What mainly defines a graphics card's capabilities?

hi all :D
When choosing a graphics card what are the main things that determine how well it performs? for example with CPU's its mainly the clock speed thats the main factor followed by cores then cache... or with RAM its pretty much how many GBs it is, but with graphics cards most people seem to go with reviews and what people say about them or compare graphics cards based on how high their numbering is (like in the GeForce and Radeon line the higher the card's number the better its assumed)
Is there anything technical that can be used to compare graphics cards beyond those two methods?

On a side note, what do you guys look for when you choose the graphics cards for your builds? do you use the two methods mentioned above? please share your experiences :D
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More about what defines graphics card capabilities
  1. Benchmarking is probably the best way to determine what card is the better. Usually I would say it's the GPU's core speed, memory and bandwith that is the most important.
  2. You should choose gpu according to screen resolution and cpu.
  3. Well both AMD and NVIDIA put out compelling products that appeal to different people. You have to consider a few things when looking into a video card.

    1. 1 screen or more
    2. 3D
    3. Visuals
    4. Performance.
    5. Screen Resolution.

    Personally what I look for in a card that I'm wanting to buy is what will be the best card to serve my needs. So that includes maybe games that I play what would give me the best overall visual and performance experience. Lately it has been with NVIDIA cards mainly because of the games I play however I have loved my AMD/ATi cards of the past. I do check ram I would like 2-4 gigabytes of ram and I also look at memory bit I used to check CUDA cores with the 500 series but with the 600 series you have cards at the high end that all share the same amount 660Ti has the same as the 670 the 680 has more cores but I try and get the best card without getting the most expensive.
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