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beaker

Quick and Dirty Guide to Choosing a Graphics Card

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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.

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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

edit

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

Edited by STEvil

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