RTX 4090
RTX 4090

Whether you’re a gaming enthusiast or a professional graphic designer, the video card (also known as a graphics card) in your computer plays a crucial role. But how do you go about choosing the right one for your needs? Let’s delve in.

Toms Hardware comparison of Video Cards

Image Credit Tom’s Hardware

What is a Video Card and Why Does It Matter?

A video card is a piece of hardware in your computer that outputs visuals to your monitor. It’s responsible for rendering images, animations, and videos to your display.

The Role of Video Card in Gaming

For gamers, a video card is of utmost importance. It greatly affects the quality of graphics and the overall gaming performance. The better your graphics card, the smoother and more detailed your gaming experience will be.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Video Card

Choosing the right video card can be a bit of a minefield, but here are some key considerations:

Understand Your Needs

Your choice of video card will largely depend on what you plan to use your PC for. Gaming, video editing, or simply browsing the web each require different capabilities.

Compatibility with Your PC

Ensure that the video card is compatible with your PC’s motherboard and that there’s enough room in the case.


Graphics card memory, or VRAM, is crucial for high-performance tasks like gaming and video editing. More VRAM generally means the card can handle more visual data at once.

Clock Speed

The speed at which the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) operates impacts performance. A higher clock speed means faster processing of graphics data.

GPU Architecture

The architecture of the GPU affects its efficiency and performance. Research different architectures to find one that fits your needs.

Cooling System

Video cards generate heat. Make sure the one you choose has an effective cooling system to avoid overheating.

Power Consumption

Some video cards require a lot of power. Ensure your power supply can handle it.

Display Connectors

Check what type of connections your monitor supports (HDMI, DisplayPort, etc.) and make sure the card has the same.

Budget Considerations

Your budget will inevitably play a role in your choice. Fortunately, there’s a wide range of options for various price points.

Different Brands and Models

There are two (maybe 3?) main players in the graphics card market:


NVIDIA’s GeForce series is widely used for gaming. They offer a variety of cards to suit different needs and budgets. Right now the cream of the crop is the RTX 4000 series, including the:

  • GeForce RTX 4060
  • GeForce RTX 4060 Ti
  • GeForce RTX 4070
  • GeForce RTX 4070 Ti
  • GeForce RTX 4080
  • GeForce RTX 4090


AMD’s Radeon series is also a popular choice among gamers. They are known for providing good performance at a lower price point than many comparable NVIDIA cards. Right now AMD’s top performers are:

  • Radeon RX 6800
  • Radeon RX 6800 XT
  • Radeon RX 6900 XT
  • Radeon RX 6950 XT
  • Radeon RX 7900 XT
  • Radeon RX 7900 XTX


Intel is a far distant 3rd when it comes to discrete graphics cards for gaming and raw performance. Their cards are:

  • Arc A380
  • Arc A750
  • Arc A770

When to Upgrade Your Video Card

If you’re not getting the performance you want, or if new games aren’t running well, it might be time to upgrade.

Where to Buy a Video Card

You can buy video cards from computer hardware retailers, both online and in physical stores.


Choosing the right video card can seem daunting, but with some research and a clear understanding of your needs, it’s more than achievable. Happy hunting!


  1. What is a video card?
    • It’s a hardware component in your computer responsible for outputting visuals to your monitor.
  2. What factors should I consider when choosing a video card?
    • Consider your needs, compatibility with your PC, memory, clock speed, GPU architecture, cooling system, power consumption, and display connectors.
  3. Which brands make video cards?
    • The main manufacturers are NVIDIA and AMD.
  4. When should I upgrade my video card?
    • If you’re not getting the performance you want, or if new games aren’t running well, it might be time to upgrade.
  5. Where can I buy a video card?
    • You can buy them from computer hardware retailers, both online and in physical stores.
Eric Chan

Hi! I’m Eric and I work on the knowledge base at GadgetMates.com.  You can see some of my writings about technology, cellphone repair, and computer repair here.

When I’m not writing about tech I’m playing with my dog or hanging out with my girlfriend.

Shoot me a message at ericchan@gadgetmates.com if you want to see a topic discussed or have a correction on something I’ve written.

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