Graphics Card Buying Guide 2021

Rate this post

For Content creators, Video editors, and gamers a graphics card is one of the most important parts of the pc.

The graphics card is also called a GPU, is responsible for generating the information and the images that you see on your computer display. The more powerful the GPU, the faster the information can be displayed, and the better your visual experience will be overall.

As with each and every desktop component, the first question ask to yourself when the choosing a graphics card is: how will you be using it?

If you are building a pc to play games, then GPU will be your most important purchase. Other components can affect your performance, like CPU, and RAM but getting a GPU that’s too weak for your chosen games is guaranteed to result in disappointment. Some games won’t even run.

There are different kinds of games on the market, and these are not all of them that demand the most powerful GPU on the market. That’s why it is important to read the games required, recommended, and optimal specifications to make sure that you get a suitable GPU. 

Buying the best GPU you can afford is a good way to future-proof your build and can keep it ready to play popular games that have yet to be released.

If you are not a pc gamer, there are still many reasons you might need a powerful graphics card such as content creating, video editing, and computer-aided design, and manufacturing applications like 3D Max, AutoCAD 3D and etc., which can use the GPU for significantly better performance.

We are going to focus on the gaming graphics card in this article.

When you are shopping for a GPU, you will be choosing between two manufactures.

Graphics Card Buying Guide 2021Graphics Card Buying Guide 2021

NVIDIA and AMD.

Historically these two companies have battled for leadership in the GPU market, and NVIDIA was strongly in the lead until the last few years. NVIDIA still holds a strong position in the market, but AMD is the newest graphics card that has made the landscape more competitive.

The Important NVIDIA GPU's in September of 2020.

GPU BOOST GPU CLOCK(MHz) RAM TDP (WATT)
GeForce GTX 1050
1455
4 GB DDR5
75
GeForce GTX 1050Ti
1392
4 GB DDR5
75
GeForce GTX 1060
1708
6 GB DDR5
120
GeForce GTX 1070
1683
8 GB DDR5
150
GeForce GTX 1070 Ti
1900
8 GB DDR5
180
GeForce GTX 1080
1733
8 GB DDR5X
180
GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
1582
11 GB DDR5X
250
GTX 1650
1665
4 GB DDR5
75
GTX 1660
1785
6 GB DDR5
120
GTX 1660 Ti
1770
6 GB DDR6
120
RTX 2060
1680
6 GB DDR6
160
RTX 2060 SUPER
1650
8 GB DDR6
160
RTX 2070
1620
8 GB DDR6
175
RTX 2070 SUPER
1770
8 GB DDR6
215
RTX 2080
1710
8 GB DDR6
215
RTX 2080 SUPER
1815
8 GB DDR6
215
RTX 2080 Ti
1545
11 GB DDR6
250

The Important AMD GPU's in September of 2020.

GPU BOOST GPU CLOCK(MHz) RAM TDP (WATT)
Radeon RX 540
1219
2/4 GB DDR5
65
Radeon RX 550
1183
2/4 GB DDR5
50
Radeon RX 560
1275
2/4 GB DDR5
60
Radeon RX 570
1244
4 GB DDR5
150
Radeon RX 580
1340
4/8 GB DDR5
185
Radeon RX 590
1545
8 GB DDR5
185
Radeon RX Vega 56
1471
8 GB HBM2
210
Radeon RX Vega 64
1546
8 GB HBM2
295
Radeon RX Vega 64 Liquid
1890
8 GB HBM2
345
Radeon VII
1800
16 GB HBM2
300
Radeon RX 5700
1725
8 GB GDDR6
180
Radeon RX 5700 XT
1905
8 GB GDDR6
225

Before making a GPU purchase there are a few important things that you should know.

  • The first and the most important thing is to identify a GPU that works best with the CPU that you have in your pc right now so the CPU and the GPU they need to work together in tandem, so you need to find the right balance, for example, there is no point in buying an ultra-expensive you know RTX 2080Ti card if your desktop is running on an Intel Core i3 processor and this is because a low processor will not able to keep up with the ultra-fast GPU it will result in a mediocre overall performance and you will end up wasting your hard-earned money.

Now if you are building a brand new system then you know based on your budget you should always pick a right combination of CPU and GPU so don’t go crazy picking an expensive GPU while skimping on the CPU and also you know don’t go the other way around which is like buy an expensive CPU and then pair it with a very bad GPU both cases are going to hurt you.

  • The second thing to look for when buying a GPU is the video RAM known as VRAM. VRAM is different from system RAM because it is exclusively used by the GPU for accelerating graphics performance to play a 1080p game on a higher setting you need at least 3-4 GB of VRAM anything lower than 3 GB it’s going to result in dropped frames and choppy performance. If you want to max out textures anti-aliasing foliage and shadows then I recommend picking a GPU with at least 6 GB of VRAM.

Now you don’t need to go higher than 6 GB unless you plan to do stuff like 4K video editing or advance color grading but if you are planning to run video editing software’s like the Vinci resolves or adobe premiere then you go with 8 GB of VRAM because that will future proof your purchase.

  • So the third consideration when you are buying a GPU is the Thermal profile, so you always have a choice of going with a low profile GPU or you don’t get a larger GPU. The low profile GPU they usually come with a small heatsink which is not very efficient so as a result, you run the risk of overheating your gaming pc during prolonged gaming sessions, and on other hand, the GPU ones which are bigger they come with a big aluminum heatsink, copper heat pipes, multiple fans and they are very efficient in keeping your card cool, they are able to maintain healthy temperature even when overclocked which results in top graphics performance but they are also loud and may interfere with your gaming session so before you buy a GPU.

My recommendation is always open up your pc case and ensure that there is enough room for a bigger card and if there is enough room for a bigger card then go with the bigger card and also make sure that there are enough airflow and proper heat dissipation in this case.

  • Now the fourth thing that you have to consider when you buying a GPU is the power supply, so different graphics card they will have a different TDP (Thermal Design Power) and their power consumption is going to vary a lot, so before you buy a GPU make sure that PSU (Power supply unit)  in your desktop it can deliver the required wattage if you don’t have enough juice in your power supply either your system is not going to boot at all.

When you put a new GPU or worse is still boot but then you will start experiencing the random crashes, for example, Its a DELL XPS 8930 workstation and it comes with a power supply to DELL is 450 watt so if you put a GTX 2080Ti in this system, it’s going to be an absolute disaster because this GPU it expects 650 Watt power supply and if I put it in my desktop I will either get random crashes and my system is not going to boot at all, so always check before buying a GPU always check the TDP of all components in your pc including the GPU to make sure that the power supply can provide required wattage otherwise probably you will have to go and upgrade the PSU as well.

  • Now fifth and the final thing which you should consider before buying a GPU is the power pin connector compatibility, so always make sure that your power supply has the right power connector compatibility with the GPU, so, for example, a GPU with 6 pins port will use a 6 pin power connector, these days almost all budget power supplies they come with 6 pin power connector.

CUDA Core

Most people ignore this and unaware of these important things. The Cuda word developed by NVIDIA and is similar to the AMD process.

The higher Cuda core value performs better than the lower Cuda core values. 

VRAM

VRAM stands for Video Random Access Memory. This is the memory used to store the image file that the computer displays.

A 3 or 4 GB of VRAM will easily run 1080p gaming with medium to high settings.

There are many types of VRAM technology on the market but you should go with DDR5 technology.

If you are a real gamer and have a budget of 15000 then go ahead with DDR5 VRAM technology.

Clock Frequency

It is also known as Graphics card operating frequency, it is measured in MHz.

There are two types of clock frequency Base clock frequency and Boost clock frequency.

The base clock frequency is the standard frequency rate that normally handles all applications

The Boost clock frequency is a higher frequency rate that good for Gamers and handles specific applications.

You should always go for a higher Boost frequency clock, as we mentioned in this list of best graphics cards under 15000.

Default image
Abhishek
Hey, I am Abhishek Kumar and I am very passionate about electronics and gadgets and I love to explore and research more about them to keep updated myself and others.

Newsletter Updates

Enter your email address below to subscribe to our newsletter

Leave a Reply