- Graphics Cards explained for a noob
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    1. 03-14-2019 01:43 AM #1
      looking at buying a graphics cards. I have noticed that different manufactures of these units have numbers that are used by other companies...for example : geforce gtx 1050 and a zotac geforce 1050. Two different companies but the same numbers. I was under the impression that the number might be the model, AKA the higher the number the better performance as a card. Also they have a ddr5 gb rating which is another point of confusion for the uneducated person I am. If anyone has lant insight then please enlighten me.

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    3. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
      Join Date
      Dec 16th, 2005
      2018 F150
      03-14-2019 01:56 PM #2
      The GPU is actually the chip on the board, similar to how the CPU is the chip on the motherboard (but you can't swap GPUs on graphics cards since not designed for that with a bios that can be changed easily).
      The common personal desktop type GPU chips used in boards are made by AMD (Radeon) and NVidia (GeForce).
      The actual board/graphics card is the graphics card made/sold by any number of partners with the GPU chip from AMD or NVidia.

      Research any EXACT card you look at.
      Some of the cards have the same GPU chip (1060 for example) but have very different specs (MUCH slower Ram speed which really hurts performance).
      Also- the cooling designs can vary wildly between board designs.
      Check reviews.

      Also- look at power requirements/size for any graphics card you consider to make sure it will work with your system.
      Older cards tend to be better values with discounted prices, but also tend to use/require more power.

      FYI- the best value right now are the (possibly overstock that was never actually put in systems) ebay "OEM" style RX 460 (I think these were made for HP).
      These are not used.
      They are not pretty, but give $120+ card performance for 60-65 bucks.

      That graphics card shouldn't require an additional power connector (like many older cards with similar graphical power).
      Just make sure your PCI-e slot delivers 75 watts- which should be any standard PC.. only the small form factor prebuilds (Dell/Lenovo/HP) seem to have much lower PCI-e power.
      Last edited by BRealistic; 03-14-2019 at 02:10 PM.

    4. Member
      Join Date
      Sep 20th, 2000
      2008 Hyundai Accent, 2007 S2000
      03-25-2019 05:27 AM #3
      My rule of thumb for shopping video card is: always buy the CHEAPEST version of video card that using the BEST GPU you can afford. Except if the cheapest version comes with a bad cooling solution like blower fan design, then I go for the next cheapest.

      Example: GTX 1660 is ranging from $220-250, GTX 1660Ti is currently ranging from $280-330 and RTX 2060 is ranging from $350-500.
      If I can afford a $250 GTX 1660 with factory overclock GPU+RAM (mostly with marginal result than you can't feel from a blind test), better cooling solution (this may be worth to pay extra but not overpay) and extra bling bling RGB, I just pony up a little and get the cheapest GTX 1660Ti.

      Same apply to high end GTX1660Ti vs low end RTX 2060... then high end RTX2060 vs low end RTX2070...

      In the other words, different brands/models videocard with the SAME GPU generally have the similar graphics performance... You are just spending extra $$ for bells and whistles.
      “I am not a Mac user unless under duress.” - John Carmack

    5. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
      Join Date
      Dec 16th, 2005
      2018 F150
      03-25-2019 11:37 AM #4

      The fact that the same brand will have different versions of the same GPU is quite confusing.
      The higher priced ones usually come with better cooling, which could help if you plan to overclock.
      But buying the high end version of one GPU when an entry level card with a better GPU is just a few bucks more is poor value imo.

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