How to Buy the Right Graphics Card

Onus

Titan
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Jan 27, 2006
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Do not break or stress your budget, and remember that lots of people had lots of fun with titles from years past. These may have sorely tested graphics cards of their day (remember Morrowind? Crysis?), but are now easily handled even by mid-range cards. Also, "Low" can be pretty dismal, but today's "Medium" settings look pretty good. Very often, only the highest settings really slow a card down.
 
Oct 12, 2018
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1 potentially important factor missed out - Noise.

Usually closely related to the TDP -> The more heat the faster the fans need to spin.
Some GPUs can sound under load like a starting jet-fighter, even more so if overclocked.

If you are a student on tight budget, you might want to skip this but if you are a Young parent, and your gaming rig is in the same room as the baby bed it quickly becomes important.

Maybe the issue improved over the years as efficiency increased, but I had my lesson with HD7870 and now I always take note of the work culture of the GPU.
 

drawingpin

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Dec 5, 2016
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I find it strange that Toms have the 580 listed at $500 on the Amazon Market Place when you pick them up very easily on Newegg for $250
 

islandwalker

Managing Editor
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Mar 6, 2018
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@Drawingpin we are actively working to fix this pricing issue--and others. Thanks for pointing it out.
 

islandwalker

Managing Editor
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Mar 6, 2018
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@Aerious2 Fair point that we could have covered more. But technically I did bring it up, and suggested considering cards with bigger coolers if noise is a potential problem for you.

"More expensive third-party cards will have elaborate coolers, extra fans, and often higher clock speeds, but they can also be more expensive than the reference card. And overclocking gains are often minimal (with gains of just a few FPS, particularly at higher resolutions). That said, beefier cooling can often translate to cooler, quieter operation, which can be important given that high-end graphics cards are usually the noisiest, most heat-generating parts in a PC build."
 

drawingpin

Commendable
Dec 5, 2016
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Still showing as $599.99
 

drawingpin

Commendable
Dec 5, 2016
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Looking good thanks :)
 

Brad_53

Prominent
Feb 24, 2017
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Your recommendation for 1440p is the Nvidia GTX 1070 yet you have that card listed in the chart above under Mid-range which has a recommended usage of 1080p. Seems out of sync to me.
 
Nov 11, 2018
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