Video cards, also known as graphics cards or graphics accelerators, are among the most popular upgrades to PCs. They are also surprisingly easy to do, requiring nothing more than a simple screwdriver and a little patience. The choice of cards available, however, is vast – both in terms of price and what they offer. This article looks at the kind of things you need to consider when choosing a card to suit your needs and your budget. pussy 88
The first thing to consider is what type of interface your computer uses for video cards. At the heart of the modern PC is the motherboard, a large flat piece of silicon that holds the CPU and all the circuitry that connects it to the various bits and pieces – power cables, memory, network cards, audio etc. The motherboard has attached to it expansion slots, into which expansion cards for video or audio can be slotted in order to add to and enhance the computers capabilities.
Nowadays, PCs are issued with PCI express expansion slots, although some computers may have AGP expansion slots. Older computers may have PCI (rather than PCI Express) slots. It is very important to know which type of expansion slot your computer uses, since a card that needs one type of slot cannot be used in a different type of expansion slot. For example, a PCI Express card cannot be used in an AGP expansion slot. So make sure you first consult your PC’s documentation!
Next, decide what kind of applications you are going to need a graphics card for. Many games for PC now require a graphics card to be installed before they will run, and the minimum requirements for the game are listed on the back of the game case. For example, the popular game Fallout 3, released in 2009, advertised the following minimum requirements: “Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 512MB RAM”. In this case, to run the game on your PC would require a video card with 512MB of memory and that the video card understand DirectX, a Microsoft multimedia standard, to at least version 9.0c or greater. If you are going to be using your video card-upgraded PC for games, it is a good idea to install a video card whose features exceed the requirements of the games you want to play now, so that you “future-proof” your PC for at least a year or two, as future games are bound to continue to press PC hardware to its limits.