Choosing the Right Graphics Card

There is a risk that the vast number of graphic cards around and the technical language used to describe them could put you off the idea before you even purchase one. However, if you go about it the right way then you can get the ideal model without too much hassle. Here’s how to do it.

Know What You Want

If you wade in and start looking at offers before you have thought about what you need then there is a real risk that you get lost right away. The best start you can make is to simply decide how much you want to spend and what level of performance you are after. If you can do this then the rest of the process will be a lot less painful.

Keep It Simple

The model numbers for graphic cards are, generally, completely unhelpful. There is no easy way to look at a list of different models and work out which ones are best for you. Instead of this you should look for meaningful reviews which help you see what the card actually offers. There are a number of internet sites which offer useful benchmarking information which should help you make the right decision. In a lot of cases this is as simple as choosing the game you are most interested in and seeing which cards within your budget range work well on it. Alternatively, you could simply look up a list of the best graphics cards on a PC hardware reviewer site.

Make Sure It Is Compatible

Once you home in on a product which seems to meet your criteria you need to check that it is compatible with your computer. The almost universal presence of the 16x PCI-Express connection means that this is a lot less complicated than it used to be but you still don’t want to get this step wrong or miss it out altogether.

Don’t Forget the Details

As with any relatively big purchase you make, you will want to sure that you think about all of the details. For example, does it come with a long warranty period and is there an extra charge for getting it sent out to you? If you have spent a lot of time narrowing down your search and then it all comes unstuck at the last minute this can be terribly frustrating. However, it is far better to take a deep breath and start all over again than rush through the purchase of something which isn’t right for you in the long term.

Take Your Time

As we have just seen, buying a new graphics card is actually a bit more complicated than you might have previously thought. Probably the worst thing you can do is decide to do this when you have just 5 or 10 minutes to spare. You will make a far better decision and enjoy the process a lot more if you take your time and do it when you can relax and make sure that you know exactly what you are buying.