How to Choose the Right Video Card for Your Computer
A video card, also called a graphics card or display adapter, is an expansion board that connects to your computer motherboard. It processes images and video, tasks that are normally handled by your computer’s CPU.
Knowing what specifications to look for will help you decide which GPU is right for your system. To find out what’s currently installed in your PC, open the desktop search bar and type System Information; click the arrow next to Display adapters.
The CPU is the central computer chip that provides the instructions for creating a display, and it determines how fast a graphics card performs. A high-performance GPU can’t compensate for a slow CPU or an unresponsive motherboard.
The memory on a video card holds information about each pixel, its color, and its location on the screen. It also holds completed pictures in a frame buffer until they’re ready to be displayed. Graphics cards use a lot of memory and operate at very high speeds, which consumes a lot of power and creates heat.
Some modern computers don’t have a dedicated video card, but instead have the GPU integrated into the motherboard. This is less expensive and allows for more memory, but it also reduces performance. If you’re planning on using high-resolution monitors or gaming, a separate graphics card is necessary. You can inspect your computer’s graphics card and drivers with the Windows System Settings app.
VRAM is where a video card stores all of its graphical information, which it then processes to create your display on the screen. As such, the more VRAM a card has, the better its performance and frame rate will be.
The amount of VRAM a video card needs will depend on your system’s settings and whether you want to use technologies like Ray Tracing or DLSS. However, as a general rule, you should expect a card with faster memory to be more performant than one with slower memory since it has to make fewer memory accesses per second.
Unlike system RAM, which can be upgraded, GPU memory is usually soldered onto the graphics card and not easily upgradeable. For this reason, manufacturers carefully select how much VRAM to include in a given graphics card to balance performance with price. If you want to know how much dedicated video memory is installed on your PC, open the Windows search box and type “Display Settings”. You should see a tab labeled Adapter with a detailed breakdown of your GPU’s hardware.
The GPU is the part of a video card that performs image and graphics processing. Its job is to present the images that are created by the CPU and displayed on the screen.
GPUs are also used to accelerate computationally intensive tasks like machine learning, data analytics and financial simulations. This is because they can perform repeated and parallel computing operations more quickly than a processor.
Modern movie studios use GPU-enabled computers to create ever-more lifelike computer graphics for film-making, while digital artists rely on these hardware platforms to help bring their artistic visions to life on the screen.
The easiest way to check what type of GPU you have in your PC is through the Windows Search function, which has a magnifying glass icon in the lower left corner of the desktop. Alternatively, you can download a free system information tool such as Speccy to find out more about your graphics card including its manufacturer, model, BIOS version, device ID and memory.
A video card, also called a graphics card, is an integrated circuit that generates the signal sent to a computer display. It contains a processor dedicated to creating images, a digital-to-analog converter and memory chips that store display data. It is often the fastest part of a computer.
Unlike bulky CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) monitors, LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) flat panel displays use a backlight to illuminate individual pixels arranged in a grid. When a pixel is not being used, it remains on and appears white. When the pixel is turned off, it turns black and is no longer visible.
A typical LCD is made of a piece of glass with an electrode plane made of indium-tin oxide on the bottom and a polarizing film on top. When a current is applied to the common electrode, it causes the liquid crystals between the common plane and the electrode shaped like a rectangle to twist until they are at a right angle to each other.