In very short terms, the GPU or Graphics Processing Unit displays images that pop up on your monitor. Texture, rendering, you name it, the GPU does it. But do you really need a gorgeous display just to play your favorite game? We’re here to find out.
We’ll go layman’s term for you here if you happen to be a PC gaming beginner. Don’t worry, we’ll go easy and elementary on you.
On a side note, if you want to get the most awesome GPUs in the market right now, consider checking out these best gaming graphics card.
Without further ado, let’s get on with the article.
What You Need to Know
If you have no idea whatsoever how graphics cards work and what kind you need to buy, you should read every word here. Otherwise, you might purchase something you might regret; such as the wrong graphics card or something like you trying hard to be a PC master race wiz in front of your buddies.
First and foremost, GPUs are what makes your game bloom. In other words, the better your GPU, the better the graphics; the stronger it is, the faster the processing will be – resulting in smooth frame rates and highly-detailed displays.
Second, if you happen to be a casual gamer, a mid-range graphics card should be enough. However, if you’re the hardcore type that invests a lot into big gaming rigs, putting mods here and there like decorating a Christmas Tree on March, you need to have the high-end beaus of graphics.
But if your only cause is to buy a PC so you can casually do Word documents, transfer your images, and surf the web to see the number of subscription comparison between PewDiePie and T-Series, the cheap integrated graphics will suffice.
So now maybe you’re wondering, “How do I test out the performance of each GPU?” Well, there’s always forums to visit and videos to witness how each graphics card goes.
And if you’re sticking around in this article, here are the measurements that make or break the GPU performance:
It is Determined by Frame Rates
Did you know that the eyes can process around 24 to 25 frames per second? While that means all you need is a decent rig to enjoy the game in at least 30 fps, hey, why not go for 60 fps or better yet, 120 fps?
Depending on what you’ll get, GPU performance is mainly determined through the smoothness and processing of frame rates.
Integrated graphics will always mean that it won’t process graphically-demanding games easily, resulting in crashes or heavy lags. A decent card always smoothens things out in at least 30 fps if you’re not the meticulous type.
But if you demand the sweetest performance, you have to get a modern card such as an NVidia Titan V or NVidia GTX 1080 Ti. Contrastingly, if you don’t have the money for it, at least an AMD RX 580 or NVidia GTX 1050Ti is good enough for high-quality gaming.
GPU Needs Other Hardware Too
However, relying solely on a good GPU isn’t going to cut it. A PC is just like the human body – each organ needs to work together in order to function the whole body. If one fails, the body will not work at its 100%.
You can’t rely on the GPU alone to carry the overall performance of your PC. You’ll need a good processor, a sweet CPU/ a reliable motherboard, the right hard drive, a strong cooling fan and installed memory (RAM).
A Good Graphics Card Performance is Within the Details
While the GPU is responsible for displays in high resolutions, it always depends on its finer specs. A graphics card relies on speed – speed that other peripherals are in charge to keep the GPU performance buttery smooth as you play.
For this portion, we’ll keep it simplified as much as we can for you.
GPU Clock Speed
This is measured on MHz. The higher the MHz, the faster your GPU runs; just remember to have a nice cooling fan so your computer doesn’t blaze up like EA and Activision’s stock markets.
Memory Clock Rate
Also measured in MHz, the memory clock rate is also known as RAM speed. Currently, DDR1, DDR2, DDR3 and DDR4 are the tiers that determine the speed – DDR1 counts as the slowest whilst DDR4 is fast as f*** boi. But if you want to go further beyond, consider getting a GDDR5X.
This is in GB/s. When selecting a graphics card, make sure the bandwidth of video RAM is large enough so the transfer and processing of high-quality images to display will be very swift. 112 GB/s is decent enough while 320 GB/s is a monster.
Size of the Memory Bus
You measure this via bits. You must have seen options on your PC such as 16-bit, 32-bit, 64-bit and all that – this right here does it.These days, it can go up to 128-bit to 256-bit.
Amount of Available Memory
Measured in megabytes or MB. This is also known as available RAM. Of course ,if you don’t have enough memory, processing is going to be slow. Like…very slow.
But of course, if you’re drooling for sleek 120 FPS gameplay, you better make sure your graphics card is good; however, not all of us can afford behemoth cards like an NVidia 2080Ti.
These days, at least an AMD RX 580 or GTX 1050Ti is affordable enough if you want a decent rig to get you started.
If you do have the money, we highly recommend getting the NVidia Titan V or NVidia GTX 1080 Ti for maximum performance.