What is the video card?
Inside a PC mainly dedicated to gaming, the video card is probably the main component, the most important: the GPU takes care of rendering the graphics of video games, that is, to display it on the monitor. In general, the more powerful the better, since a more powerful video card offers higher performance, which allows video games to reach a higher framerate and be smoother, or to increase the quality and graphic detail, so simply to see images. most beautiful.
Performance and quality of detail are closely tied to the resolution you want to play at. To play games on a monitor capable of showing content in Full HD (1080p) you need a video card of not too high power, so you can spend relatively little. If, on the other hand, you have a 4K screen and you want to play with good performance, the required investment will be much higher. Ray Tracing is also an element to take into consideration, since it weighs a lot on the performance of the video card: if you want to keep it active in all the games that support it, you will have to opt for a more powerful solution than the one you will use for classic rendering. At the moment, Nvidia GPUs have a distinct advantage in managing Ray Tracing over AMD ones, so if you find this fundamental for your gaming sessions, we recommend that you choose a GeForce RTX GPU.
Still in the field of new technologies, the introduction of Nvidia’s DLSS, of FSR by AMD and the future XeSS of Intel allow, on the contrary, to obtain greater performance with lower-end cards. In games with Ray Tracing this allows you to greatly lighten the GPU, obtaining good performance even with active RT, while in titles that only integrate DLSS or FSR, it is possible to play at higher resolutions or higher framerates with lower-end GPUs.
How to choose the video card
If you don’t know how to choose the video card, don’t worry: here we will give you some quick and “evergreen” tips, which will come in handy while you are looking for your new GPU. If you want more in-depth information and want to go into more detail, we refer you to our article How to choose the video cardin which we explain all the facets of a choice on which your gameplay experience will depend.
- Save for the CPU. When assembling your new computer, if you spend a large part of your GPU budget and choose a too low-end processor, your gaming performance will suffer, mainly due to the lower minimum frame rate and any bottlenecks caused by CPU.
- Match your purchase to your monitor resolution. Most mainstream video cards are enough to play 1080p at 30/60 FPS, while to play 4K without sacrificing graphics quality you’ll need high-end cards.
- Keep an eye on the refresh rate. If your monitor has a high refresh rate (120 / 144Hz or more) you will need a powerful video card to take advantage of it. If, on the other hand, it stops at 60 Hz there is no reason to buy a more expensive GPU, capable of supporting refresh rates higher than that of the screen.
- Are power and space enough? Make sure that your case has enough space to install the video card you want to buy and that your power supply is able to supply the energy needed to power it.
- Check the list price before buying. A good way to figure out if you are making a deal or not is to compare the launch price of the card with what you would be paying for it.
- Avoid a multi-GPU setup unless absolutely necessary. Support for SLI and CrossFire is absent in virtually all new titles. Better to invest everything on a single card.
- Don’t consider overclocking as a way to a noticeable performance boost. If you need better performance, buy a more powerful video card. Typically, GPUs don’t have a very large overclocking headroom, and it’s not the same from card to card anyway.
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