Which Type of Graphics Card Do I Need? - How Much Does A Graphics Card Cost
Can you live with integrated graphics, or do you need that no-compromise $600 graphics card? It all depends on the games you play and how good you expect them to look.
How Much Does A Graphics Card Cost, If you're considering a new or first-time graphics card for your existing desktop PC, the kind to get depends, for the most part, on what kind of games you plan to play. (Alternately, even if PC games aren't your thing, a new card can enable you to use two or more monitors at the same time.)
Bestsellers Graphic Cards Update Every Hour
Integrated Graphics - How Much Does A Graphics Card CostHow Much Does A Graphics Card Cost, If you’re content to play Web-based or casual games, the integrated graphics—that is, the kind built into your PC's motherboard or processor—will generally suffice. But if your needs extend to popular titles like World of Warcraft, you’ll want to make sure that, if you're going to rely on integrated graphics, that you have a machine with a recent Intel or AMD integrated graphics chip.
These days, the integrated graphics is often found directly on the CPU, with the best-performing found in Intel's Sandy Bridge–family Core chips or AMD’s Fusion processors. But a dedicated graphics card is always better, and it will allow you to run your games at higher resolutions and with more graphics settings switched on.
Mainstream Graphics Cards - How Much Does A Graphics Card Cost
How Much Does A Graphics Card Cost, Look for options in the $120 to $200 price range for a good fit here, and be sure to read our full reviews for what kind of frame rates you can expect from a given graphics card. You'll want to look at those frame-rate scores in light of the resolution of your monitor and the settings at which you'd like to play your games.
Top-End Graphics Cards and 3D - How Much Does A Graphics Card Cost
And, if you want to run your games at high resolutions spread across multiple monitors, a high-end graphics card is likely a must. You may even want to spend extra on more than one graphics card and run them in SLI (Nvidia) or CrossFireX (AMD) modes for maximum gaming performance. Just make sure your motherboard has two or more graphics-card expansion slots before buying multiple cards.
Most motherboards in moderate-size or larger PCs will have at least one PCI Express x16 slot that will accept your video-card upgrade, but be sure to check before buying—having a usable slot is a must. If you're looking for a new motherboard to accommodate that new graphics card.