Nvidia and AMD are the names that dominate the graphics card industry and are constantly discussed in discourses online. Both of the manufacturers are the best at producing tech that can process and render scenes that are graphically intense and realistic, in real-time, without compromising on the performance.
You must have also come across brands like Asus and MSI manufacturing Nvidia and AMD units. These are the manufacturers who have partnered with the giants and hold license and authority to make graphics cards for them. They tend to add their own customization to the original graphics card designs to make them cost-effective and improve performance.
Manufacturers have mastered making these beasts of technology, with components like VRAM, capacitors, resistors, cooling units, etc. and they bring us a variety of GPUs to choose from.
Let us have a look at the best of brands that you should know before purchasing a graphics card.
Best Graphics Card Manufacturers
This computer hardware and electronics company has been the best brand in the market when it comes to GPUs. Almost all of their graphics cards are machine assembled that need no manual intervention. This is made possible due to compact designs that are not only aesthetically good but are also dust-free in terms of design and build.
This improves the durability of the graphics cards, with reduced time in cleaning and maintenance. This also reduces the overall temperature of the GPU, thereby increasing its performance.
Speaking of temperature, the Asus manufactured cards stay cool and yet make a lot less sound as compared to other cards. With the quality that you get with an Asus product, it lies on the expensive side but is worth every penny that you invest in it.
Gigabyte is the name that most of us have seen when booting up our systems. They are best known for manufacturing motherboards. But they also excel in manufacturing graphics cards. Gigabyte comes with all of the top-notch features of premium graphics cards and still goes easy on your wallet.
Their cost-effective approach in design and manufacturing make the best of Nvidia and AMD cards accessible to masses. This doesn’t give it an upper hand in terms of aesthetics, but reviews of Gigabyte GPUs show how pleased the consumers are with the brand. The one thing that the cards fall a bit short on is on the overclocking capabilities. And also the fan on the cooling unit can be a bit loud sometimes.
All that said, Gigabyte cards are a great option for average gamers who want to improve their hardware without burning a hole in their pocket.
When it comes to you pushing the limits of your PC hardware, MSI graphics cards are known for their overclocking capabilities and handling the stress well. The processing power and potential that an MSI owner possesses with an MSI manufactured GPU is way beyond its average use.
Overclocking is a risky business, as, if not done correctly, you could fry your GPU. But the risk ceases to exist with these graphics cards. As long as you maintain good temperature, the card may last for years to come.
The cards come with the overclocking tool of its own, the MSI afterburner, which can be used on any GPU of your choice. Users have done crazy overclocks and have been able to play high-end games even on the lower end MSI cards. So, if you’re into making the most out of your hardware, you should go for MSI.
Zotac is another top-notch brand on the list. They are known for making cost-effective graphics cards. Though they only manufacture Nvidia cards, they can provide you with the best of Nvidia cards at rates more affordable than big brands like Asus, Gigabyte and MSI. I have once owned a Zodac graphics card and have played the best of games of that generation.
If you are having a hard time deciding on a graphics card, go for Zotac as you will get all the features that Nvidia has advertised and that too within your budget.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Graphics Card
If you are looking for a graphics card, or even considering to participate in the PC master race and bring your own beast on the table, you should consider a few things before making your GPU purchase.
Nvidia or AMD?
This is where your decision making will begin. Before going into the technical details of the features provided by the cards, you will need to pick a side. Fans of either brand might force you to take a side, but having owned graphics cards by both brands, I can tell you that both of them have something to offer.
AMD cards are “value for money” cards, where you get more than what you pay for. AMD dominates the budget-to-mid-range price range in the market. But Nvidia comes with features native to its cards that AMD just can’t provide, like the PhysX, a real-time physics engine that, upon enabling it, enriches your gaming experience.
Compatibility is the first and the foremost thing that you should check before making your purchase. I still remember the day I had to buy a new power supply when my power unit was falling short for my graphics card to work. Either choose a card with a lower power requirement or upgrade your power unit in your CPU.
Also, check the ports that are available on the graphics card. Make sure that the cards offer ports that are compatible with your monitor setup. If you end up buying a card which isn’t compatible with your monitor, you can buy adapters and converters that will solve the issue, still costing you a bit more money than you had anticipated.
Knowing which graphics card would go well with your processor is crucial. The manufacturers usually list the recommended system requirements that are required for the smooth operation of the card. If you have a processor that is lower to mid-range in performance, you might find the processing bottleneck due to the limited speed of your processor.
You should also check the max resolution of your monitor. The lower the max resolution, the easier it is for the GPU to render the graphics. If that is the case, there’s no point in investing in a high-end graphics card. Or maybe it’s time for you to upgrade your processor and monitor.
Memory and Bandwidth
Memory and bandwidth are what you need to pay attention to. You can always overclock your card to improve its overall performance, but the base model should knock that game of the year of yours out of the park when used out of the box. Not to mention the games that come with their own GPU memory requirements.
When choosing a graphics card brand, your preference matters the most. If you don’t find the variation that suits your needs from a manufacturer, try switching to a different one. No matter which one you choose, you’ll get no compromise on the quality when it comes to the manufacturers featured in the list.
Since you’re gonna be spending a good amount of money, do read about play video games and its benefit.