Choose the Best Video Card for Your Computer

Edited by Robbi, Eng

Video cards are the second most common upgrade that people buy for their computer according to PC Mag. Even a user who is relatively easygoing places few demands on a computer will be unhappy with poor sound or poor graphics quality.

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When the graphics that you're viewing are not as crisp and as clean as you want them to be,it's normal to want to find a way to correct that lack. You've made up your mind to change the video card and get the kind of user experience that you want. The problem is, how do you choose what's right for you and your computer.

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Finding the best video card for your purposes is more than just a matter of asking yourself one or two basic questions. The simplest form of choosing a video card for your computer has you asking, "Does the card fit?" "Does the card connect to the monitor?"--"Can I afford it?"

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Those are some simple criteria by which to go when choosing a video card, but is that enough to get you a crisp, clean picture and the kind of gaming experience that you're looking for? The answer to that question is, probably not.

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Video cards can be costly. It's a given that if something is a little more expensive, you want to get the most that you can for your money. You also want to ensure that you are not paying more than you have to pay for a quality video card.

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How to Find the Best Video Card

Finding the best video card for your computer means asking quite a few questions about your computer and your reasons for changing the card. In that way, you'll get not only one that you can afford, but the best one that you can afford and one that will give you what you want.

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To find the best video card for your computer--and for you, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. 1
    Why do you need a new video card
    ?
    What are your goals in replacing it? #Have you had problems with your video card? What kind of problems did you experience that made you arrive at the decision to change it?
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  2. 2
    What do you want to do with your computer that will influence the choice of a video card or make a difference in the video card that you choose
    ?
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  3. 3
    Do you use your computer for gaming, for graphics work, for three dimensional rendering
    ?
    Do you primarily write with it or just check email?
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  4. 4
    What kind of computer do you have and will that computer be able to accept the video card that you want
    ?
    If not, what is the best video card that the computer will be able to use?
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  5. 5
    How much can you afford to spend when it comes to buying the new card?
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Once you've determined the things that you want from your video card, you'll be better able to compare makes and models to find one.

Here are a few facts that will help you to choose a better video card for the money.

  1. 1
    Every video card is named a little differently.Spend some time visiting the websites of the video cards that you are considering
    .
    Find out about their naming conventions and the way in which their cards are designed.
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  2. 2
    Learn about video card companies and their traditional quality and performance by reading reviews about their video cards.
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  3. 3
    Usually the names and numbers on your video card have significance
    .
    For example, video cards that were created by AMD have numbers attached.
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  4. 4
    The higher the first number in the series the more recent the design
    .
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  5. 5
    That means that you're going to get more options and more new things like DirectX and Opengl
    .
    For example HD 7750 tells you that your card was made quite recently.
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  6. 6
    The second number in that series indicates the rating of the card performance wise
    .
    What that means is that you're going to want a higher number if you want a better performing card. HD7750 for example--the second number is a 7. This means that you're going to get some reasonably decent mid-level performance from the video card and pay a little more for it. It will play HD for you nicely and give you a good gaming experience but not as great as the HD7950 that is a true high-end video experience.
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  7. 7
    Every video card can offer you some specific options that you're going to want to consider
    .
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  8. 8
    Pay close attention if you're a gamer because you'll want to look at cards that give you things like UVD, PowerPlay, Eyefinity, and other features that you might want for a better video experience.
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Needless to say, you can learn as much as you want about any video card on the market, but if you can't use it, there's no point. Before you buy, know what you're able to use. Is your computer newer or older? Is it able to use the video card that you're considering?

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In many cases if you have an older computer, you're going to want that state of the art video card, but your computer may not be able to power it. Depending on the CPU, the motherboard, the monitor that you're using or several other factors such as RAM, you may not be able to get the precise video card that you want. Look at all of the considerations before you purchase a card.

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Check for a Compatible Video Card Slot

Knowing what mainboard that you have is going to make it easier to shop for a video card. If the available slots won't hold the one that you have in mind, needless to say,it isn't going to fit. Just as with clothing sizes you're going to have to adapt your choice of a video card to the available slots. The fastest and easiest way to find that out is to look up your mainboard manufacturer and find the specifications on their website in order to ascertain what you can use. The option is also available to remove the one that you have and take it with you when you go shopping if you're not conversant in video card slots or what your motherboard will hold.

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Check for a Compatible Port

Depending on the age of your monitor and the connections that it has available, you may have to purchase a video card that is based on the connectivity that you have available to you. Check the ports that you have available before going shopping to ensure that you have what you need. If necessary, take a photo of your ports with your camera phone and take it with you when you go video card shopping.

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If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please post in the comments section below.

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Categories : Hardware

Recent edits by: Robbi

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