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Buyer's Guide to Graphics Cards

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Buyer's Guide to Graphics Cards

by Answers 2000 Limited

Thinking about buying a new Graphics Card?

Graphics Cards (sometimes called Adaptors or Accelerators) are the video card which goes inside your computer allowing it to be connected to the monitor.

Your choice of Graphics Card can affect the quality of the display and the speed at which information is displayed. Many Graphics Cards include features to speed up display of, some or all of: 2D graphics (example: business charts), 3D graphics (example: games), or video playback (example: playing back a DVD disk).

These tips will help you select the right Graphics Card for you:
  • For high speed graphics use a card which connects into your computer using AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) interface, not PCI. If your computer doesn't support AGP, it may be better to get a new computer rather than thinking of buying a graphics card!
  • More memory means faster performance. If you're buying the graphics cards for games pick a card with plenty of memory (preferably 32Mb). For business applications, you generally don't need so much memory, so you can save money.
  • Make sure you review the feature list of the card, and choose one which includes accelerated performance for the features that are most important to you. For example, if you like playing video games, it's a good idea to pick a card with 3D acceleration capabilities.
  • To get the best out of your Graphics card, it's very important you have the correct driver. You'll need a new driver if you get a new card. You'll also most likely need a new driver if you upgrade your operating system version. Make sure you save a copy of the old driver, and know how to set it back, before installing a new driver - as sometimes drivers may have bugs.
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