Choosing a Graphics Card
Choosing a graphics card and knowing what graphics card you need to suit your needs is very difficult. This page will explain how to determine those needs and how to choose a video card according to them. Do you use your computer for high-end gaming or are you just surfing the net? These are the questions you will need to ask yourself.
What’s your Motherboard?
The first important step in choosing a graphics card is finding out what motherboard graphics slot you have; either AGP or PCI Express. Your graphics card must be able to fit into the slot otherwise it is completely useless. Your motherboard manual will have all the details on this or learn about AGP and PCI Express slots on this website.
What’s your Monitor
The second step in choosing a graphics card is making sure that your graphics card has a port for your monitor cable. You will either have a VGA or DVI port on your graphics card and your monitor must be able to connect to that. Some graphics cards have dual DVI and if your monitor has VGA then the will not connect together. If they don’t connect then you will have to buy an adapter to turn VGA into DVI or vice a versa (often comes with the monitor). Also make sure that your graphics card is capable of having your monitor’s screen resolution. So if you have a massive monitor, your graphics card would need to have a resolution that could fit it.
What’s your needs?
The last step in choosing a graphics card is working out what your needs are and how much you are willing to spend to satisfy those needs. It is important to know what you need a graphics card for and not just buy the latest just for the sake of having the latest? Hopefully you can identify with one of the following computer users and then will know what type of video card you need.
Basic Home User
A basic home user is someone who just surfs the internet, checks their emails and types up a few documents. This type of user does not need a brilliant graphics card. I would recommend buying a card for less then $AU50 and a 64MB or 128MB card would be easily sufficient.
Advanced Home User and Basic Gaming
This type of person is someone who does the basics but might also use slightly more advanced programs such as Photoshop, games and some editing programs. A 256MB graphics card should be big enough in this circumstance and the majority of games should run fine on this size video card.
This type of person plays power-chewing games or uses powerful video editing programs such as Adobe Premiere or Studio 11. The speed and type of memory may be more important in this situation although anything over 320MB should be sufficient. The range of high-end gaming cards is huge and you can spend anywhere from $400-$1000.
This Visiontek Radeon HD 4870 Video Card on the right is a hugely powerful video card and is ideal for any computer gamer. Find more information on some great gaming video cards.
The graphics card is quickly becoming one of the most important components to a computer and I would recommend spending some time researching and identifying different cards. Choosing the right video card for you can be difficult and hard, but if you work out your needs and how much you are willing to spend then that choice becomes a whole lot easier.
My recommended choice would be the Nvidia Geforce 8600Gts. They have between 256 and 512mb and can also use Direct X 10 which comes with Windows Vista.
- How to choose a CPU
- How to choose a Hard Drive
- How to choose a Motherboard
- How to choose Computer Memory
- How to choose Sound Card
- How to choose a Computer Case
- How to choose a Monitor