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All countries
548,935,393
Confirmed
Updated on June 27, 2022 1:19 am
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21,853,741
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Updated on June 27, 2022 1:19 am
All countries
520,730,887
Recovered
Updated on June 27, 2022 1:19 am
All countries
6,350,765
Deaths
Updated on June 27, 2022 1:19 am

Buying the right graphics card without understanding the specs

For an unprepared person, choosing a video card can be a daunting task. Articles and forums are full of unfamiliar terms and characteristics. It will take more than one day to figure everything out. Fortunately, most often deep knowledge is not required at all. It is enough to master the basic concepts. The rest has long been done by enthusiasts around the world. You just need to take advantage of their experience.

What is a video card and why is it needed
A video card (video adapter, video processor, graphics accelerator) is a device designed to display an image on a monitor screen. The card forms a “picture” from the data received from the processor and transmits it to the monitor.

The video card can be built into the motherboard or directly into the central processing unit. Such a video card is called integrated . It is quite enough for web surfing, watching videos, working with office programs. The price of a processor (or motherboard) is slightly increased by an integrated video card. If you are not going to work with graphics or play the latest games, this option will save you a lot of money. When using an integrated graphics card, the monitor is connected to a connector located on the motherboard.

For games, specialized graphics programs and some types of mathematical calculations, an integrated video card is not enough. It uses RAM and CPU resources to run. So with a heavy load on it, the performance of the processor itself decreases. When a lot of calculations are required, the integrated video card can no longer cope. You need a separate video card – it is called discrete , it is installed in the PCI-E slot of the motherboard.

High power graphics cards require additional power.

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Sometimes replacing a video card may require replacing the power supply .

Why do games require such powerful graphics cards? After all, the video also has a lot of changing details in high resolution. And you can watch it “without brakes” on a cheap integrated card. The fact is that each frame of the video has already been filmed and information about it is stored in a file. And in the game, each frame must be calculated from scratch, and this must be done in hundredths of a second. Therefore, the performance here is very high.

High performance is also needed for specialized calculations. For example, for 3D modeling and video editing. And also for performing other typical calculations – training neural networks, engineering calculations, accelerating the work of business applications. For all these purposes, professional video cards are used.

They are not suitable for games, some models do not even have a monitor output.

What is FPS
FPS (Frames per second) – the number of frames displayed per second. This is the main indicator that determines the smoothness of movements on the screen. The higher the FPS, the less “jerky” the picture will be. The minimum FPS at which the movement remains more or less smooth, and is not divided into a series of “freeze frames” for each person. Usually it is 12-16 frames per second. But it looks uncomfortable.

24 frames per second is the accepted film standard. Most modern videos also use this frame rate.

Video over 30 frames per second is rare. So is 30 FPS enough? For video, maybe. But if you try to play the same game at 30 FPS and 60 FPS, the difference will be immediately noticeable. The fact is that when shooting a video, the camera shoots with a certain shutter speed. Therefore, moving objects in the frames are slightly blurry. This softens the transition from frame to frame.

In games, this effect is sometimes used to reduce FPS without much loss of quality. But not always, which is why the transition from 30 FPS to 60 is so noticeable.

The more FPS, the more frames per second the video card should count – and the more performance is required from it. The more powerful the video card, the more expensive it is. Therefore, many players are content with 30 FPS. This value is more or less enough for a comfortable passage of most games.

In dynamic games (shooters, arcades, racing and flight simulators), the effect of increasing FPS is more noticeable. The gold standard for such games is 60 FPS. True, in order for a computer to “pull” all modern games with such an FPS, you will need to invest heavily in it. Well, for cybersportsmen, for whom every fraction of a second is important, even this is not enough. They need hundreds of FPS.

Monitor frequency and resolution
For high FPS, it is not enough for the video card to be able to read frames at the required frequency. The monitor needs to be able to display them. The frequency of the monitor indicates how many frames per second it can output. The minimum frequency of modern monitors is 60 hertz at maximum resolution.

Accordingly, the maximum FPS possible on such a monitor at the maximum resolution is 60. If you want more, you need a monitor with a higher frequency.

Another parameter that greatly affects the FPS is the screen resolution. Resolution indicates how many individual dots (pixels) an image on a screen consists of. The higher the resolution, the sharper the picture. At a resolution of 1920 x 1080, the standard for FullHD monitors, there will be approximately two million pixels on the screen. That is how many pixels the video card needs to calculate in each frame.

With a resolution of 4K (3840×2160), there are already 8 million pixels. That is, in order to provide the same FPS at 4K resolution, then at FullHD, the video card must be four times more powerful.

FPS, AVG and percentages
FPS also depends on how complex the scene needs to be calculated by the video card. If there are a minimum of objects on the screen and most of them are not moving, even the simplest video card will produce a hundred frames per second. And if you have a lot of moving objects in front of you, and even with shadows and highlights, the load on the video card increases many times over. Therefore, even in the same game, FPS can vary widely. So relying on just one random FPS value is not worth it.

The real performance of a video card is determined using benchmarks – special tests that fully load the graphics processor.

Comparing the test results, we can definitely say which card is better (and in what way). And in order to understand how well the selected video card will perform in a particular game, it is better to focus on the test made in it.

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