. Most professional models are used for high-quality 3D modeling and design in engineering programs, for example - CAD.Thanks to the video card you can work on several monitors, as they are equipped with high-performance graphics processors. Such video cards are thoroughly tested and certified by the software developer. Of course, such video cards are not cheap.
Amateur video cards for new video games have high performance, comparable to professional models. To work in a two-dimensional mode in the office program - a standard video card is enough. Buy this card for 3D modeling is not worth it. Any modern video card guarantees you excellent quality in games, but the cost of the latest models is very high.
The cost of a video card can be divided into three types: elite, cheap and expensive models. The cheapest graphics cards show good performance, but do not guarantee good quality in new games. The lack of expensive models, but again - the screen resolution is limited, and the number of FPS will have to be customized. The best option is an elite video card, but it is quite expensive, which is its only drawback.
- The manufacturer of video card
Now there are only two manufacturers, which already ten years compete with each other - NVIDIA and ATI.They produce the best video processors, which provide high quality in video games. But Matrox specializes in manufacturing professional models.
- Processor frequency
There are models with a graphics core frequency of 126-1215 MHz, this depends on the performance of the video system. But do not forget that because of the high frequency of the processor increases the heating of the video card. The cost of the card is largely determined by the cooling system, which softens the heating and takes a small place in the system unit. The drawback of this system is a strong noise. Also, remember that the GPU frequency does not always determine the performance of the graphics card. The chips are constantly being upgraded and improved, so new video card models have a lower frequency, but they demonstrate higher performance.
- The amount of memory
The video memory takes into account the screen frame and other elements involved in creating the 3D image. Therefore, for good performance in modern games you need a large amount of memory. Ordinary video cards are equipped with 128-256 megabytes of memory, 256-512 megabytes expensive, and the best 512 MB, but sometimes you can find more memory.
- SLI and CrossFire
NVIDIA has released an add-on - SLI, to summarize the performance of two graphics cards built into one motherboard. The same is in ATI, but is called in another way - CrossFire. Many use two video cards to save and not buy the most expensive professional model. Two video cards allow you to get high quality in all modern games.
To use this function, you must have a connector on the motherboard called PCI-E.The connector has two slots for installing video cards, usually the instruction indicates that there is support for CrossFire and SLI.Do not forget that to install two video cards from NVIDIA, you need both to be the same. A slightly different situation is with ATI, to support two video cards, one of them should be related to ATI CrossFire Edition.
Many video cards have a special TV-out. I need it to connect the TV to the video card. The connection is made via a cable to the connector on a video card called S-Video. Also, you can connect through a composite signal - RCA connector.
- Connection to HDMI
Via this interface, you can transmit video and audio signals in digital format. The advantage of HDMI is that there is protection against illegal distribution of files( HDCP).We developed the interface mainly for maintaining TV broadcasting in high quality. Therefore, you can connect to the video card plasma panels and digital TVs that support the latest standard of TV broadcast quality. You can also connect the monitor via the HDMI connector. For example, you can connect a DVI monitor.
- Bit depth of the
memory bus This parameter specifies the number of data in bits that are transmitted during one cycle. Simply speaking, this is the amount of data processed over a certain period of time. The performance of the video card is determined by the bus width and the memory frequency. Cheap video cards support a bus with 128-256 bits, but sometimes even lower - 64 bits. The best video cards are equipped with a 256-bit bus, but this is by no means the limit.
Which video card to choose for
games? Most players are always arguing about which manufacturer is better: NVIDIA or ATI.According to their characteristics, the NVIDIA GeForce and ATI Radeon graphics cards are very similar, both on the built-in memory and on the bit depth. But if you compare two video cards with support for SLI or CrossFire, you can see that in certain games there is a difference in the quality of the picture and the number of frames per second.
As NVIDIA video cards are more popular, their cost significantly exceeds the models with the same performance from ATI.Counterfeit video cards are often enough, and it is very difficult to check and identify forgery. The only thing to note is that ATI cards appeared on the market earlier, and they cost much less, which means that the manufacturer demonstrates the high quality of video cards for many years.
Models from NVIDIA with a price of $ 1000 slightly outperform the same models from ATI, also do not forget that it is much faster to download suitable drivers. NVIDIA graphics cards support CUDA technology, which improves the performance of the processor, but for ordinary users this function is almost unnecessary. Another function - PhysX, is used much more often, because it improves the quality of visual effects in video games. Unfortunately, PhysX support is not available for many games, so there is no point in overpaying for an additional increase in quality.
It is necessary to look not only at the difference in additional functions, but also on the technical characteristics of a particular model. In advance, it must be said that an integrated( embedded) graphics card can not be considered a device for professional 3D modeling programs. But the cost of the built-in card is lower, so it is ideal for video games. The video card processes information from the processor and turns it into a three-dimensional image on the screen, so the performance in new video games depends on the quality of its work. To work in Canopus ProCoder or Adobe Premiere PRO, you need to use a powerful and professional model to successfully create graphics and video files.
The complexity of the video card's chips is about the same as that of a quad-core processor. Absolutely every internal element of the video card is important, and it is their performance that is indicated in the system requirements for new video games. All gaming graphics cards have built-in memory, and the performance depends on the amount of memory. When you start the game, the computer processes the image displayed on the screen in digital format, and the picture quality is high - you need to display all trace elements on the screen. The speed of removing elements depends on the amount of memory, for example, a computer can contain a movie that occupies a certain place. Also in the video card, each effect and action takes place, and the capacity of the video depends on the capacity( amount of memory).
Video games use very powerful dynamic memory, which has a wide bandwidth with access to GDDR5, GDDR4 and GDDR3.To play the novelties of the game world on high requirements, you need to have a video card capacity of 1024-2048 megabytes. But to use the entire amount of memory you need to have a high bit capacity, otherwise the memory bus will not be able to process the information received in full. The minimum throughput for games is 256 bits, you can not buy a model with a bandwidth of 128 bits, because the memory of the video card will not be used in full. To test your video card model, use the utility called GPU-Z, it will reveal all the characteristics, and the parameters of the video card in a few minutes.
You can save on buying a video card, because every year there is a sharp update of all devices, and computers quickly depreciate. Buy NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560, its cost is 6000 rubles. This video card will last for one or two years, after which its characteristics will become irrelevant.
How to choose a video card for a laptop
Once people did not think about choosing a video card for a laptop, since they all had a dedicated video subsystem with high performance. But then the PCI-Express bus was developed, and the characteristics of the video cards expanded significantly. Buy a decent model is very difficult, sales consultants can use the ignorance of customers and talk only about the best sides of the video card, hiding the shortcomings. Of course, if the laptop says that the "Turbo Cash 128 MB" video card is installed - everything is clear and without explanation of the seller.
Share video cards on the built-in and discrete, but as it was said above. Discrete models are equipped with their own graphics processor, responsible for the processing of graphic information, and video memory, which contains templates and a buffer of depth. But the built-in models( SMA) do not have a personal processor and an additional amount of video memory, so the motherboard uses the video processing function. The disadvantage of this function is that the processor gets too high a load. I had to use RAM for video processing, of course, the amount of memory for working with video was limited. The main advantage of laptops with such a video system is that their cost is very low, but the quality of the picture in video games leaves much to be desired. Very often games do not just "slow down", but they are not installed at all.
The new PCI-Express bus quickly solved this problem, as the bandwidth of memory expanded. Because of this, the data transfer process has accelerated, since the bus has two directions. Over time, manufacturers began to use this advantage to reduce the cost of laptops, for example, NVIDIA introduced the function of "Turbo Cash", which uses not only the memory of the video card, but also memory.
Happy shopping friends!