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Video Cards


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What kind of video card should I get?

There are many types of video cards (also known as graphics cards) out there but most people will likely want one for gaming. A gaming video card can offer a smooth and detailed experience in all the latest games. There are many different series and brands available, but the primary thing to look at is your monitor. If you are looking for an entry level experience with at least 60 fps at 1920x1080 resolutiom but with some details turned down, then entry level gaming graphics cards such as the GeForce GTX 950 or the AMD Radeon RX 460 series are perfect.

If you are looking for a constant 60 fps with the details turned up, then the GTX 1060 or RX 470 series will be your best bet. For most enthusiast gamers, the sweet spot will be a 2560x1440 resolution monitor and a GTX 1070 or RX 480 series video card. Finally, if you’re after maintaining a 144 Hz refresh rate, or a 4k (3840x2160) resolution experience, then you will need a flagship card such as the GeForce GTX 1080 or Radeon Pro Duo.

Should I run Multiple Video Cards?

Multiple video cards can help you achieve higher levels of performance that you cannot get with a single graphics card. However, an additional video card brings along many additional requirements such as a compatible motherboard, a capable power supply, and a case with good airflow. Most midrange cards and above will support multiple graphics cards, but we generally recommend you stick with the single most powerful card for your system instead of two lower end models. The only times we recommend an SLI or Crossfire set up is when you’ve maxed out the performance of a single card and you’re looking for more, or you have an older video card that you’re looking to supplement with some additional performance.

How much VRAM do I need?

A question that gets asked very often is: how much VRAM, or video ram, do I need? The answer highly depends on the resolution you intend to game at and the level of detail you would like. In general, the higher the resolution and the graphics settings, the more VRAM you will need. The standard for most gaming cards now is 2GB, which will be plenty for games at 1920x1080 resolution with low to medium settings. For higher settings, consider a card with up to 4GB. For 2560x1440 resolution gaming, look for a card with 6GB of VRAM, while 4K (3840x2160) resolution gamers will need a card with 8GB or more. Keep in mind that if you decide to go with multiple video cards, their VRAM does not add together cumulatively. For example, two video cards with 8GB of VRAM each will still only function like 8GB, not 16GB.

What type of cooler is the best?

While most video cards have a reference model design, many manufacturers design their own coolers based on different needs. The three most common style of coolers are blowers, direct airflow, and water cooled. Blower style coolers use an impeller fan to pull air across the graphics chip and exhaust out of the case. These are the best choice if you have a small case, or you want to run two cards side by side in an SLI or Crossfire configuration.

The next style is direct airflow, and is the most commonly found. Many popular coolers such as the ASUS Strix, MSI Twin Frozr, EVGA ACX, and Gigabyte Windforce are all based on the same fundamental technology. Heatpipes take the heat from the graphics chip, and transfer them away to fins that are directly cooled by fans. These operate best when they have enough room for the fans to properly ventilate, but you won’t run into any problems even with two directly side by side.

Finally, water cooled designs offer the lowest temperatures and lowest noise. Whether you have a custom water cooled system or an all-in-one solution such as the MSI Sea Hawk X, these designs use water to transfer the heat away to a radiator for dissipation. While this may cost more, you are often getting the highest quality cards with the most overclocking headroom.

Should I get a factory overclocked video card?

Once you have decided on which series of video card you want, the next tough choice is which model to go with. There are many versions available out there; some are factory overclocked, while some operate at reference clock speeds. Our advice is to go with the highest clock speed you can find without having to pay significantly more. Factory overclocked models can offer up to 15% more performance compared to stock speeds without you having to worry about anything. However, if you’re an enthusiast looking to overclock the video card yourself, then you can ignore the overclocked versions and save yourself some money.


Top 10 most popular Video Cards

  Description Avail Price
XFX AMD Radeon GTS XXX Edition RX 580 4GB OC+ 1386MHZ DDR5 W/BACKPLATE HDMI/DVI/ 3xDP Video Card
XFX
Back Order
*** $459.98
XFX Radeon RX 580 8GB OC+ 1386MHZ DDR5 W/BACKPLATE HDMI/DVI/ 3xDP GTS XXX Edition Graphic Card
XFX
Back Order
*** $499.98
XFX RX 570 4GB OC+ 1284MHZ DDR5 4K 4096X2160 HDMI/DVI/3XDP PCI-E 3.0 TRIPLE-X Edition Video Card
XFX
Back Order
*** $449.98
XFX Radeon R9 Nano 1000MHZ 4GB HBM 1XHDMI/3XDP PCI-E 3.0 Small Form Factor Video Card
XFX
*** $869.98
XFX Radeon Pro Duo 1000MHZ 8GB HBM HDMI/3XDP 4K PCI-E 3.0 Liquid Cooling Video Card
XFX
Back Order
*** $2,049.98
XFX AMD Radeon GTS XXX Edition RX 580 8GB OC+ 1386MHZ DDR5 W/BACKPLATE HDMI/DVI/ 3xDP Graphic Card
XFX
Back Order
*** $499.98
XFX AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 1156/1471 MHz 8GB HBM2 4K HDMI / 3xDP Air Cooler Premium Graphic Card
XFX
Back Order
*** $771.98
XFX RX 580 8GB OC+ 1405MHZ DDR5 4K HDMI/DVI/3XDP PCI-E 3.0 GTS Black Edition Graphic Card
XFX
Back Order
*** $499.98
XFX Radeon HD 5450 650MHZ 1GB 1066MHz DDR3 Low Profile DVI HDMI HDCP PCI-E DirectX 11 Video Card
XFX
*** $57.41
XFX AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 HBM2 8GB 1546 MHz HDMI / 3x DP Air Cooler FreeSync 2 Premium Graphic Card
XFX
Back Order
*** $1,299.98

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Top 5 most recent reviews on Video Cards

Customer Review of MSI Radeon RX 480 8GB GDDR5 DirectX12 VR Premium Video Card

Mark68
12/02/17
Experience: 16 Months
Summary
Well worth the money I spent for it. » Read More About MSI Radeon RX 480 8GB

Customer Review of Zotac GeForce GT730 Synergy 1GB DDR3 128BIT PCI-EXPRESS2.0 2XDVI/MINI-HDMI Video Card

GGGC
11/20/17
Experience: 1 Years
Summary
Purchased it for my HTPC reusing old parts from my old rig. It does not run very hot at idle or watching blurays, and the fan does not spin at full speed despite it being only a 2 wire fan. The fan started rattling after a year of moderate usage, which was... » Read More About Zotac GeForce GT730 Synergy 1GB

Customer Review of EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 Gaming 1569/1683 MHz 11GB GDDR5X iCX Technology RGB LED Video Card

­­­­­
11/18/17
Experience: 1 Days
Summary
Quiet and cool » Read More About EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti

Customer Review of EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti SC Gaming 8GB GDDR5 ACX 3.0 White LED Black Edition Video Card

tank2
11/06/17
Experience: 3 Days
Summary
My card showed up the next day! I upgraded from a RX480. Night and day difference. I waited as long as I could for AMD to come out with custom cards from their VEGA series, but I had a buyer for my 480, and the rest is history. Works great with my Ryzen 7 1700... » Read More About EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti

Customer Review of EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti SC Gaming 4GB GDDR5 DX12 OSD Support Video Card

Danke S
11/15/17
Experience: 4 Months
Summary
Good on a budget » Read More About EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti


 
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