How to Choose Your Computer Graphics Card

How to Choose Your Computer Graphics Card


 – Graphics card: essential for the computer display

 – Graphics card: comparison criteria

Computer graphics card: information, comparison, price

The central processing unit, also called the desktop computer, gathers different components from the sound card to the hard disk without forgetting the DVD drive, processor, motherboard, RAM, and graphics card.

Graphics card: essential for the display on the computer

The graphics card is also called a video card. How does it work?

The graphics card allows the display on the screen and other devices such as televisions.

The graphics card converts digital data into graphic data for display: it transmits images in memory to the screens.

The graphics card adapts the image according to the type of screen but also to the screen and display configuration.

It is connected to the motherboard’s PCI, PCI Express, or AGP slot. The most common slot for recent graphics cards is PCI Express.

Good to know: Nowadays, most graphics cards can handle 3D images.

The three components of a computer graphics card

The graphics card consists of different components, including:

 The graphics processor takes care of the display calculations and can be equipped with its fan. The graphics processor helps to lighten the load of the central processor.

 The video memory: the graphics card’s memory manages the image data. It processes system information as well as displays information.

 – BIOS: Like the motherboard, the graphics card has a BIOS that saves all the information needed to start the graphics card.

Graphics card: different types of connectors

computer graphics card

The graphics card can offer different types of connectors, including :

 – VGA: for the screen connection,

 – S-Video: for the television or a video projector,

 – DVI: for specific screens or televisions,

 – HDMI: for connection to any screen in High Definition (HD).

Graphics card: comparison criteria

When you want to buy a graphics card, it is essential to choose according to your needs: processor, memory, connectivity, price.

Here is a comparative table of the different types of graphics cards:

Graphics card type




Average price ($)

PNY Ge Force GT220

625 MHz


  • HDMI,

  • DVI,

  • D-Sub.


MSI R5750 PM2D

700 MHz

1 Go

  • HDMI,

  • 2 DVI,

  • Display Port.


NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285

648 MHz

1 Go

  • DVI,

  • HDMI with an adapter.


XFX Radeon HD 5850 XXX

755 MHz

1 Go

  • 2 DVI,

  • HDMI,

  • Display port.


MSI N470 GTX – M2D12

607 MHz

1, 5 Go

  • 2 DVI,

  • HDMI


NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480

700 MHz

1,5 Go

  • 2 DVI,

  • mini HDMI.


ATI Radeon 4870 X2

750 MHz

2 Go

  • 2 DVI,

  • HDMI with an adapter.


NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295

576 MHz

1,8 Go

  • 2 DVI,

  • HDMI.


Good to know: The two leading brands of graphics cards are ATI and NVIDIA.

So you can find graphics cards at very different prices:

 – Entry-level: under $100 that will be pretty suitable for basic office type use,

 – Mid-range: Between $100 and 180 $ for more advanced uses but which will not allow an optimal use for games,

 – High-end: from $200 and up to $600 for the most expensive. They will allow advanced computer use, including games and video editing.

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