Graphics cards – what you need to know

How many of us know a lot about graphics cards?

– Is expensive always the best?
– What exactly does a graphics card do?

Well – your graphics card is the most vital part of a gaming computer. The CPU is the brain but the graphics card is like the heart which pumps out the pixels from the tower and onto your screen. As gamers know, what you see can change your success into failure!!

A graphics card has a dedicated video memory and a graphics processing unit (GPU) which can handle any number of different calculations like lighting surfaces and mapping textures whilst producing millions of polygons. The GPU allows your computers processor to do what it’s supposed to do and run at full speed.

So you have decided to get a new graphics card – which one to get is a major problem as technology changes so much and so quickly. Consequently before you start shopping check your base hardware.

You need to know what CPU you have, the motherboard, amount of system memory and other useful details. If you are using an Intel processor checkout their website and type in your processors name and that will tell you how old it is. It is a bit tricky deciding whether or not your system is worth upgrading.

Other factors to note:

– How much memory is there on your unit?
– Your power supply
– Type of monitor
– Has the case sufficient space and cooling?

Often with the pace technology changes and game requirements increase any system that is now 5 or 6 years could start to lag behind. If you are in need of an upgrade, this does not have to be an expensive outlay – e.g. check out this: Core i5 7500 Kaby Lake 7th Gen Gaming PC 3GB GTX 1060 Windows 10 Pro


Some tips:

– Ideally you want at least 8GB of system memory.
– As for the type of graphics card to choose if you are not happy with the one you have – do measure the one that’s already in there, most are about 10” long but they can go up to about 12.5”.
– If you have just one or two small case fans go for a blower style card.
– Generally you will need twice as much system memory as your card has VRAM.
– VRAM (video RAM) is a reference to any type of random access memory (RAM) used to store image data for a computer display.
– What is your budget?

If you decide you need a more expensive or bigger card you could consider the interest free credit offered by Expertec. We offer good customer service which is helpful for advice on what type of card might be best for your computer.