A Graphics Card (a video card) is a unit capable of processing and displaying graphical information. The GPU has become increasingly important due to increasingly complex and photorealistic graphics, rendering the CPU unable to keep up.

A graphics card performs better than your computer’s processor for 3D games and applications like AutoCAD.

Review contents

A Beginner’s Guide to Graphics Cards

The IBM PC was the standard computer at the dawn of the computer age, thanks mainly to its modular design and replaceable components.

Like the original IBM, every PC’s motherboard now includes slots into which any third-party manufacturer may put the components required to operate the PC. Among these components is the graphics card, which shows all the pictures on the screen.

What you should know about graphics cards

A graphics card resembles a miniature version of a computer motherboard; it is a printed circuit board that contains a CPU, RAM, and other components. A graphics card is often called a graphics processing unit or GPU, although the GPU is simply a component (albeit the primary, defining component).

In reality, GPUs are classified into two types:

The integrated GPU

The integrated GPU is incorporated into the motherboard and cannot be updated or removed. This is common in laptops and low-cost desktop PCs. Unfortunately, these graphics perform poorly and are unsuitable for gaming or professional graphics creation activities.

Read Next – What Is A Graphics Card & What Is A Graphics Card Used For 

A discrete GPU

A discrete GPU is installed on a graphics card inserted into a computer’s expansion slot on the motherboard. This kind of graphics card is changeable, which allows it to be updated when newer graphics cards are produced, preventing a PC from becoming outdated.

How Do You Choose a Good One

Choosing the best graphics card for your budget is difficult, but that’s the beginning. It makes little difference whether you’re considering an AMD or Nvidia GPU once you’ve decided on a particular GPU—choosing.

Read Next – Best AMD Graphics Card For You

Graphics card memory amount

For 1080p gaming, choose a card with at least 6GB of RAM, ideally 8GB or more. If you play with all the settings cranked up or install high-resolution texture packs, you’ll need additional RAM. More than 8GB is excellent for high-resolution gaming, such as 4K.

Form factor

This is crucial. You must ensure enough space in your case for your card. Next, take note of the length, height, and thickness. Graphics cards are available in half-height (slim), single-slot, dual-slot, and triple-slot configurations (or more).

Most game cards will be full-height and take up two or more expansion slots, with current-gen cards being thicker and more extensive than many previous-generation versions.

Read Next – Best Laptops For AutoCAD

TDP

TDP measures heat dissipation but also estimates how many watts you’ll need to operate your card at factory settings. (Nvidia is switching to TGP, or Total Graphics Power, which refers to the total power of the card.)

If you’re using a 400-watt power supply unit (PSU) with an overclocked 95-watt CPU and wish to add a card with a 250-watt TDP, you’ll almost definitely need to upgrade the PSU.

Read Next – 5 Best CPUs for League of Legends

Power Connectors

 All strong gaming cards use more power than the usual maximum of 75W provided by the x16 PCIe slot. As a result, these cards need additional PCIe power connections, which are available in 6- and 8-pin configurations.

(The RTX 30-series cards from Nvidia use 12-pin links but have 8-pin to 12-pin adapters.) Some cards have one of these connections, while others have two or three, and 6- and 8-pin ports may coexist on the same card.

Clock speed

This is essential. Some cards with the same GPU (an RTX 3060 Ti) will be factory-overclocked to a slightly higher speed, which may result in a minor variation in frame rates.

Memory speed, core counts, and architecture must all be considered in addition to clock speed. On cards with the same GPU, better cooling often overcomes clock speed.

CUDA Cores / Stream Processors: 

Like clock speed, this is somewhat significant, but it only tells you a portion of what you need to know when attempting to estimate the approximate performance level.

Again, comparing core counts within the same architecture is more informative than comparing core counts across architectures.

So comparing Nvidia Pascal vs. Ampere CUDA cores (or Streaming Multiprocessors) isn’t as helpful as simply Ampere. Similarly, comparing Navi with Vega or Polaris Stream Processors (or Compute Units) isn’t very useful for AMD. IComparing AMD and Nvidia design comparing AMD and Nvidia designs on core counts on core counts is evened for A Laptop?

Memory speed/bandwidth

Considerably significant. More excellent memory, like quicker clock speed, may make one card faster than another. For example, because of the higher memory bandwidth, the GTX 1650 GDDR6 is about 15% quicker than the GTX 1650 GDDR5.

Ports 

Ports are critical. Some displays support HDMI, others support DisplayPort, and some older models only support DVI. A few collections also enable USB Type-C signal routing for DisplayPort signals, although they are uncommon. Check that the card you want to purchase has the connections you need for your monitor(s) so you don’t have to buy an adapter.

Final Words

Finally, if you’re looking for a Best Graphics Card, we suggest familiarizing yourself with each card’s specifications, comparing benchmarks, and checking out recommendations from reputable sites.

The GPU chip in each graphics card is produced by either NVIDIA or AMD, while a different manufacturer, such as EVGA, ASUS, or Gigabyte, builds the card itself.

The significant differences between these manufacturers will be customer service, warranty, noise level, and heatsink quality.

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ZOTAC Gaming GeForce GTX 1660 6GB GDDR5 192-bit Gaming Graphics Card, Super Compact, ZT-T16600K-10M

$269.99
$229.59
 in stock
12 new from $192.41
14 used from $165.59
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of April 18, 2024 11:19 pm

Features

  • New turing architecture
  • Classic and modern games at 1080p at 60 fps. Supported os windows 10 / 8 / 7
  • Super compACt 8.5-inch card, fits 99% of systems
  • Dual slot, 4k/ HDR/ VR ready. Supported os - windows 10 / 7 64-bit, Linux 64-bit
  • 3 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0b

GIGABYTE Radeon RX 6600 XT Gaming OC PRO 8G Graphics Card, WINDFORCE 3X Cooling System, 8GB 128-bit GDDR6, GV-R66XTGAMINGOC PRO-8GD Video Card

$568.99  in stock
6 new from $560.00
4 used from $261.99
Amazon.com
as of April 18, 2024 11:19 pm

Features

  • Powered by AMD RDNA 2 Radeon RX 6600XT
  • Integrated with 8GB GDDR6 128-bit memory interface
  • WINDFORCE 3X Cooling System with alternate spinning fans
  • Screen Cooling
  • 2x DisplayPort 1.4a

ZOTAC Gaming GeForce GTX 1660 Super 6GB GDDR6 192-bit Gaming Graphics Card, Super Compact, ZT-T16620F-10L

$282.34  in stock
5 new from $279.99
14 used from $175.93
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of April 18, 2024 11:19 pm

Features

  • New turing architecture
  • 6gb 192-bit gddr6
  • Super compACt 6.83-inch card, fits 99% of systems
  • Dual slot, 4k, hdr,VR ready.Avoid using unofficial software
  • 3 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0b

Newest 2021 MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 3060 12GB 15 Gbps GDRR6 192-Bit HDMI/DP PCIe 4 Tri-Frozr Torx Fan Ampere RGB OC Graphics Card (RTX 3060 Gaming X Trio 12G) +AllyFlex HDMI

$887.00  in stock
Amazon.com
as of April 18, 2024 11:19 pm

Features

  • Chipset: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060
  • Video Memory: 12GB GDDR6
  • Memory Interface: 192-bit
  • Output: DisplayPort x 3 (v1.4a) / HDMI 2.1 x 1
  • Digital maximum resolution: 7680 x 4320

MSI Gaming Radeon RX 6700 XT 192-bit 12GB GDDR6 DP/HDMI Dual Torx 4.0 Fans FreeSync DirectX 12 VR Ready RGB Graphics Card (RX 6700 XT Gaming X 12G)

$799.99  in stock
8 new from $799.99
1 used from $399.95
Amazon.com
as of April 18, 2024 11:19 pm

Features

  • Chipset Radeon RX 6700 XT
  • Boost Clock 2424 MHz
  • Video Memory 12GB GDDR6
  • Memory Interface 192-bit
  • Output: DisplayPort x 3 (v1.4) / HDMI x 1

MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 3060 12GB 15 Gbps GDRR6 192-Bit HDMI/DP PCIe 4 Torx Twin Fan Ampere OC Graphics Card

$459.99
$289.39
 in stock
57 new from $289.39
3 used from $266.24
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of April 18, 2024 11:19 pm

Features

  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 12GB GDDR6 dedicated graphics card
  • 1710 MHz GPU clock speed and 1807 MHz memory clock speed
  • DisplayPort x 3 (v1.4a) and HDMI 2.1 x 1 output interfaces
  • 7680 x 4320 maximum display resolution

GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3060 Gaming OC 12G (REV2.0) Graphics Card, 3X WINDFORCE Fans, 12GB 192-bit GDDR6, GV-N3060GAMING OC-12GD Video Card

$429.99
$289.99
 in stock
13 new from $289.99
12 used from $266.79
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of April 18, 2024 11:19 pm

Features

  • NVIDIA Ampere Streaming Multiprocessors
  • 2nd Generation RT Cores
  • 3rd Generation Tensor Cores
  • Powered by GeForce RTX 3060.Avoid using unofficial software
  • Integrated with 12GB GDDR6 192-bit memory interface

ASUS Dual GeForce RTX™ 4060 OC Edition 8GB GDDR6 (PCIe 4.0, 8GB GDDR6, DLSS 3, HDMI 2.1a, DisplayPort 1.4a, 2.5-Slot Design, Axial-tech Fan Design, 0dB Technology, and More)

$304.99  in stock
7 new from $304.99
6 used from $280.59
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of April 18, 2024 11:19 pm

Features

  • NVIDIA Ada Lovelace Streaming Multiprocessors: Up to 2X performance and power efficiency
  • 4th Generation Tensor Cores: Up to 4x performance with DLSS 3 vs. brute-force rendering
  • 3rd Generation RT Cores: Up to 2x ray tracing performance
  • Axial-tech fan design features a smaller fan hub that facilitates longer blades and a barrier ring that increases downward air pressure
  • A 2.5-slot design maximizes compatibility and cooling efficiency for superior performance in small chassis

XFX Speedster SWFT 210 Radeon RX 6600 CORE Gaming Graphics Card with 8GB GDDR6 HDMI 3xDP, AMD RDNA 2 RX-66XL8LFDQ

$279.99
$216.56
 in stock
4 new from $214.95
2 used from $214.39
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of April 18, 2024 11:19 pm

Features

  • Memory Speed:14 GBPS.Minimum Power Supply Requirement: 550 watt
  • Chipset: AMD RX 6600
  • Memory: 8GB GDDR6 AMD RDNA 2 architecture elevates and unifies the gaming
  • Boost Clock: Up To 2491MHz.Avoid using unofficial software
  • Cooling: XFX Speedster SWFT210 Dual Fan Cooling

ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX 3060 Twin Edge OC 12GB GDDR6 192-bit 15 Gbps PCIE 4.0 Graphics Card, IceStorm 2.0 Cooling, Active Fan Control, Freeze Fan Stop ZT-A30600H-10M

$349.99  in stock
10 new from $329.00
22 used from $231.07
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of April 18, 2024 11:19 pm

Features

  • NVIDIA Ampere architecture, 2nd Gen Ray Tracing Cores, 3rd Gen Tensor Cores
  • 12GB 192-bit GDDR6, 15 Gbps, PCIE 4.0; Boost Clock 1807 MHz
  • IceStorm 2.0 Cooling, Active Fan Control, Freeze Fan Stop, Metal Backplate
  • 8K Ready, 4 Display Ready, HDCP 2.3, VR Ready.Avoid using unofficial software
  • 3 x DisplayPort 1.4a, 1 x HDMI 2.1, DirectX 12 Ultimate, Vulkan RT API, OpenGL 4.6

GIGABYTE 2GB RAM DDR3 SDRAM Video Graphics Cards GV-N710D3-2GL REV2.0

$49.99
$44.76
 in stock
14 new from $44.76
13 used from $26.06
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of April 18, 2024 11:19 pm

Features

  • Core Clock: 954 MHz
  • Low profile design
  • Features Dual-link DVI-D/D-Sub/HDMI
  • Form Factor: Low Profile.Avoid using unofficial software

MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1650 128-Bit HDMI/DP/DVI 4GB GDRR6 HDCP Support DirectX 12 VR Ready OC Graphics Card (GTX 1650 D6 Ventus XS OCV3)

$171.02  in stock
4 new from $157.54
2 used from $153.97
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of April 18, 2024 11:19 pm

Features

  • Chipset: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
  • Boost Clock: 1620 MHz
  • Video Memory: 4GB GDDR6
  • Memory Interface: 128-bit
  • Output: DL-DVI-D x 1 / HDMI 2.0b x 1 / DisplayPort x 1 (v1.4)
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Kevin Johnson
Hi, I'm Kevin Johnson, an author for TheComputerGeeks.org. I'm obsessed with all things related to computer monitors, from LCDs to LEDs, touch screens, and gaming. I've been writing about these topics for years and am passionate about helping people learn more about the latest in computer monitor technology. From selecting the right monitor for your needs to troubleshooting any issues you might be experiencing, I'm always here to provide helpful guidance. I always look for the latest monitors to share all my findings with our readers. I am a computer geek and proud of it. From building my custom rig to figuring out what's wrong with your PC, you can count on me for top-notch service at an affordable price. Whether you're looking for someone who knows his way around technology or wants help fixing the basics, like setting up email accounts, I'm here to serve. So if you need a reliable tech support professional in Denver, call Kevin today!