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How To

How to choose your graphics card

Jacob Yothment

Published

When you’re building your new gaming PC, one of the most expensive single pieces you’ll end up buying is your graphics card. If you’re going to dish out a few hundred bucks for one, you better make sure that you are getting the best one for all of your needs.

GPU

We took a look at some of the best graphics cards on the market, and what you should consider before adding it to your cart. Price is far from the only thing you should consider as some of these can make all of the difference depending on your needs.

How to choose your graphics card

The main things you need to look into when choosing a graphics card are GPU/memory, cooling, noise, size, aesthetics, and extra features. We’re going to go through these features one by one to let you know why each is important.

GPU/Memory

Zotac

With GPU and memory comes speed, and this can vary drastically based on what kind of graphics card you buy. On one hand, you might have a graphics card that can let you play the most heavily modded version of Skyrim you can find with no issue, or you can have one that struggles to play Tetris.

Check to see what the games you want to play require for a GPU in order to play them fluidly and fast.

If speed is the name of the game for you, we’d recommend the Zotac GeForce GTX 1070. With 1070 GPU, you get some of the highest speed you can get for the price of $350.

Cooling/Noise

Fan comparison
You might be able to save a few bucks if you get a graphics card with a small fan or only one fan, but you risk the GPU overheating and have to deal with a lot of noise.

When buying a graphics card, take a look a the quality of fans that go into them. Fans are what keep your graphics card from overheating, and help reduce noise. If you have good fans, then your GPU stays cool and quiet. A single fan or a small fan can mean that your PC will run hot and loud.

The Zotac GeForce GTX 1070 is still a good option in this department, but if you are willing to compromise speed and memory, the Diyeeni Colorful GTX 1060 is a solid choice. Your GPU will run nice and cool, and it will be as quiet as a church mouse. You can even pick this one up for less than $300. Don’t worry, you can still play Skyrim with this bad boy.

Size

Chassis

Depending on the size of your device’s chassis, you may be limited on the size of the graphics card you can buy. Just so you know, it would really stink if you bought a big, expensive, non-refundable graphics card only to find out it’s far too big. This is why many people choose their graphics card first and then build a PC around it. 

Your typical chassis for a decent gaming PC will support a graphics card as big as 12 inches by 9.63 inches. However, if you are going to get yourself a smaller chassis, you can be limited to 9.63 inches by 9.63 inches or even 6.75 inches by 6.75 inches.

The Zotac GeForce GTX 1070 and the Diyeeni Colorful GTX 1060 can fit inside the large chassis with no issue. However, if your chassis has a smaller limit, there are other options. For the 9.63 by 9.63 chassis, the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050 is a great option. If you have the smallest option, go with the Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030. 

Aesthetics and extra features

graphics card

Before you buy a graphics card, make sure you are buying one that comes with a good warranty. If your graphics card gets fried because of a faulty piece, you need to make sure that you have a warranty that will cover the damage. However, there are other features you can look into to bundle into your purchase.

GeForce typically has game bundles for some of their bigger graphics cards. Be careful though; you don’t want to spend an extra $500 just to get one or two games that cost $60 each.

Wrapping up

If we had to pick the best graphics card on the market right now, we’d have to go with the Zotac GeForce GTX 1070. For the price, there just isn’t anything else on the market that will let you play games in such high quality. You can play pretty much whatever you want in beautiful 1080p at high speeds without much risk of your PC overheating. 

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