We've updated our Homepage! Click HERE to check it out!

Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Quick and Dirty Guide to Choosing a Graphics Card

Recommended Posts

1) Price point

This one is kinda obvious, but I'll get into the rest in a moment. ATI and Nvidia have a bit of a war going on this front. AMD is a better bang for your buck, but you may end up pulling your hair out trying to get it stable. A comparable Nvidia card will be 100$ more, but for the most part, are wildly more stable.

2) Use

If you're just trying to make Windows go a little faster from a dedicated card, this is a bit different than running 3 Monitors maxxed out. Cards for rendering are a lot different than cards for gaming. Yes, the card may have 8 gigs of video ram, but it was designed to render scenes and add visual effects, not play the latest DX12 titles. Some cards also scale better in SLI and Crossfire for multi monitor configs. Usually these are the ones with more of #3

3) Memory Bandwith

This is a HUGE deal.
Why is that 660 a 660 and not a 670, or 680? One of the major reasons is memory bandwith. This is one of the most commonly overlooked specs when buying a video card.
There is a reason that a 480 will still out preform some newer cards. The memory bandwith is 384 bit, which makes the fill rate a LOT higher. 128 bit is the lowest I would go for anything that is gaming related, and even that is pushing it. Though if you're just doing rendering, this makes less of a difference since it doesnt need to be real time. The 660 Ti makes up for it with higher clock speeds and lower power comsumption, but as you get into more Anti-Aliasing and Higher resolutions, you're going to want that bandwith.

Thats about it. I also look at warranty, as some companies will even cover overclocking damage. Again, this will cost more, but you get what you pay for.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


Memory bandwidth is an issue, sure, but you're leaving out computational performance due to disabled parts ("cuda cores") on those same mentioned parts. If you cant do the math on the scene there's no race to the pool :P


i'd use hwbot.org to guage performance vs price probably

Edited by STEvil

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By RooTxBeeR
      I accidentally tried to put my headphone jack into my USB port, which is right next to the aux connection on the front port section of my tower. Shorted it out and the pc wouldn't start after that. So I knew all I had to do was just removed that USB connection and it should be good after that. I thought while I am at it, might as well clean it up. Looks so nice now.
      Here is the before

      Yeah, these get clogged easy, and bad. GOODBYE

      View from the back panel, no obsturctions

      My temps now are around 5-10C+ difference than they where before. Very happy, and it looks very nice.
    • By Sutliff
      Been wanting to share this for awhile now, ... but have been concentrating on other things.
      This is my PC I built two years ago, ... that I am typing on right now.
      Original Specifications:
      ASUS M4A87TD EVO
      AMD Phenom II X4 970 Black Edition (3.5GHz)
      Mushkin Enhanced Ridgeback DDR3 1600 (8GB)
      Sapphire ATI Vapor-X Radeon HD 6770 PCI-e 2.1 (1GB GDDR5)
      ASUS Xonar DS 7.1 PCI
      Mushkin Enhanced Callisto Deluxe 2.5" 60GB SSD
      Western Digital Caviar Black 3.5" 1TB 7200RPM 64MB SATA 6.0Gb/s (x2)
      Pioneer Electronics DVD-RW SATA Combo
      Pioneer Electronics Blu-ray/DVD-RW SATA Combo
      Cooler Master Hyper 212+ CPU Cooler (2 BladeMasters in push/pull config)
      Mushkin Enhanced Volta 600W PSU
      ALL sleeve, crimps, molex housings, molex connectors, molex pins, mounting/routing hardware used was obtained from MDPC - Million Dollar PC -, out of Germany ... ( http://en.mdpc-x.com ). This stuff is light-years ahead of other offerings on the market like "TechFlex" ... both in coverage, & quality.
      Anyway, ... I started off with an empty Cooler Master Elite 330 chassis I had, & went from there ...

      After removing the front bezel & panels, plus dirty, old fans, ... I ended up with this ...

      New 120mm "intake" fan with blue LEDs, of course! (A matching exhaust fan, too ...)

      I decided to custom cut/sleeve all wires, cables for nice look, protection, organization, & better airflow/cooling should I begin overclocking.

      Here's the front power switch/reset panel all sleeved ...

      ... now mounted.

      ... Audio/USB panel, above, too ...

      I had to get my mitts on a cute 'lil tool so I could pop out pins before sleeving Cooler Master 120mm BladeMaster CPU cooling fans' cables ...

      SATA 6.0Gb/s cables from ASUS ... for SSD & Blu-ray drive data ...

      Being that orange is my favorite color, I figured I'd stray from the color scheme & sleeve the SSD SATA cable as such ...

      More coming ...
    • By GermWar
      First of all I like the fact that I can post this on the SMD forum.
      I joined and im jealous cuz I don't have this long lavish breakdown of installing my own car audio.
      BUT! I did build my own computer
      I've been repairing and building computers for my family and friends since I was 15 (10 years)
      But this is the first time I built one for my self with all the parts that I want in it.
      Case: Cooler Master 690 nVidia Edition
      Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R Rev. 1.0
      CPU: Intel i7 920 D0
      Memory: Corsair Vengeance Tri-Channel DDR3 1600mhz 4GB (x3)
      Graphics: EVGA GTX 550 Ti 1GB
      Audio: Auzentech xPlosion 7.1
      Card Reader: AFT-XM5U
      SSD: OCZ Agility 60GB (Primary)
      HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB (x2) (Secondary)
      PSU: Cooler Master Silent Pro 600W
      Fan Controller: Aerocool Touch2000
      Corsair H50 (CPU)
      Noctua NF-P12 120mm x2 (Radiator for H50)
      Noctua NF-P14FX 140mm x2 (Case)
      Noctua NF-S12B 120mm x2 (Case)
      The Rest
      Monitor: Asus 22"
      Keyboard: Alienware TactX
      Mouse: Razer Copperhead (Green)
      Sound: Logitech Z-2300 (200RMS)
      The only custom thing I did to the case was paint it a flat black on the inside
      I'll post some pics in the morning.

  • Who's Online   5 Members, 0 Anonymous, 181 Guests (See full list)