PC Gaming: Winning Video Cards
When it comes to PC hardware, things have certainly come a long way – especially performance. Even in a short span of only a year, components can be improved by leaps and bounds. It is these advancements and changes that drive performance changes and push the envelope in software functionality. Gamers are familiar with this endless cycle, as a system’s performance can make or break a gaming experience.
Aside from the CPU and memory, the video card is an essential component of any serious gaming system. Unlike years ago, modern cards are rated with both processor and memory specifications. Similar to a computer’s CPU (Central Processing Unit) handling system instructions, a GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) handles instructions specific top the video card. Also similar to a CPU, there is the capability to overclock a GPU for increased performance.
Like most other devices and components in the realm of technology, video cards also follow the pattern of various models with various features offered at various prices.
Hardware Revolution does a fine job of routinely checking out and often testing the different specs of components including cards, and categorizing them by price.
The first set of cards to consider is the budget cards. These are cards for the casual to serious gamer that don’t desire the highest level of performance on the latest titles. Often these are cards that content a subset of the more expensive cards, or they are potentially cards that are near their end of retail life and contain older technology that was replaced by something newer. The gameplay experience may be compromised on newer 3D game titles because of this; however, a typical solution for a more fluid gameplay experience is to adjust in-game settings to lower resolutions and details. Mid-range cards can be interesting. These can also include cards that are near end of life, or simply cards that may have less RAM or lack the GPU speed or overclocking that a higher end model may contain. High end cards speak for themselves. These are cards that offer the ultimate gaming experience.
Cards costing $100 or less that provide reputable performance include:
GeForce GT 240 512MB GDDR5
Radeon HD 4850 512MB
Cards costing $100 – $250:
Radeon HD 5770 1GB
GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 460 1GB
Top cards over $250:
GeForce GTX 470 1280MB (aaproximately $300)
Radeon HD 5870 1GB (approximately $400)
Radeon HD 5970 2GB (approximately $680)
For more information including specific tech specs be sure to check out Hardware Revolution.…