February 22, 2024
Guide

Guide: How to choose a video card for gaming?

Guide: How to choose a video card for gaming?

This guide is intended for every user (beginner or advanced) who is interested in buying a gaming video card. Here we will guide you what should be the criteria of a consumer to choose a video card.

While all of the various review outlets (including me) discuss video cards, their performance against other options, none mentions that they are the main keys to choosing a video card.

I dedicate this guide to Noctur, who gave me enough motivation to guide readers who come to this portal hacked.

Table of Contents

Mistakes when choosing a video card

The error that an end user can make, before analyzing it from a technical point of view, is the error when measuring their needs and realities. The final result is that you are going to make a purchase that can fall into these situations:

-Bought a video card well below expectations.
-You spent a lot of money on a video card that is too much for your needs.
-You don't know what you bought, for what, or why. She just read or saw something on the web and went without question if she needed it.

These mistakes can be easily avoided if one has a properly articulated schematic (in one's head), before reading reviews. These are:

-What games are the ones that I normally "consume"?
-What monitor will I use along with the video card?
-Well… how big is my wallet?

TO). The importance of the games that one "consume" when choosing a video card for gaming

It is perhaps the most important aspect when choosing a video card that most don't look at when buying a video card. Although it is good to be guided by benchmarks to know which card is better than the other, the question at the end of the day is:

What do you play hand?

If your answer is going to be… Well, I only play DOTA 2 and from there I watch my YouTube videos, which in our country (Peru) is the vast majority of cartoon accounts; buy one GeForce RTX 4090 dont have much sense.

There are different types of games, but we can classify them into two:

-Competitive games (usually tied to esports).
-AAA games.

Obviously there are competitive games that can be as demanding as AAA games, but let's keep things simple.

Competitive games – usually the least demanding

We can simplify, that competitive games in general are less demanding compared to AAAs. What's more, one characteristic is that, although an adequate video card is needed, more important is to weigh the importance of the role of the processor in this type of game. Usually, a processor and RAMs can have more impact in these types of games.

Some examples are:

-DOTA 2 (especially in Peru)
-League of Legends

DOTA 2

These two titles are the most played in the world. Obviously there are more games that fall into this category, but the role of the video card can take second place compared to the processor and RAM in several of them. An exception to this is for example:

-Warzone 2

Warzone II

It is a massive, competitive game, which despite being in this category, demands like a AAA game, both in processor and video card.

AAAs Games – The “finest” of the selection, but do you really “consume” them?

On the internet you will see all kinds of users... some who repeat what they saw or read somewhere, those who think they know more than others and the worst; fanboys (biased users) but something that always comes to mind is the following:

"How many of them actually play AAA titles?"

I say this because it's important… A AAA game usually costs 200 nuevos soles (US$60). Of the hours that one spends playing on the PC, which can be many or few... How many of those are really focused on AAAs?

The Plague Tale Requiem

There are users who spend hundreds to thousands of nuevos soles (or dollars) a year on AAA games. If so, then a video card with this “need” in mind is important when choosing a video card.

Summary – Put in a balance that is what one plays

Whether it's competitive games or AAA games, it's important to know what you're going to play (realistically). It's sad, but when you get older, there's less time to play as adult life floods with a world of responsibilities; so that factor should also be weighed.

There are some people who just want to put their daily "dotita" to "lower pepa" and the truth is that they do not require an amazing video card.

But if you are a user who plays competitively, mixed with several AAAs titles per year or only plays AAAs, this completely changes what one "needs".

B). An important factor when choosing a video card: What monitor will I use alongside the video card?

There are many who overlook this and the importance of the monitor that one is going to use with the video card. You should know that there are three traditional resolutions (16:9) in gaming. These are:

-1920x1080p (Full-HD)
-2560x1440p (QHD)
-3840x2160p (4K UHD)

For the newbies, I have to break the illusion that playing in 4K UHD it is geometrically more demanding than any other resolution. I mean, if you really want to play at this resolution, you're going to require a QUITE HUGE wallet compared to a budget with a PC/video card in mind to play at. 1080p.

Besides, a 4K UHD monitor or TV is substantially more expensive than a 1440p/1080p monitor.

If you want to read a guide on how to choose a monitor?, you can read the following guide. There you will find more information, for example, what is hertz and the importance in competitive games.

To understand how demanding it is to jump from 1440p to 2160p, let's see how many pixels each resolution generates:

1080p: 2073600 pixels
1440p: 3686400 pixels
2160p: 8294400 pixels

The jump to 1440p from 1080p is 77.77% more pixels and from 1440p to 2160p it is 125%.

With that in mind, if you know you're going to be playing 1080p competitive games, you'll realize you don't require a NASA video card for that. Switching to 1440p isn't super demanding and various video cards can keep up with 1440p and competitive gaming. The same goes for 2160p.

It's funny, but most competitive games don't require much VRAM (few exceptions) even at high resolutions like 2160p.

The story gives a 180 degree change if the priority is in AAAs games. These are already much more demanding than competitive games and the demand for newer titles can be abysmal at resolutions like 1440p and especially 2160p.

It's a shame to say, but they'll require quite a bit of money on various PC parts, including the video card, to accomplish this feat. The goal for a AAA game is to be able to play it at a minimum of 60 FPS (if it is higher, at a good time).

The importance of being clear, WHICH MONITOR I am going to use, will be quite important when choosing a video card model.

C). How big is my wallet? Reality versus what one wants

If one wanted to, one would want to play on a 4/120hz 144K monitor with a GeForce RTX 4090, the current champion in almost all the titles, with Ray Tracing, etc. The sad reality is that each user is tied to his purchasing power. In simple terms, a budget, your wallet…

When buying PC parts, although one has to choose a suitable processor, for gaming the most important thing is the video card and monitor. So keep this in realistic expectations of what one can actually acquire. Don't forget, if you're going to play AAAs, a AAA title is usually around $60.

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