Well before you start looking for the right Graphics Cards to compliment your existing system you need to understand what these cards are and what they do if you are to avoid making what could turn out to be a costly mistake. Many consumers often purchase computer upgrades without thinking about certain critical elements and it is very easy to get caught out with a graphic cards upgrade if you are not in the know, so here are five essentials things to consider before you make your purchase.
How Do You Use Your Computer?
Initially it is a good idea to take a step back before making a purchase and ascertaining the level of upgrade that would be most suitable for example are you an ardent games player or do you perhaps have an older collection of games but are looking to buy the latest game releases? If you simply do not play games on your computer and only use it for browsing the web and working with office documents then in the vast majority of cases a graphic card upgrade will be unnecessary.
If the majority of you games are older titles and you do not plan on buying the latest titles then you simply will not need a high end high memory rich card and will be better suited with a budget card especially in an older system. Surprisingly one consideration you need to take into account as well is your current processor speed so exercise caution before making a purchase as buying a powerful new card may be in vain if your processor is simply not up to the task.
What Type Of Main Board Do You Have?
Bear in mind that different types of cards have different slot types so you need to ensure that the card you buy is correct for your mainboard, the type of card you need for a newer motherboard will vary compared to an older motherboard so you need to choose the right one, the different types are; AGP – Pci, and Pci-e, what is yours?
How Much Memory Does Your Computer Have?
In a majority of cases upgrading your computer graphics will also mean you’ll need to spend a bit of money on a memory upgrade too. Graphics cards have different amounts of memory and the better (in most cases) the card the greater the memory but if you only have a little (which is often the case for older computers) you are bound to have issues because your computer will simply not have enough memory to support your new card on the one hand or your computer may become vey unstable and crash and will suddenly be much slower than it was before the card upgrade.
How Big Is Your Power Supply?
Newer cards drink a lot more power than their older counterparts so you you’ll need to make allowances for this, earlier power supplies tended to be much smaller and often were only between 250-350 watts so depending on the number of other pieces of hardware you have attached, this may lead to excessive power drain leading to computer instabilities.
Also be aware that many of the new breed of graphics cards may need a direct power connection so you need to check to see if you have a spare connector (that will reach the card) available and also if the card comes with a suitable power cable.
Will A New Graphics Card Actually Fit?
Sometimes a cases internal layout can cause space problems when fitting a new graphics card or depending on the main board manufacturer, graphic card space may have not been a major consideration when the board was designed so a newer card will simply not fit!
Typically newer cards are much longer and much deeper than older less powerful cards. Additionally newer cards tend to generate a lot of heat so heat sinks and cooling fans tend to be larger making the cards a lot deeper than before, so this may interfere with additional populated slots
Upgrading your graphic card can be worth doing but don’t just dive straight in without any forethought particularly if you have an older AGP based motherboard and want to play the latest games as you may be better investing in a new computer.