Video Cards / Graphics Cards
A video card or graphic card is similar to a processor but is specially designed to control the screen images – or graphics – on your personal computer. If you love graphics-intensive games or videos, a high quality video card is a must for your PC system. Today’s complex games simply will not perform to their maximum potential if your computer is equipped with an outdated video card.
Buying a new video card for your PC can be a bit daunting, though, because there are so many models available and options to consider. But if you know exactly how you plan to use the card, you can make the process much simpler and choose the best video card for your needs and your budget.
Video cards fall into one of three main categories:
- Hardcore/Enthusiast – Hardcore/enthusiast video cards are the highest-end, best- performing cards available…ideal for 3D gaming and other demanding applications.
- Mainstream – these are mid-priced video cards that offer good to excellent performance for demanding applications like 3D gaming.
- Value – More affordable than Hardcore or Mainstream cards, Value video cards are used primarily for business and desktop graphics functions, 2D gaming and very limited 3D gaming. They are also used for specific applications like providing TV output or S-Video output or dual monitor support.
Before buying a video card, make sure it’s compatible with the motherboard on your PC. For example, PCI Express video cards won’t work with motherboards designed only for AGP or PCI video cards, and vice versa. Once you’ve determined which type of video card you need, you’re ready to make your choice. Finding the right video card is easy at TigerDirect, which offers a wide array of options from leading video card manufacturers such as AMD, PNY, MSI, XFX, EVGA and more.
How to Choose a Graphics Card
In this video, we'll show you How to Choose a Graphics Card. We go over three distinct Video Cards that will suit your specific needs. Watch and learn!
The graphics card, video card or graphics processing unit (GPU) is a specialized processor designed to manipulate computer graphics and image processing. In other words, graphics cards take data from the CPU and turn it into images. The graphics card is what you connect your monitor up to and it is what draws your desktop and your windows on the screen. GPUs are already integrated onto motherboards, which is enough to manage your desktop, but not enough for watching HD video or playing graphically demanding games. For those applications or games, you’ll need a dedicated graphics card since able to draw those complex images.