graphics cards:- It’s basically a circuit board, usually with cooling fans attached to it. A graphics card can be installed inside a computer case, then attached to a monitor using a cable. The monitor will then display any information sent from the graphics card.
AMD or Nvidia
There are two main companies that produce graphics cards. Those are AMD and Nvidia. So you may be wondering which one should you choose if you’re thinking of getting yourself a new graphics card? Is one better than the other? Well, both companies make some great cards, but one is not better than the other. You will get a fairly similar performance from either, at every price point. For example, if you spend £50 (approx. $70 USD) on an AMD graphics card, that will give you a very similar performance to a Nvidia graphics card that is also priced at £50.
If you spend £500 (approx. $700 USD) on an AMD graphics card, you will see it performing similarly to a Nvidia graphics card at that same price point. This will vary a little from one card to the next, but generally speaking, you get what you pay for from either AMD or Nvidia. So if you’re thinking of getting yourself a new graphics card, don’t be too concerned about which company to go for. Just go for the graphics card that suits you the most.
List Of Nvidia Graphics Cards
Let’s see which graphics cards are available today from Nvidia. The latest generation of Nvidia graphics cards are referred to as the ‘900’ series. Below are those graphics cards (for home/gaming computers), starting with their most powerful graphics card:
Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan X————————-High end
Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 Ti————————-High end
Nvidia GeForce GTX 980————————-High end
Nvidia GeForce GTX 970————————-Upper mid range
Nvidia GeForce GTX 960————————-Mid range
Nvidia GeForce GTX 950————————-Lower mid range
Before the 900 series, Nvidia released their ‘700’ series graphics cards. Below are those graphics cards within the 700 series (for home/gaming computers), starting with the most powerful graphics card within this series:
Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan Z————————-High end
Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan Black————————-High end
Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan————————-High end
Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 Ti————————-High end
Nvidia GeForce GTX 780————————-High end
Nvidia GeForce GTX 770————————-Upper mid range
Nvidia GeForce GTX 760————————-Mid range
Nvidia GeForce GTX 750 Ti————————-Lower mid range
Nvidia GeForce GTX 750————————-Lower mid range
Nvidia GeForce GT 740————————-Low end
Nvidia GeForce GT 730————————-Low end
Nvidia GeForce GT 720————————-Low end
Most of the Nvidia graphics cards within the 900 series were released in 2015. Most of the Nvidia graphics cards within the 700 series were released in 2013 and 2014. By the way, we’ll get into the performance of these cards later on.
Nvidia Graphics Card’s Model Names Explained
The last two numbers of the graphics card’s model name will indicate its performance level. The higher the number, the better the graphics card. For example, a card that has the number ‘80’ within its model name (e.g. the Nvidia GeForce GTX 980) is a high end graphics card. One with ‘70’ in its name (for example the GTX 970) is an upper mid range card, ‘60’ indicates a mid range card, ‘50’ is a lower mid range card, and anything lower (for example, the Nvidia GeForce GT 740) is a low end graphics card. Any graphics card that has ‘Ti’ in its name will be a superior version. For example, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 Ti is superior to the GTX 980. The ‘Titan’ graphics cards are very high end cards and are often quite expensive too.
List of AMD Graphics Card
The latest generation of graphics cards from AMD are called the Rx 300 series. Those cards are listed below starting with their most powerful graphics card.
AMD Radeon R9 FuryX————————-Enthusiast Range
AMD Radeon R9 Fury————————-Enthusiast Range
AMD Radeon R9 390X————————-Enthusiast Range
AMD Radeon R9 390————————-Enthusiast Range
AMD Radeon R9 380X————————-Enthusiast Range
AMD Radeon R9 380————————-Enthusiast Range
AMD Radeon R7 370————————-Mainstream Range
AMD Radeon R7 360————————-Mainstream Range
The previous generation of graphics cards from AMD (before the Rx 300 series of graphics cards) was the Rx 200 series. Those are shown below, most powerful graphics card first within this series.
AMD Radeon R9 295X2————————-Enthusiast Range
AMD Radeon R9 290X————————-Enthusiast Range
AMD Radeon R9 290————————-Enthusiast Range
AMD Radeon R9 280X————————-Enthusiast Range
AMD Radeon R9 285————————-Enthusiast Range
AMD Radeon R9 280————————-Enthusiast Range
AMD Radeon R9 270X————————-Enthusiast Range
AMD Radeon R9 270————————-Enthusiast Range
AMD Radeon R7 265————————-Mainstream Range
AMD Radeon R7 260X————————-Mainstream Range
AMD Radeon R7 260————————-Mainstream Range
AMD Radeon R7 250X————————-Mainstream Range
AMD Radeon R7 250————————-Mainstream Range
AMD Radeon R7 240————————-Mainstream Range
AMD Radeon R5 230 Non-Gamers Range
AMD Graphics Card’s Model Names Explained
The last two numbers in an AMD graphics card’s model name will give you an idea of how well it can perform. For example, the AMD Radeon R9 390 is a superior graphics card compared with the AMD Radeon R9 380. As you can see from the graphics card lists just shown, all of the AMD Radeon R9 cards are the Enthusiast range, and all the AMD Radeon R7 cards are their mainstream range. We’ll be taking a look at the performance of both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards in a moment.
Your Monitor’s Resolution
Before we move on, we need to understand monitor resolution. Your screen is made up of tiny dots called pixels. The more pixels there are, the clearer and more detailed images will look on your screen. An example of this would be a ‘Full HD’ monitor that has 1920 pixels across its width and 1080 pixels up its height. So a full HD monitor’s resolution is described as 1920 x 1080. There are many different monitor resolutions with many different names to describe them. Some of the most popular monitor resolutions are:
1024 x 768 (XGA)
1366 x 768 (WXGA)
1920 x 1080 (Full HD)
2560 x 1440 (WQHD)
3440 x 1440 (UWQHD)
3840 x 2160 (UHD, also known as 4k).
So if you were to play a game using a UHD (4k) monitor with a resolution of 3480 x 2160, the details in the game will look much sharper compared to playing a game using a monitor with a resolution of, say, 1024 x 768. The higher your monitor resolution is, the better your games will look.
FPS (Frames Per Second)
What is FPS (Frames Per Second)? Let’s take a camcorder as an example. Many camcorders will take around 30 pictures per second, which will give a smooth video playback when viewed. In other words, the camcorder is taking 30 frames per second (FPS). Some camcorders will take 60 pictures per second (60 FPS) which will give a very smooth play back. It’s a similar story when it comes to gaming. The graphics card will send as many frames per second as it can to the monitor. The better the graphics card is, the more FPS it can send to the monitor. The more FPS it can send, the smoother your games will appear on screen. If you have a high monitor resolution, such as 3480 x 2160 (UHD/4k), the graphics card will have to send 8,294,400 pixels per frame to the monitor.
But if you have a lower monitor resolution, such as 1024 x 768, the graphics card will only have to send 786,432 pixels per frame to the monitor. That’s why low end graphics cards often struggle to show smooth game play in high monitor resolutions, but they might breeze through some games at lower resolutions. We’ll see how many FPS various graphics cards can manage at various resolutions in a moment. But first, how many FPS do you need to have, for smooth game play? Well, at 30 FPS, any game will look fairly smooth. Games that are played on a console are sometimes shown at 30 FPS.
You can play games at 25 FPS, but this won’t be ideal as game play will look stuttery at times. So 30 FPS should be the minimum when it comes to gaming. At 40 FPS, games will look smooth. Whilst quite a few gamers are very happy playing games at around 30 – 35 FPS, many are happier when FPS reaches the 40s, as game play looks more smooth. At 50 – 60 FPS, any game will appear very smooth.
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