How to determine a graphics card power?

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by mehrab2603, Jan 29, 2010.

Jan 29, 2010
  1. mehrab2603
    OP

    Member mehrab2603 GBAtemp Fan

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Messages:
    335
    Location:
    Dhaka
    Country:
    Bangladesh
    guys i am new to this so please help me out.i am considering a new pc and i can't decide which graphics card is more powerful.i thought cards having more GBs are better but then someone told me that a 1 gb card can be better than a 2 gb one.so what should i look out for when determining a graphics card power?same help in determining processors is also appreciated.should i go for a faster dual core or a slower quad core?i want to build a powerful gaming machine.
     
  2. Lee79

    Member Lee79 Hyper...Active...Team Fortress 2 Addict

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2007
    Messages:
    920
    Location:
    ctf_2fort
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    All depends on how Much you are willing to spend on each part?
     
  3. mehrab2603
    OP

    Member mehrab2603 GBAtemp Fan

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Messages:
    335
    Location:
    Dhaka
    Country:
    Bangladesh
    i have a budget of $2000.but don't mind that.i just want to know how to know which graphics card and processor is better?i mean what are the factors that make one better than the other?
     
  4. mehrab2603
    OP

    Member mehrab2603 GBAtemp Fan

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Messages:
    335
    Location:
    Dhaka
    Country:
    Bangladesh
    my cousin has a 1 gb card but it can't play gta 4 with the highest settings.

    but i think you guys are not understanding what i want to know.i want to know on which basis i can compare gpus and processors.i don't need any suggestion or configurations.i just want to know how can i compare two cards.

    thanks for replying anyway.
     
  5. dirty_harry

    Member dirty_harry GBAtemp Regular

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Messages:
    160
    Country:
    Australia
    There are too many to list, and they all change from Brand to Manufacturer. The best way is to find trusted hardware reviews. Tom's Hardware is a good one.

    I'll give you a quick rundown.

    There are 2 brands, nVidia and AMD (Formerly ATi).

    They are in heated competition but recently nVidia has had the upper hand.

    They release 'flagship' cards usually once a year.

    There are series of a generation, as an example lets take the nVidia 9 series. There is a 9800, which is the flagship product. Meaning its the best of that series. A few months after the 9800 is released, a few less powerful or 'budget' versions are released for that series. Usually we get a 9600 and a 9500. They have a weaker GPU and less video-ram.

    Then come the 9400's and at some point we get the overclocked 9800 at a ridiculous price. Thats usually the way nVidia works. What I always purchase (and recommend to anyone wanting to play games on their machine) is to get the vanilla flagship product AFTER the price cut. What that means is this.

    When a 9800 is released, they make variants of that card. So the 9800GTX was the best nVidia when it was released. But after a few months, the 9800GT was released. It had half the vram but almost the same GPU. What vram is good for is loading larger textures, but that is only useful for huge displays. Anything below a 1680x1050 resolution will NOT make use of that extra vram (except under rare situations).

    ATi works in the same way, but they don't complicate things with suffixes lite GTX and GT or GTO. So the flagship was the 4870, and the 9800 equivalent was the 4850 and then they released a 4890.

    Ok after that there is another dynamic.


    Manufacturer. See what happens is, ATi and nVidia release their technology and manufacturer's (like ASUS and Gigabyte and evga, XFX etc...) manufacture these cards. They usually change a few things here and there, sometimes they add vram, or underclock, usually overclock and sell at inflated prices. Usually though, they are very similar.

    But again, the best way to know which one is good is to read hardware reviews.
     
  6. mehrab2603
    OP

    Member mehrab2603 GBAtemp Fan

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Messages:
    335
    Location:
    Dhaka
    Country:
    Bangladesh
    English is not my first language so please forgive me for any inconveniences.

    you have 2 gb card and your card is weak?See,that is exactly what i want to understand.why is your card weak despite having 2 gb of memory?what else,beside memory,makes a card powerful?that is what i have been trying to understand.

    please don't get irritated and help me out.

    and thanks dirty_harry.though you did not answer my question completely , you have made some other things clear to me that i wanted to know too.
     
  7. Sephi

    Member Sephi fool

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Messages:
    1,850
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    Country:
    United States
    I suggest a card like this http://www.newegg.com/Product/NewProduct.a...N82E16814102856 (the site is north american only though)

    and as for a a CPU upgrade, check to see if your mobo is compatible with core2duo, and get an E8400 if it is supported.

    what determines how powerful a graphics card is the stuff like this

    [​IMG]

    I don't know all about numbers, but bigger is probably better.
     
  8. dirty_harry

    Member dirty_harry GBAtemp Regular

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Messages:
    160
    Country:
    Australia
    It's not that hard really. There are a few things.

    Video ram (how many gigabytes the card has) - this really doesn't matter too much, anything over 512 should be enough.Though I am starting to recommend 1GB's, simply because 512's aren't being produced anymore [​IMG] It used to be important, but modern cards usually have 512mb or more. The only time you need more than 1GB is when you have a really big monitor (more than 22inches) OR you are running a huge resolution.


    Memory type - it's standard to have GDDR5 with modern cards. This is not so important since all modern cards have GDDR5.

    Core clock - the Megahertz or GPU of the card. This is what really decides if a card is good or bad. The higher this number, the more calculations a video card can do. Overclocking is forcing a card to run faster than it is supposed to. This is why some 2gb cards are crap VS a 512mb card with a faster clock.

    Pixel shader version - This is important, but modern cards usually have the latest (3.5 if memory serves) - so no problems here. This is software related.

    Direct-x version : 10.1 is the number you're looking for. This is fairly important, a card needs to be up-to-date with the latest direct x version.

    That's all there is to it. Like I said, if you read a few reviews and do some research, you will find a "best bang for your buck" card.

    Good luck.
     
  9. mehrab2603
    OP

    Member mehrab2603 GBAtemp Fan

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Messages:
    335
    Location:
    Dhaka
    Country:
    Bangladesh
  10. dirty_harry

    Member dirty_harry GBAtemp Regular

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Messages:
    160
    Country:
    Australia
    No problems friend. There are heaps of sites with comparisons and reviews and stuff, most are fairly unbiased. Tom's Hardware has a benchmark section which is pretty damn good, you should look into that as well.
     
  11. Elritha

    Member Elritha GBAtemp Addict

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    Messages:
    2,037
    Country:
    Canada
    It's not that hard. Read a lot of reviews, and not just from one site. Unfortunately people can be biased towards a particular gpu (ATI/Nvidia)

    Things to look out for are clock rate of core, clock rate of memory, size of memory, memory interface bus, amount of shaders and so on.
     

Share This Page