Video Cards, or graphics cards, are the NOS in your computer. They give an explosion of energy that catapults your computer’s abilities over the top when you need it most. Their main uses are for blowing up tanks, creating and rendering the 3D model of said tank, or for video playback such as HD, Blu-Ray, and HD3D. If your CPU already handles those pretty well, then video cards give a sheen that makes everything smoother and prettier. Hopefully after you read this post, you’ll have a bit clearer understanding of video cards, their role in your computer, and how to know which one is right for you.
Now, the best way to pick which video card you need is to determine what you need a video card for. Do you play video games? Are you a movie buff? Or do you just surf the web in the buff? Any of these questions can provide an answer as to what sort of video card you should buy.
Perhaps you find yourself in the first category. You love video games, but for some reason you don’t know anything about video cards and you’re reading this article to find out more. Then there are some more specific questions we need to ask. What quality of graphics are you going for? What frame rate? How old or new are the games you want to play? For something like Battlefield 3 with high-end graphics, and you want to see every detail of everything, you’ll need a card that is PCI-Express 2.0 or higher, a strong Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), at least 1GB of RAM (and that at least DDR3), and high definition input/output (I/O) like HDMI, Mini HDMI, DVI, Display Port (DP), or Mini DP. You’ll also need a monitor that uses those connections, or it will not be compatible. A really good example of this kind of high-end card is this Zotac GTX 560 TI. With a PCI-E 2.0 interface, it’s compatible with most currently used motherboards, and it has HDMI and Dual
But maybe you don’t play games. Maybe you just like movies. You need HD, and you need 3D, because that’s how much you like movies. The highest of ends I might go to for HD3D movies is probably around the $100 mark, and even that’s pushing it. If you like to feel powerful and that you might want to get into games, but don’t necessarily care about graphic quality as much as the hardcore gamers, the Sapphire Radeon HD6670 will be more than enough. If you are going solely for really good quality 3D HD video and don’t necessarily want bells and whistles, then this Zotac GeForce 430 Zone Edition card would be perfect as it has a silent heatsink that keep your GPU nice and cool without making a peep. Or a whirr. HD3D video doesn’t eat up processing power like games do, so expensive video cards aren’t as necessary. $50-$90 will get you a decent card that is able to handle what you need.