How to choose a graphics card

How to choose a graphics card

How to choose a graphics card

How to choose a graphics card

It may seem simple, but the truth is that selecting a good graphics card is much more difficult than we suppose. Yes, now I know what you are going to tell me, that it is enough to fine-tune the budget, range and resolution at which we want to play, but that approach is a failure, as long as you're forgetting to include fundamental things in the "equation" which, in the end, will end up affecting the real performance of your new graphics card.

The wide variety of graphic resolutions that we can find today, especially if we take into account the second-hand market, and the tricks that certain dealers, both private and expert, use to try to sell their models doesn't make things possible. To all of the above we must add, in addition to this, the presence of certain myths that have the possibility of eventually pushing us to make a bad decision if we do not have particular caution.

Several of these myths are of recent creation, and were molded from the fanaticism of individuals who they care much more about the brand they love than they do about themselves. It is something that can achieve absurd heights, so you must be quite careful in this regard. To choose a graphics card well, it is essential to have a completely balanced approach, since otherwise we will be having a "contaminated" purchase intention that will make us forgive faults just for love of a brand.

Some time ago I shared with us a guide in charge of grasping a sequence of keys that, as a general rule, were really useful to choose a graphics card well, and today it was time to renew it and adapt it to today's panorama. that guide was among the biggest hits of each and every content we've announced, so I think it deserves this renewal. As always and at all times, I would like you to like it and that you like it, and I invite you to leave any questions you have in the comments.

How to choose a graphics card – Keys to select a graphics card well

1.-Think about the device where you are going to use it

Keys to choose a graphics card well

And do it in a broad sense, as long as you use a high-end graphics card with a low-end processor Meaningless, and the same would happen when using a high-end processor with a high-end graphics card. If you have concerns about this topic, do not miss this guide.

Stability is essential to choose a graphics card well, and for this reason you have to make sure that your device will be able to provide the performance that your graphics card requires to develop its full capacity. Otherwise, you will have a bottleneck.

Clue: from a processor Core i5-10400F or a Ryzen 5 3600 you can use virtually any graphics card without the need to assume a serious bottleneck.

2.-Assess the use that you will give to your graphics card

Keys to choose a graphics card well (3)

You will not need the exact same graphics card to play in 1080p than to play in 4K, and you won't need exactly the same model if you plan to turn on ray tracing. If you will only watch multimedia content and have fun with easy titles, a cheap low-end graphics card will suffice.

Clearly state your claims. It's essential to choose a graphics card well, while otherwise you may end up buying a model inferior to what you needed.

Clue: with a cheap graphics card like the GeForce GT 1030 or the Radeon RX 550 you will not be able to play recent games in 1080p with guarantees. You will need at least a GeForce GTX 1060 6GB or Radeon RX 580 8GB.

3.-Forget fanaticism, but don't lose your feet on the ground

Keys to choose a graphics card well

It is not valid that NVIDIA is preferable for being NVIDIA, or that AMD is preferable for being AMD. the two companies they propose confrontational and also attractive articles in the graphic field, but we must be aware that each one of them has different values, and that certain render better at certain games for an easy matter of optimization.

The Radeon RX 6000 offer really good performance in rasterizationThey have much more graphics memory and are making progress on prominent technologies thanks to the upcoming arrival of FSR 2.0. On their side, the GeForce RTX 30 They are also very powerful, perform better in ray tracing and play with the benefit of DLSS.

Clue: If ray tracing is paramount to you, you'd better pick one GeForce RTX 30, as they perform better. If you don't mind that tech, the Radeon RX 6000 is an awesome alternative option.

4.-Do not get lost with the ranges and series

Keys to choose a graphics card well

Understanding how to properly detect each model, series and range is key to selecting a good graphics card. For this, we must understand the nomenclature of a graphics card, something that fortunately is not difficult, now that NVIDIA and AMD use certain related patterns.

NVIDIA difference between GTX and RTX, the former do not accelerate ray tracing or support DLSS, and the latter do. The first number indicates the generation, the rest the range where they are located, and the "TI" and "Super" themselves mention a superior model, in the first case, and a much stronger variation of the original. In the AMD situation, "XT" itself is used to refer to higher models. We will see some examples:

  • GTX 1060: it doesn't do faster ray tracing or support DLSS (it's GTX), it fits in the ten series, and in standard quality (60).
  • RTX 2080: It does faster ray tracing and DLSS (it's RTX), it fits in the 20 series, and in the high range (80). The RTX 2080 Super is a much stronger version of the original, and the RTX 2080 Ti is a higher model.
  • Radeon RX 5600 XT: It fits in the 5000 series, so it does not do faster ray tracing, and in standard quality (600). It is a prominent performance model (XT) in its range.
  • Radeon RX 6600: fits into the 6000 series, so it does faster ray tracing, and in standard quality (600). It does not come with the XT itself.
  • Radeon RX 6600 XT: It is a superior model to the previous one by XT itself.

Clue: If the figure that indicates the range, which always comes after the first, which indicates the generation, is less than 5, you are dealing with a graphics card that is not suggested for gaming.

5.-Caution with the finishes: Not in all cases is it worth paying much more

Keys to choose a graphics card well

The difference in price between a graphics card with a simple design and another with a premium finish can end up being colossal, but this does not mean that the latter will always compensate for the higher investment it represents. You have to be quite careful with this issue, as certain graphics cards with a premium finish They have the possibility of costing you practically the same as a higher-end one with a basic finish.

A standard quality graphics card does not require a colossal cooling system to ride perfectly, and high-end models don't need complex designs or giant radiators either. The difference is usually going to be tiny, and your home overclock isn't going to make a difference in performance that justifies a huge price difference either, so be careful.

Clue: Compare costs of the same graphics card you want. Never opt for the much more expensive ones, as they are not worth the price, and try to avoid designs with turbine-type fans. In the standard quality, the cheap models with modest heatsinks are not a bad initiative, but in the high range they do have the possibility of being.

6.-Do not fall into the traditional “this card has X gigabytes”

Keys to choose a graphics card well

Several merchants, and several individuals, remain anchored in the myth of the gigas. It is true that, to choose a graphics card well, we must take into account the total memory graph that integrates, since in the end this is an essential requirement in several games, but We must not fall into the trap of thinking that quantity is the only thing that matters.

A graphics card has the possibility of having several gigabytes of graphics memory and being worse than another with less gigabytes. To give an example, the GeForce RTX 3060 has 12 GB of graphics memory, while the RTX 3080 has ten GB of graphics memory, and despite this the second is practically a much stronger 50%.

Clue: Before you get carried away by the memory ratio set generation and range to which the graphics cards that you are observing are part. The one that falls within the much newer generation and in the much higher range is going to be superior, even if it has less graphics memory.

7.-Do you really need a new graphics card?

Keys to choose a graphics card well

Do not limit yourself to the first-hand market, that is, to new models. To select a graphics card well, it is sometimes convenient also take into account the second-hand market, Well, in this we will be able to find much more powerful graphic resolutions for less money.

For example, several years ago I wanted to upgrade my GTX 970, but I didn't have enough budget to get a GTX 1070, so I went for it. a GTX 980 Ti that I found on the second-hand market for less than 300 euros. It lasted me a long time, and it was among the graphics cards that gave me much more joy, since I quite appreciated the change compared to the GTX 970.

Clue: It is essential that you have caution with several points if you buy second hand. You have to know the costs well to avoid being scammed, it is convenient that you avoid graphics cards that have been used to mine, and also that you try to evaluate before obtaining.

8.-Update to a perfect level and be careful not to go back

Keys to choose a graphics card well

Selecting a graphics card well also orders us to be clear at what level we should see if what we want is to update the model we have. It is paramount due to the fact that we could end up buying a graphics card that only optimizes the one we had, Or even suppose a step backwards.

To serve as an example, upgrading from a GTX 970 to a GeForce GT 1050 Ti would be a step backwards, and upgrading from that to a 6GB GTX 1060 would be a change we wouldn't quite appreciate. The ideal would be to jump to at least an 8 GB GTX 1070 or an RTX 2060.

Clue: The issue we are discussing about ranges and generations is paramount in this regard. A graphics card of a higher generation does not necessarily have to perform much more than a model of a previous generation but of a higher range. To avoid getting involved, use this common method: always and at all times, always look for at least one graphics card that is of a higher generation and that is at least one range higher. For example, if you have a GTX 1060 the RTX 2070 would be an acceptable upgrade (generation 20 versus generation ten, and range 60 versus range 70).

9.-High range and find range: Is it worth paying the difference?

Keys to choose a graphics card well

It is also a very hackneyed topic. Now we are clear why the issue of ranges is so essential when choosing the graphics card well, but as we go up the range in the same generation we are going to realize that performance does not rise proportionally, which causes its price-possibility value to decrease.

This means that a high-end model may be an acceptable option over a standard quality one, but a high-end model will not be an acceptable option over a high-end one.. Do you think it's worth paying twice as much for a much more performing ten%? Since it is now, there is not much more return.

Clue: In such a case, it is not essential to understand the performance of each and every one of the graphics cards, it is enough that you keep in mind that, as an established rule, the graphics cards found in the range are the much more expensive and the ones with the worst value per cost. frame they have. In this way, to serve as an example, the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti gives a much higher price-possibilities value than the RTX 3090, and the same thing happens with the RTX 3080 compared to the RTX 3080 Ti.

ten.-Caution with the group of memory, and with the genre of memory

Keys to choose a graphics card well

The two points were always and at all times essential to choose a graphics card well. The memory bus and the type of graphics memory determine the bandwidth of a graphics card. The higher the bandwidth, greater agility in communications between the GPU and VRAM, which translates into better performance.

The much larger the bus, and the much faster the memory, the better. However, keep in mind that not each and every one of the models have exactly the same pretensions. A standard quality graphics card will be able to suggest optimal performance with a 128-bit or 192-bit bus if accompanied by GDDR6 memory, while a high-end graphics card will require a 256-bit or 320-bit bus and GDDR6 memory or GDDR6X memory to work perfectly.

Keys: The issue of memory buses and memory gender is much less of a problem since the arrival of the RTX 20 and RX 5000, but be careful if you decide to get older models. It prevents configurations with buses less than 128 bits and with memories that are not GDDR5. In the AMD situation, keep in mind that the RX 6000 series uses unlimited cache, and that this compensates for the low bus of certain models, such as the RX 6500 XT, which mounts a 64-bit one.

Read Also: NVIDIA and AMD graphics card Comparative 2022


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