How to Pick a Graphics Card for Gaming – A Buyer’s Guide!

PC gaming is more popular than ever, but to get the most out of your games you need a good graphics card. However, not all graphics cards are created equal. If you want to play the latest games at their highest settings like Warzone, you need a card that can handle the demands of today’s gaming industry.

In this guide, I’ll show you how to pick the best graphics card for gaming so that you can enjoy your games at their full potential.

Why is a Graphics Card Necessary?

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(Image Credit: Gaming Authorities)

For anyone who wants to get into PC gaming, a graphics card is an essential piece of hardware. A graphics card is responsible for generating the images that are displayed on your screen, and the quality of those images can have a big impact on your gaming experience.

If you’re playing a game with poor graphics, it can be hard to immerse yourself in the world and enjoy the gameplay like Call of Duty Warzone. On the other hand, games with great graphics can look so realistic that you feel like you’re part of the action.

In order to get the most out of your games, it’s important to have a good graphics card. Otherwise, you might as well be playing on your phone.

Buying Guide for Choosing the Right Graphics Card

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(Image Credit: Gaming Authorities)

Choosing the graphics card is not a difficult job however if you are not a techy geek then this task can make you feel confused. So you don’t need to be sad as I am here for you. I will tell you what you should look for when you are going to grab your first GPU for gaming.

Here are the things that you need to keep in mind when going for a graphics card.

Fix your Budget

It is very necessary to fix a budget for your GPU. Because GPUs normally come at higher prices. Due to the mining of cryptocurrency in the last few years, many gamers started to use graphics cards for mining Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. And as a result, these cards went on a roller coaster of price tags.

Thanks to miners! However, there are still some options that you can get if you are tight on budget. But you need to fix an amount that you can spend on the GPU easily.

The price range for graphics cards is from $200 to $3000. So you can see now you have to be ready to buy a card with a high price if you want to enjoy your gaming at full.

You can also go with a $200 GPU but I did not recommend it because these cards would not withstand when it comes to delivering the true graphics and framerates.

I would suggest you keep your budget between $800 to $1000 so you can get a fine working GPU that will not disappoint you when playing some high graphics demanding games.

Once you have decided on your budget now it’s time to take a look at other factors.

Form Factors: ATX, ITX, and DTX

These are different shapes or sizes of graphics card. And these days most manufacturers release their cards in all three form factors to support every type of user.

The most common and widely used form factor is an ATX. But if you have a small-sized casing then you need to look for an ITX or DTX form factor. These cards are smaller in size as compared to ATX but they offer the same functionality.

The only thing that differs is their size so you can choose any one of them according to your need.

Memory Type: GDDR6, GDDR5, HBM2

This is one of the most crucial things that you need to look for when going for a graphics card. The memory type is responsible for the speed of your graphics card.

The three types of memory used in graphics cards are GDDR6, GDDR5, and HBM2. The newer and faster memory type is GDDR6. So if you want a fast card then you need to look for GDDR6.

But if you are on a tight budget then you can also go with GDDR5 which is the older memory type used in graphics cards. It is not as fast as GDDR6 but it gets the job done.

The last and slowest memory type is HBM2. But this memory type is not used in graphics cards these days. So you don’t need to worry about it.

Cooling System

The cooling system is very important for a graphics card. Because if your GPU gets too hot then it can damage your card and reduce its lifespan.

Most of the time when we run games or any other applications that need a lot of graphics processing, our card gets hot and the fan starts making noise.

So it is very necessary to have a good cooling system for your card. You need to look for a card that comes with a good cooling system. Some manufacturers use their own technology for cooling while others rely on third-party solutions.

You need to decide which one you want. But I would suggest you go with a card that comes with a good cooling system.

TDP

The TDP stands for Thermal Design Power. It is the amount of power that your card will need to run properly.

The TDP of a graphics card is measured in watts. The higher the TDP of a card, the more power it will need to run.

You need to look for a card that has a lower TDP so you don’t have to worry about power consumption. However, if you want to play games at their peak pixels, then TDP is definitely going to hit the roof.

Ports

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(Image Credit: Gaming Authorities)

The ports are also a very important thing that you need to look for in a graphics card. The ports are responsible for the connectivity of your card.

You need to look for a card that comes with all the necessary ports that you will need. The most common ports that you will need are HDMI, DVI, and DisplayPort.

Some cards also come with USB ports. But you don’t need to worry about them as they are not necessary.

Ray Tracing & AI Rendering

Ray tracing is a rendering technique for generating realistic images by tracing the path of light as it bounces off objects in a scene. This provides an incredibly realistic image, as each pixel is shaded according to the path of light that it takes.

However, ray tracing is very computationally expensive, so it has not been widely used in games until recently. AI rendering is a technique that uses artificial intelligence to generate images. This can be used to create realistic images or to create stylized images.

AI rendering is also computationally expensive, but it is becoming more common in games as GPUs become more powerful. Ray tracing and AI rendering are both good for gaming because they provide realistic images. However, they are both very computationally expensive, so they are not yet widely used in games.

Also, the Tensor cores present in the new RTX cards are very good at handling these types of computationally expensive tasks.

NVIDIA RTX 30-series GPUs are coming with all these latest technologies. They have included the DLSS and ray tracing in their new cards. So if you want to game with the latest technologies, then you need to get an RTX card.

How Much VRAM is Good for Gaming?

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(Image Credit: Gaming Authorities)

VRAM is the video memory of your graphics card. It is used to store the images that are being rendered by your GPU.

The amount of VRAM that you need depends on the resolution that you want to game at and the quality settings that you want to use.

If you want to game at a resolution of 1080p with high-quality settings, then you will need at least 4GB of VRAM. If you set the resolution to 1440p with maximum settings, then you should get 6GB of VRAM so you can not get stuttering while gaming.

For enthusiasts who want to enjoy their games at maximum frame rates and 4K resolution, they must have 8 GB of VRAM so there would be no interruptions when you are playing your favorite action-packed games.

The new RTX 30-series GPUs come with up to 24GB of VRAM, which is more than enough for any gaming needs.

Nvidia Vs. AMD

When it comes to gaming, there are two main types of PC gamers: those who think that AMD is the way to go, and those who are firmly in the Nvidia camp. The truth is, there isn’t a clear winner when it comes to Nvidia vs. AMD. Both companies make great GPUs for gaming, and it really comes down to personal preference.

That being said, there are some subtle differences between the two that might sway your decision. For example, Nvidia cards tend to be better at handling higher resolutions and frame rates, while AMD cards are usually a bit cheaper. Ultimately, the best way to decide which GPU is right for you is to determine your needs.

For example, if you are playing the most advanced games like Call of Duty Warzone or Escape from Tarkov, you will need a card with at least 4GB of video RAM along with ray tracing and AI rendering. So in this way

If you are playing less demanding games or if you are mostly interested in esports titles like CS:GO or Overwatch, you can get away with a 3GB card and you may not need some advanced features like AI rendering.

Overclocking Capabilities

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(Image Credit: Gaming Authorities)

When it comes to overclocking capabilities, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, the higher the clock speed, the better. This is because faster clock speeds mean that the GPU can process information more quickly, which can lead to smoother gameplay and higher frame rates. Second, it is important to make sure that the GPU has enough power to support overclocking.

This can be determined by looking at the power consumption numbers for the GPU. Finally, it is also important to consider the cooling capabilities of the GPU. This is because overclocking can generate a lot of heat, which can damage the components of the GPU if it is not properly cooled.

With all of this in mind, what should be considered the ideal overclocking capabilities for a gaming GPU? Well, that really depends on the individual needs and preferences of the gamer. However, as a general rule, a higher clock speed and good cooling capabilities are always a good place to start.

Conclusion

You can not just pick any graphics card when it comes to “GAMING”. Gaming demands a separate GPU so that it can accelerate every pixel and frame to achieve the best quality image and smooth gameplay.

There are three things you need to look for when choosing a graphics card for gaming that I have mentioned in this guide. I hope now you will never need to struggle when you want to change your old GPU or going to buy a new one.

Always keep these points in your brain and pick a GPU for gaming that can beat all the needs which are required for it.

So until next time, bye and have a nice day ahead!

Matt Hanson
Matt Hanson is a technology journalist and author at TechRadar. He is also working as an author on TechyDesktop. He loves to write about tech, computers, and PCs.