It can be quite a challenge to find the right graphics card for your gaming PC, especially if you are trying to go for a high end gaming experience.
There are several factors that contribute towards your decision when choosing the correct graphics card, such as price, brand, power usage and performance. Here is an easy guide to help you choose the best one.
Price is a big factor to consider, especially since graphics cards are one of the most expensive components in your gaming PC. For mid-range machines you should have around $150 – $200 worth of savings.
For higher end PCs start with around $300-$500 depending on what you are looking for. Remember that there are several different brands of GPUs on the market, so it is best to compare prices before you buy one.
A higher cost does not necessarily mean better performance and it really does depend on what your other equipment is. Sites like BestGamingReviews.com have many articles detailing which GPUs are good fits for different types of CPUs and motherboards.
For choosing your graphics card, there are two brands that dominate the market – AMD and Nvidia. Nvidia tends to be slightly more expensive than AMD, but they do offer better performance overall. So if you want top notch speed and graphics go with Nvidia, but if you are looking for a more cost effective option go with AMD.
The power usage of your graphics card will depend on how much you want to spend and the type of gaming that you do. If you are running games like Battlefield 3 or Skyrim then mid-range cards (around 150W) should be sufficient for you. If you are planning on running games like the Crysis series, then higher end cards (around 250W) should be sufficient for you.
For serious gamers who want great graphics playing high-end games like Battlefield 3 or Skyrim, Nvidia is the best option with AMD coming in second place. For mid range games Nvidia is slightly better than AMD, but they are very similar in performance. For casual gamers the thing to consider most is price, not graphics power.
Why Are Graphics Cards So Expensive Right Now?
Graphics cards are very expensive right now due to the fact that they are currently in shortage, and this has been caused by a few different factors. One of these is that many gamers have moved away from PC gaming over to consoles like the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One.
Another reason for this graphics card shortage is because there was a huge increase in demand for graphics cards in China, due to the sudden increase in cryptocurrency mining.
How To Install A Graphics Card
When installing a graphics card into your gaming PC, it is important to have the right tools. The first is a Phillips head screwdriver and anti-static gloves, which are often included in computer tool kits.
You should also check that you have adequate space for the card inside your machine before you buy one. You will need to take your tower to a well lit room and open it up so you can see inside.
You should have around 7 inches of space free so the card will fit comfortably, but this depends on the card itself.
When installing your graphics card, take care not to touch any of its pins or metal parts as static could damage the device. Also avoid touching the chips on the card as you could accidentally damage it.
The graphics card should only fit one way, so if you are struggling to put it into its slot then turn it around.
Once your graphics card is in the correct place, secure it by screwing down any metal parts until they are tight. Some cards may use more than one screw for this purpose.
The last thing to do is plug your monitor cable into your graphics card, so it can display the image to your screen.