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Windows 7: What Graphics Card?

17 Aug 2010   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Mint 9
What Graphics Card?

In this forum, we get a fair amount of threads asking for advice on what graphics card to get or upgrade too.
The problem with posting a thread about that is that we need MORE information, and we can't just pick a card out for you.

Here is a short list of what we need to know to help you:
-Motherboard (and/or slots)
-Location (not all cards are available everywhere)


Gaming Card vs Normal Card
What are the benefits to getting a gaming card versus a regular card? Well, higher end graphics capabilities mostly.
Keep in mind that gaming cards tend to be bigger, more powerful, and run hotter than a desktop card made for everyday use.

Gaming Card vs Normal Card
Make sure you get a card with the correct outputs for your monitor. Examples of output types are VGA, DVI, HDMI, Display Port, and S-Video.
Most newer cards have at least 2 ports, and some have more.

You will need to know how much power your new card will draw, especially if you bought a computer from a manufacturer (such as Dell, HP, etc).

Cores, Memory, and Clocks
These define how the card will perform, but cannot be cross-compared to other brands (ATI to NVidia). For that you will need to look at benchmarks, such as FurMark.
The Core Clock functions similar to a CPU, and the faster the clock the better.
The Memory is similar to RAM, but dedicated to the GPU (known as VRAM, or Video RAM). The more memory (and the faster) the better. If the card has its own RAM, it WILL NOT take from system RAM.
The clock (for both memory and core) is essentially how fast it works.

ATI vs NVidia:
A matter of personal preference!
Both make good graphics cards, and both have their pros and cons.
warning   Warning
Fanboism will NOT be tolerated!

Hope this will help out anyone looking to get a new Graphics card!


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