With video games becoming more advanced with every new release, it is becoming more necessary to upgrade your system to keep up with the latest and upgraded requirements.
A graphic card has many functions, everything from improving your frame rate to improving your streaming capabilities. Here is what a graphics card does, how to find out if it is a problem, and how to install a new one.
Why Do You Have a Graphics Card?
In simple terms, a graphics card is the brain that allows images to appear on your screen. How powerful your graphics card is will determine how crisp the images are, how fast your frames refresh, and many other aspects.
As mentioned, a graphics card is vital for gaming in this day and age. So many games require very powerful graphics cards that can keep up with the complex graphics of new games. Graphics cards are also needed for more than just gaming.
Suppose you are a photo or video editor, graphic designer, or someone who works in a similar field.In that case, you will most definitely need a computer powerful enough to handle the mass amounts of data involved and will require a top-of-the-range graphics card.
Find Out if the GPU is the Problem
Upgrading your graphics card sounds like a great idea when you know what new benefits will be. However, they are expensive, and unless there is a clear problem, you may not need to change it.
There are ways to test your graphics card to find out if it is the problem and if it is the component that you need to upgrade. People who game a lot are actually fairly accurate at determining when a graphics card is on its last legs.
You will have your preferred graphical settings, which give you the best graphics and performance balance. You will quickly notice if you aren’t getting the same quality, even though you haven’t changed the settings.
There will be blurring, screen tearing and the game will look poor, the same way older games do. There is also a straightforward way to test if your graphics card can still keep up with modern games.
Every game will come with a list of minimum requirements and often a recommended requirements list. If your graphics card is struggling to keep up with the recommended requirements, it has more than likely gone past its prime and needs upgrading.
Before You Upgrade
The first thing you have to do is ensure that you have enough power to power up your GPU. If you bought your power supply and GPU simultaneously, likely, they worked well together, but your power supply may not be sufficient for an upgraded GPU.
If you are buying a newer GPU, you should be prepared to buy a new power supply to keep up with it. If you are purchasing a second-hand GPU, ask the previous owner what their power supply specs were and what worked the best.
The next thing may seem a bit obvious, but it is often overlooked. GPUs are getting bigger as they get more powerful, and you have to ensure they can fit into your PC case. This becomes even more important if you are upgrading your power supply as well. More times than not, you are going to need more space.
Integrated vs Discrete
There are two types of graphics cards to choose from, an integrated card and a discrete card. Both have their positives and their negatives. An integrated card is one you’ll find in a laptop and in some PC systems.
These types of cards are very cost-effective and budget-friendly, but as the name suggests, they are built into the motherboard and system. They, therefore, can’t be removed and upgraded unless you buy a new laptop altogether.
Discrete graphics cards are cards that you attach to a motherboard. These cards are ones that you can buy separately and upgrade your system. These cards are more often than not quite expensive, but there are a variety of options, and the fact that you don’t need to buy a whole new system is a huge plus.
If you are someone who needs a system just for internet surfing, emails, documents etc, an integrated graphics card will be just fine and is more than enough for what you will be using it for.
If you are someone who plays games or has a job that is very graphic and image heavy, obviously a discrete one is the best option, and in many cases the only option, as integrated graphics cards just aren’t strong enough.
Upgrading your graphics card is relatively easy, and telling an expert what you need it to do will ensure you get the best card for your money as well. A better graphics card will almost always improve your system and experience.