How to Choose the Best Graphics Card for Your Gaming Computer

Are you having problem deciding which graphics card to buy? Do not worry, you are not alone! With a wide range of graphics cards out there, each with different specification and function; it is definitely a difficult choice to make.

To choose the right graphics card, you need to consider the following points:



AGP or PCIe?
AGP is the slot where the graphics card is inserted in the motherboard. It has been the standard for graphics card connection for a long time.

With the introduction of PCIe slot, the days of using AGP slot will soon come to an end. PCIe slot boosts a speed 4 times faster than AGP slot and supports multiple video cards integration (SLi or Crossfire technology). This is something that is impossible to achieve using the AGP slot

If you are looking to build a gaming computer from scratch, it is advisable to get a PCIe graphics card as it will soon take over AGP as the standard for graphics card connection. However, if what you want is only to upgrade a new video card, there are still a lot of great AGP graphics card around for your selection.

GDDR2 or GDDR3?
GDDR refers to the bandwidth of the graphics card memory module bandwidth. It is not the same as the DDR2 computer memory RAM you install on the motherboard.

GDDR2 has been employed by graphics card manufacturers for a period of time. The main drawback for GDDR2 is its severe overheating issue. This has prompted ATI to develop the GDDR3. GDDR3 has a lower power consumption rate and a higher bandwidth, which enables the graphic card to last longer and run faster. GDDR3 is now commonly used in most NVIDIA- or ATI-based video cards. Though price is more expensive, it is definitely a better buy than a DDR2 graphics card.

Memory size
There is a saying "memory is never enough, always upgrade to the maximum". That might be true for computer memory, but when it comes to graphics card memory, I beg to differ. In my opinion, a 512MB graphics card is more than sufficient to handle most of the graphics intensive application. In fact, if you get a 256MB GDDR3 graphics card with a good GPU, the performance might even be better than a 512MB DDR2 graphics card. I own a five years old 128MB graphics card and until now, it's still serving me well and has no problem handling most of the graphics intensive game that I played. Unless you have spare cash to spend, my advice is to get a 512MB graphics card. It should be able to last you for a few years.

Do you need dual graphics card?
SLI or Crossfire technology enables you to connect multiple video cards together. By making use of two or more GPUs connected together, the performance of the system increased by two to three folds. This is a very powerful innovation that greatly improves a system's graphics handling capabilities.
In the current market, there are not many games and applications that can fully utilize this fast processing ability. However, with the speed the graphics technology is advancing, it is only a matter of time that SLI or Crossfire technology becomes the standard for graphics card.

For gamers who want to achieve a faster and better graphics performance, you might want to consider acquiring a SLI or Crossfire ready graphics card.

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