GPU Types and Best Video Cards for PC

video cards If we want to play a video game on a PC, the most important component is the video card: thanks to it we will get the power needed to run all the video games released for the Windows platform (often the same games are also available on consoles).

The video card is not just for gaming: it also handles the video effects of the operating system and is used to offer the acceleration needed to play high-definition movies or for graphics processing (many browsers and applications use some of the video card’s capabilities. not to overload the CPU).

In this guide we will show you what the differences between the various types of video cards, the differences between the card versions available from AMD and NVIDIA and finally we will see the best video cards on the market, so that we can immediately upgrade our desktop computer.

READ ALSO: Which video card (graphics card) to buy for the computer

How a video card is made

In the world of video cards we find two large manufacturers such as NVIDIA and AMD, which are involved in producing the chip intended for video processing (GPU). Next to this chip we find other important components such as the video memory (DDR4, GDDR5 or GDDR6 type), the chip for encrypted content (HDCP), an audio chip and a controller for supported video outputs.
Video card components Other components not to be underestimated are the PCI Express x16 connector (which physically connects the video card to the motherboard), the auxiliary power connectors and the dissipation system (essential for keeping temperatures low).

If these components can be found on any type of video card, then what changes between the various producers? While the video chip remains the one provided by NVIDIA and AMD (with custom optimizations), between the various video card models it changes the amount of video memory, the speed of the video memory, the overclocking management systems and the dissipation system: this makes two cards with the same chip (AMD or NVIDIA) profoundly different from each other.

How to recognize a powerful video card

Many users find it difficult to immediately recognize the power of a video card, also because among the countless acronyms it is really difficult to understand if we are facing a powerful video card or a low-end video card.

NVIDIA

To be able to understand which are the most powerful video cards provided by NVIDIA, just check the names of the GPUs provided in the following list:

  • Geforce GTThese are the budget video cards provided by NVIDIA, sufficient to be able to reproduce the graphics effects of the operating system and to offer basic 3D acceleration for programs. They are not suitable for modern games, but can still be useful for older games or games with no special graphics requirements.
  • GeForce GTX: this name identifies the intermediate video cards, able to offer a good compromise between power and expense. With them we can play most recent games at acceptable resolutions (720p and 1080p), without pushing too hard with the graphics effects.
  • GeForce RTX: with this name instead we identify the most powerful video cards of NVIDIA, able to run any game at 1080p and in some cases even higher resolutions (2K and 4K). These cards also support the Ray tracing, that is, the effects of realistic light and shadow.

These names are also accompanied by information on the serial number, which clearly show the generation of cards we are about to purchase. For the Geforce GT and GTX the most recent series is the 1000 (and derivatives), while for the RTX we find both the 2000 series and the 3000 series (newer).

AMD

On AMD cards that even more confusing, because many different video cards have come out over the years. To understand which is the most powerful series, just read the information in the following bulleted list:

  • Radeon RX 550 series: AMD’s oldest series but still capable of running many games released between 2017 and 2020. This series was very powerful in the year it was launched, but today it represents the cheapest level on which we can bet if we decide to bet on an AMD video card.
  • Radeon RX 5000 XT series: the direct evolution of the RX 550 series, which offers high power for all games even recent, without turning up too early. For many it still represents one of the best choices to be able to
  • Radeon RX 6000 XT series: Currently the most powerful series of AMD video cards, able to offer a power equal to or greater than the latest generation consoles (PS5 and Xbox Series X). With these cards we can run any game at 1080p and also aim for the highest resolutions (2K and 4K).

In this case, the serial number is integrated within the generation of video card chosen, so just read the number next to the abbreviation RX to immediately understand if we have a new and powerful video card or an old video card in our hands.

Best NVIDIA video cards

If we want to focus on an inexpensive NVIDIA video card for an office PC or a mini desktop PC, we recommend that you take a look at the MSI Nvidia Geforce GT 1030 (€ 100).
MSI Nvidia This video card features an NVIDIA GT 1030 chip, 2GB DDR4 video memory, PCI Express 3.0 x16 connection slot, compact form factor, quiet fan, and DirectX 12 support.

Another compact mid-range NVIDIA video card that we can consider is the Zotac GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (€ 298).
GTX 1050 Ti On this video card we find an NVIDIA 1050 Ti video chip, 4 GB of GDDR5 video memory, 768 CUDA cores, DisplayPort 1.4 connection, HDMI 2.0b connection, DL-DVI connection and compact form factor.

If, on the other hand, we want a high-end video card, we can focus on the MSI GeForce RTX 2060 VENTUS GP OC (€ 699).
MSI GeForce RTX 2060 This powerful video card offers an NVIDIA RTX 2060 video chip, 6GB of GDDR6 video memory, 14Gbps 192-bit bandwidth, automatic overclocking, 3 DisplayPort connections, 1 HDMI 2.0b port, enhanced cooling system and 8-pin auxiliary power supply.

If we are looking for an even more powerful card we can consider the MSI NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti GAMING Z TRIO (€ 969).
MSI NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 On this video card we find the NVIDIA RTX 3060 Ti video chip, automatic overclocking, 8 GB of GDDR6 video memory, 3 DisplayPort connections, HDMI port, and advanced TriFrozr cooling system.

Best AMD Video Cards

The cheapest AMD video card we can look at is the MAXSUN AMD Radeon RX 550 (€ 249).
AMD Radeon RX 550 Analyzing the product data sheet we find an AMD RX 550 chip, 4 GB of GDDR5 video memory, 128-bit bandwidth, DirectX 12 support, PCI Express X16 3.0 connection, DVI-D Dual Link port, HDMI port, DisplayPort connection and small form factor.

If, on the other hand, we are immediately looking for a powerful video card to play any video game, we can consider the XFX SPEEDSTER MERC319 (€ 885).
>XFX SPEEDSTER AMD” height=”295″ src=”https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEgh4tYlSz1P7leesn0Fh0Gf_08wq35UY3idDVvHYAlmRFv7J4e1R_Nki0zBZfEkeIZEgpUspIJhZhQ_aEPT9eNkpf_n6V7Q02y7MCGPf4Rc1bbQrsLDk4u7ZU1S6sL0aSj6HP1_nmZj9ktNJm_I3IvEnpUX4ahTyJFxplFnIDOwfiVXVTrPLJ-EtkGH=w400-h295″ title=”XFX SPEEDSTER MERC319″ width=”400″> This video card boasts an AMD RX 6700 XT video chip, 12 GB of GDDR6 video memory, support for AMD RDNA 2 technology, automatic overclocking, HDMI port, three DisplayPort connections and enhanced cooling.</p><p>In the Olympus of the most powerful video cards we certainly find the ASROCK Radeon RX 6900 XT Phantom Gaming (€ 1599).<br /> <img loading= On this video card we find an AMD RX 6900 XT video chip, 16 GB of GDDR6 video memory, support for AMD RDNA 2 technology, automatic overclock, HDMI port, three DisplayPort connections, adjustable LED lighting system and enhanced cooling system.

Conclusions

Video cards are one of the most important components when we create a gaming PC, since thanks to it we will be able to run all your favorite video games. We obviously have to choose a video card powerful enough for 1080p games, perfectly enjoyable on latest generation monitor.

On laptops or work computers, the presence of the dedicated (or discreet) video card is a luxury that we can also forget about, given that integrated video cards of the latest generation are perfectly able to run Windows video effects and manage the hardware acceleration of the most demanding browsers and apps.

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