Graphics processing units (GPUs, also commonly referred to as graphics cards) are one of the first things that people will tell you to look at when you’re building a new gaming computer (desktop or laptop). You know they are important, but what exactly is it that makes one graphics card better than the next? We’ll discuss some of the key features that you want to examine to figure out which GPU is best for your next gaming computer.
Powerful GPUs can calculate and display information quicker, which can enhance your gameplay experience significantly. Having a better graphics card can also take most (or all) of the work of displaying images from your CPU, which leaves that part of the machine free to run various programs. In the old days it was the CPU that would do all the work to translate data into images, but as programs and games became more graphics-intensive, GPUs advanced and today they handle most of the tasks to keep the entire machine running better, even when you have multiple programs open for streaming, gameplay, messaging, music, and more.
Modern games provide very realistic and complex 3D images, and the ability to process that information quickly is essential to enhance your gaming experience. Slower graphics cards that take more time to render images on the screen could slow down your reflexes in a game. Not only can this make it harder to play and beat your favorite games, it can also put you at a disadvantage in a multiplayer environment.
If you plan to use your computer for other tasks, a fast graphics card can also speed up tasks like video editing, rendering 3D images in CAD/CAM programs, and more. That makes them useful for many reasons beyond just gaming.
There are two main brands that dominate the GPU market: NVIDIA and AMD. Just like many things in life, you’ll probably find people on both sides of the aisle that are firmly entrenched in their belief that one is better than the other. The two companies have been battling it out for graphics card supremacy for many years, and the truth is that both offer great graphics cards. As you’re shopping you can determine a lot about the individual card by looking at the name. Generally they include the brand, the series, and a number that tells you where it falls on the spectrum for performance compared with others (higher numbers usually mean higher performance). For example:
- NVIDIA RTX 3080
- AMD Radeon RX 5700
There are plenty of places to compare the specs on various GPUs to get exactly what you need, or you can reach out to Xidax to talk to our experts to figure out which one is best based on the games you play and other things you need.