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Selecting a graphics card for a gaming computer

Unlike word-processing applications where only a few pixels of the screen are changing at a time, while playing games, the pixels of the display are changing very rapidly. Hence while building a gaming computer, many consider the graphics card to be the most important part of computer, since it will determine the gaming experience. It should be noted that the graphics card should be selected along with a suitable CPU, if a low end CPU is used with a high end graphics card, the gaming experience will be limited by the CPU speed. Other components should also be compatible with the graphics card.

Most of gaming computers are using monitors with a resolution of 1080P though some monitors have a resolution of 1440P. Hence the graphics cards are mainly selected for use with monitors of resolution 1080P, videos of 60 Frames per second. NVidia and AMD are the major manufacturers of the Graphics Processing Units (GPU) which are used in the memory card. However, the graphics card itself may be manufactured by other companies like MSI, Gigabyte. These GPUs have thousands of cores, and are generating a lot of heat so suitable arrangements should be made to ensure that the heat generated is transferred away.

The parameters which are used to compare the GPU from different companies are the number of cores, base clock, boost clock, Gflops , Memory size and type , memory clock and memory bandwidth. The GPU manufacturers are always trying to increase the number of cores in the CPU, clock frequency and memory size. However, the top end GPUs with more cores, higher clock frequency and memory are expensive, and many gamers with a limited budget are unable to afford these expensive graphics cards. Hence, details of the older model and more affordable graphics cards are also provided for reference.

It should be noted that the prices of graphics cards are fluctuating rapidly depending on the demand for the GPU’s. In addition to graphics cards for gaming and other computers, the GPUs are also used extensively for cryptocurrency mining since they have a large number of cores. In 2017 and 2018, there was a boom in cryptocurrency mining, so there was a scarcity of the GPUs and also a spike in the prices of the GPU. However, towards the end of 2018, the cryptocurrency exchange rates have decreased, and the demand, prices of the GPUs have declined to some extent, and are more affordable at present.

Some experts consider MSI’s graphics card which uses NVidia GeForce 1050 TX GPU to be the best entry level graphics card for gaming computers. This card is available at approximately $135 online, and has 2GB memory. The card is compact and does not take up much space on the motherboard. It also has a low power consumption of 75 W. Another entry level graphics card with a price comparable to GeForce 1050TX uses the AMD Radeon RX 560 GPU with 4GB memory. The card is designed for use while playing e-sports, and is used for games with resolution 60 fps at 1080P.

Gaming experts use different criteria for checking the performance of graphic cards, hence their ranking of the best card will vary. Some experts consider the Gigabyte graphics card using the AMD Radeon RX 570 to be the best graphics card for 1080P gaming. The card has 4GB on board RAM memory which is required for high quality 1080P 60fps gaming. The NVidia GeForce GTX 1070 Ti is another highly rated GPU with 8GB RAM and is also suitable for gaming at 1440 P in addition to 1080P at a display frequency of 144 Hz. However, the GTX 1070 is significantly more expensive than the RX 570. It should be noted that some of the GPUs are being sold online at prices higher than the recommended AMD price, allegedly due to shortage of the GPUs.

Both AMD and NVidia are introducing new GPUs for gaming and other applications periodically. The AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 8GB is AMD’s top end and most powerful GPU with 3584 cores, memory 8 GB, while NVidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is the most powerful GPU from NVidia with 4,352 cores and 11 GB RAM. Like other GPUs, the NVidia GPU is more expensive than the AMD GPU, and is also more powerful. Hence in addition to considering the specifications of the GPU, it is also advisable to check and compare the availability and prices of the graphics cards, before purchasing a specific graphics card for the gaming computer.

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