Components Guides

How to Choose a Video Card: Picking the Right Graphics card in 2018

Want to upgrade your computers graphics performance or plan to build a new gaming PC? Then you should get a dedicated graphics card, because it is arguably the most important component in your gaming PC. If you don’t have a good one, then your favorite games won’t run smoothly at higher graphics settings. In order to play new and demanding games then you need a separate dedicated video card, although new Vega graphics on Ryzen processors can run most new games at least with low settings. Picking the right graphics card is not the easiest thing, you shouldn’t buy one without doing some research. There are dozens of different video card models to choose from, but many are not worth the money and can be even slower than integrated graphics. Today in 2018 there are two companies who dominate the GPU market – NVIDIA with GeForce and AMD with Radeon line of graphics cards. Additionally there are dozens of different models and many board partners that put together the video cards.



So, how to pick the perfect one for your needs? Follow these steps how to choose the perfect graphics card.

Make sure you have enough space in your computer case and that you have a free PCI-E x16 slot on your motherboard. If you have a mid tower or larger case you probably need a full size video card, but if you have a slim case then you need a low profile variant. Check also the card dimensions, blocking cables or HDD trays if you have a smaller PC case.

You also need to check if your power supply is sufficient for your new GPU, if it is not replaceable with standard PSU, then you should opt for a video card that doesn’t need additional power. Higher end graphics cards require powerful power supply and 6 or 8 pin PCI-E power cables.

Your current hardware must also not be a bottleneck for the new GPU, make sure you have enough CPU power and RAM. There is no point putting a $500 GTX 1080 in a 10+ year old office PC. Get a cheap used video card instead.

It is wise for you to check graphics card reviews on multiple reputable hardware sites to know what performance you can expect. Picking the video card from memory size alone will not work, because there are more important aspects about graphics card performance.

Choosing the GPU also depends on your monitor, If you have spent lots of money on G-SYNC monitor then you should buy a NVIDIA, if you have a Freesync monitor then AMD.

If you care how much noise your PC makes then also look which graphics card is the quietest. Unfortunately there are no 100% passive high end graphics cards.

Looks can be very important for some people, if your case has a transparent side panel, then it would be nice if your video card design and color match with rest of the system.