Are you a computer gamer whom has found yourself in the market for video card buying due to your current graphics card not working properly or not meeting requirements needed to play certain games? There are many things which need to be considered when looking to upgrade this device. This can be a very daunting endeavor even for most computer gurus thus we have created this simple graphics card buying guide to help with the important areas you need to watch for.
The very first thing you must find out is if your motherboard bios will allow for you to upgrade your video card as well as if you have any open slots. You must also find out if your motherboard has the video device onboard; if it does you have to be able to disable it.
* Chipset – generally you will either be buying an ATI or nVidia chip, these are the two manufactures of 3d rendering. You will note that there are many video cards on the market with different name brands, however they will most definitely use one of the two listed.
* On-board memory – depending on your budget the more memory onboard the better. Most games now require a minimum of 512mb onboard; we suggest if feasible to get a graphic card with at least 1GB onboard memory.
* PCI or AGP – depending on the age of your computer or motherboard you will have to find out which of these two you have. Nowadays PCI is used as it replaced the much slower AGP. Note at the time of this article you cannot put the AGP in a PCI slot nor can you put the PCI in an AGP slot and there are not any converters.
* DirectX – This should be standard when video card buying, older computers may not have the capability to utilize Microsoft DirectX.
* Frame-rates – Of all that is listed in this graphics card buying guide this is the most important. The frame rate will be how many frames per second your card and computer can display. This is how your game will perform; as an example if you are playing a real-time RPG game and are in a fight there may be a delay if your frame-rate is too slow.
* Power Usage – Newer video cards require a lot of power usage and may actually require you to upgrade the current power supply in your system. This is especially true with duo powered cards. Check your computer manual prior to purchasing the video card.
* Connectivity – This actually will be only important if you plan to connect a video camera in or out or TV etc. They may have S-Video, TV output, VGA and DVI.
In closing, the most important factor you should take away from this video card buying guide is to check out exactly what your PC can handle, you would hate to get a card installed to find out that your motherboard; power supply, etc do not meet the requirements of the graphics card.