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GIGABYTE Computer Graphics Video Cards

Graphics cards are expansion cards that focus on visual processing. While most PCs have Integrated Graphics that do small amounts of high-density image processing themselves, for anything above casual use, graphics cards are used. Due to their dedicated function, graphics cards can outperform almost any Integrated Graphics system. They can also be used for non-graphic functions like mining Bitcoin, Ethereum and other crypto-currencies.

Video Card Memory

One of the quickest ways to identify the ability of a graphics card is to check its memory. The majority of modern graphics cards fall between 2 GB and 8 GB. This refers to the capacity of the card to store files and images. The larger the number, the higher image quality and the better the screen resolution. This does not mean that some resolutions require certain memory sizes though, as computers are quite adept at reorganising data to fit available resources. Higher memory makes things easier and allows for smoother running overall, but is not a vital indicator.

Video Card Models

The best quality cards are sometimes hard to determine. Enhancements and improvements in chip architecture can result in vastly increased speed and ability in only a few generations, but numbering systems and special models make it hard to keep track. While going by “the higher model number is better” is useful, the best way to check a card’s ability is to research. Benchmark sites regularly check cards against each other, providing useful comparisons, often dating back a decade or so. Review sites can help you choose which card is best for you. Also check connector types. Most will have multiple options, such as PCI graphics and video cards or HDMI. Ensure your card will be compatible with your monitor.

Cooling Systems

Heat is an important consideration, especially if you intend to buy multiple cards for your computer. When working, all computer components generate heat, but high-capacity graphics cards generate more than most. Because of this, most cards have an inbuilt cooling system. This may be a series of radiator fans or heat sinks, a fan attachment or even a liquid cooling system. While cooler is better, the most expensive cooling system is only necessary if your PC really requires it.

Refurbished or Brand New

With new cards displacing older models, pricing on graphics cards can change rapidly. Low-end cards, either refurbished or surplus, can be bought for as low as $50 and will often still fulfil most needs. Brand new high end cards for extreme systems and uses can be $1200 or more. Many benchmark sites offer a “value for money” statistic, displaying the capability of a card vs its price. Cheaper cards can have more reliable architecture and be much better value.

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