Buying a new graphics card may seem like a simple matter at first. After all, both Internet shops and local retail stores carry a plethora of graphics cards in every performance and price category. This large variety of cards, however, makes it hard to select the one that is ideal for you. A multitude of factors need to be considered in the selection process, to ensure that the choice you make will keep you happy over as long a period of time as possible.
This article covers all of the criteria involved in selecting and buying the graphics card that is right for you. How important each factor is will depend on your personal preferences and the way you intend to use the card. For example, some people will require a video-in line, and for them this will be a make-or-break feature; others will not care about this particular capability. To help you define your requirements, we will also give a short overview of the technologies used in graphics cards of the past and present.
We've broken this buyer's guide up into six large sections that cover all of the important factors. Obviously, there is no perfect way to prioritize selection criteria, because preferences and needs differ for each individual. The order that we present here is only one possibility among many, and is meant more as a guideline to help you find your own personal ranking of criteria. Remember also that it's sometimes difficult to draw a line between these issues, so there will be some overlap in certain areas.
- #1: Intended Use
- #2: Technology
- #3: Performance & Image Quality
- #4: Budget
- #5: Manufacturer & Feature Set
- #6: The Purchase
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