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Gaming Graphic & Computer Cards
Enjoy smooth video rendering and high-resolution images when playing video games by equipping your PC with a high-performance gaming graphics card. Compared to integrated video cards, dedicated GPUs are faster, more powerful, and have more memory. In a gaming PC, the graphics card is even more important than the processor. You can find a wide selection of graphics cards meant for gaming computers at Staples®.
Choose the Right Gaming Graphics Card for Your PC Before ordering a graphics card for your gaming PC, you need to make sure the system is not too old for the GPU upgrade. You should download and run a hardware benchmarking software to look up component information and get a performance score for your PC. A processor that is more than three generations old is unlikely to be compatible with or benefit from a current-generation video card.
You should also make sure the card you get can fit into your motherboard. Most graphics cards are compatible with the 16-slot PCIe interface found on modern motherboards. Monitor resolution is another factor to consider when looking for the best graphics card for gaming. Budget and entry-level cards can handle displays with 1080p resolution. Choose a mid-tier card with at least 6GB RAM or high-end GPU if you have a 1440p monitor and wish to run games at native resolution. For 4K and multi-monitor gaming setups, you need flagship GPU models that support multi-card scaling.
Consider Power Consumption and Case Design When Selecting a Gaming Graphics Card The physical dimensions of graphics cards vary. Some are long and narrow while others are short and wide. You may need to measure the gap between the PCIe slot and the closest component on the motherboard and then compare this dimension with the length and width of the card you want. In a gaming PC, the GPU consumes more power than the CPU. You need a 500-watt power supply unit for entry-level graphics cards. High-end models can demand up to 1000 watts. With high power consumption comes high heat generation. Make sure your PC tower is big enough and well ventilated for the amount of heat generated by the graphics card under heavy load.
What Are Non-Reference Gaming Graphics Cards? Non-reference video cards are custom GPUs. Besides consumers, major video card brands, like NVIDIA® and AMD®, sell graphics cards to third-party resellers. The resellers modify these cards in different ways. Most modifications involve overclocking reference cards and adding more efficient cooling systems.
What Is the Ideal VRAM for a Gaming Graphics Card? VRAM is the memory of a graphics card. For gaming, the minimum RAM to look for in a video card is 2GB. As a rule of thumb, the VRAM of the card you select should not be less than half of the system RAM. For example, if your gaming PC has 8GB RAM, you should get a graphics card with at least 4GB RAM.
What Type of Video Memory Do Gaming Graphics Cards Have? Video cards use GDDR RAMs. Most gaming GPUs have GDDR3, GDDR4, and GDDR5 chips. These vary by clock speed and bandwidth. The available bandwidth of a graphics card is more important than the amount of VRAM it has. While GDDR4 offers a slight bandwidth increase over GDDR3, GDDR5 and GDDR5X options provide much wider bandwidth and can significantly improve gaming performance. For an even bigger memory bandwidth, choose a card with HBM memory.