Best Graphics Card

Top 10 Rated Graphics Cards 2015

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The graphics card is one of the computer components that will really make or break your machine. Most of the time big box store made computers include integrated graphics. That means there is no part of your computer dedicated to processing video information. That’s okay, but you don’t even get close to the performance of a graphics card. We looked at 10 of the best graphics cards that make gaming and HD more beautiful than you ever imagined. They were rated based on the following criteria:

1. The amount of video ram and GPU clock speed
2. Types of video outs from the card
3. Maximum supported resolution and resfresh rate
4. Number of video processing cores
5. Multiple display support
6. Ability to run with other graphics cards
7. Price and performance

EVGA ACX Cooler
4096×2160 Max Digital Resolution
DVI-I, DVI-D, HDMI, Display-Port
600 Watt power supply minimum

This may only be a 2GB graphics card in a world where they are stepping up to 3GB and 4GB, but the GeForce GTX770 is able to hold its own and then some. It has 1536 processing cores to really…read more


915 MHz GPU
2GB 192-bit GDDR5
PCI Express x16 3.0
DisplayPort, DL-DVI-I, DL-DVI-D and HDMI

The only graphics card from MSI, the GTX 660 Ti model is a solid component for your gaming or home theater computer. The really unique thing about this particular card is MSI’s Twin Frozr IV…read more


DDR3 2GB
PCI Express 2.1
650 MHz
Fan Sink
Super Alloy Power

The Asus Radeon HD 6570 is a budget model graphics card that will take care of the most basic HD video needs, and then some. It is not going to be the go-to gaming card…read more


Diamond AMD Radeon HD7970  9.5/10

925MHz GPU
3072MB GDDR5
1 Dual Link DVI, 1 HDMI and 2 Mini Display Port
PCI Express 3.0 x16
500 watt power supply needed

The only graphics card on the list with more than 2GB of video ram. The Diamond Radeon HD7970 is truly a beast with 2048 processing cores. The maximum resolution with a Display-Port connection goes all the way up to 4096×2160. That’s 4K UHD! Very nice. It also supports stereoscopic 3D over an HDMI connection. The 7970 is going to make nothing out of pretty much any task you can find for it. This card is going to be the center of your work station or the best home theater computer on the block. The price tag is pretty outrageous at $429.99, but you won’t need to replace it for a long time.

Prices


GIGABYTE GV-N670OC-2GB  9/10

2048MB,256 bit GDDR5
Dual link DVI-I, DVI-D, HDMI, DisplayPort
PCI-E 3.0
550W power requirement

If you go with this GeForce graphics card from GIGABYTE you are not going to be sorry. The 2GB of GDDR5 video ram will take care of the latest games without a hitch. GIGABYTE incorporated some of their own technology like the Triangle Cool for enhanced cooling ability and the Ultra VGA board for better overclocking ability and less power switching loss. It supports a max digital resolution of 2560×1600 and can hook up 4 displays simultaneously. It is a DirectX 11 compatible card so you know you are going to get the latest in gaming technology. You can find this graphics card on sale for $359.99.

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EVGA GeForce GTX 660SC  8.5/10

1046 MHz GPU
960 CUDA Cores
2048MB GDDR5 192-Bit
PCI-E 3.0 16x
DVI-I, DVI-D, HDMI, Display-Port

The GeForce GTX 660SC is a gaming grapchics card at heart. 2GB of GDDR5 video ram is really all you are going to need to push your games to the next level. It has a 240Hz max refresh rate and a maximum resolution of 2560×1600 if you are using a dual link DVI cable. This one adds Display-Port connectivity as well for those who are using the format. It has a PCIe 3.0 to really increase the data transfer rate between the computer and the card. It even has 3D playback. For the price of $229.99 it is hard to find a better deal on a graphics card.

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Sapphire Radeon HD 6950  8.5/10

800 MHz GPU
2048 MB Size 256 -bit GDDR5
PCI-Express 2.0
Any HD output method you can think of
500 watt power supply required

Switching the gears to the Radeon line of graphics cards, this one from Sapphire is a top contender. If you are looking for the best HD output in 3D, you have found it. The HDMI out allows for stereoscopic 3D as well as 7.1 audio output. If higher resolution is you goal, you can achieve that with the dual link DVI output. If you want to work on 3 displays at once, this is your card too. If gaming is what you want, the Radeon is loaded with tons of shading, physics processing, and DirectX 11 to keep you happy too. All of that is run by 2GB of GDDR5 video ram. This graphics card is available for $198.15.

Prices


Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6850  8/10

775MHz GPU
1024 MB 256 -bit GDDR5
DVI, HDMI, Display-Port
PCI-E 2.0
500 watt power supply required

This is another 3D capable graphics card from Sapphire. 3D is seen as the way of the future by some, so make your computer future-proof by enabling 3D output. It is also going to be one of the best deals you will find on a 3D enabled card. All you need is an HDMI cable and a 3D display. This one has 775 processing cores inside to really make the 1GB video ram fly. If you really feel like it, this one will support up to 3 displays with a Display-Port connection. For as wallet friendly as this card is, it will go far for your video needs. The graphics card usually sells for $149.98.

Prices


EVGA GeForce GTX 550 Ti  8/10

900 MHz GPU
192 CUDA Cores
2048 MB, 192 bit GDDR5
PCI-E 2.0 16x
2xDVI-I and Mini-HDMI

The GTX 550 Ti is going to be the middle of the road option if you choose to go with an EVGA graphics card. Yes, a middle of the road choice, but more than middle of the road performance. It has significantly less processing cores with a slightly slower GPU. You are also missing a standard HDMI and PCI-E 3.0 connections. That’s what you are sacrificing, but it worth the trade-off in a lower price. It is an ideal card if you are constructing a budget gaming machine. You’ll be up and running for the price of $139.99 to $144.95.

Prices


EVGA GeForce 8400 GS  7.5/10

520 MHz GPU
8 processing cores
1024 MB, 64 bit DDR3
PCI-E 2.0 16x
DVI-I, HDMI, VGA

For being one of the cheapest video cards on the market, the EVGA GeForce 8400 GS, is pretty impressive.The 1GB of DDR3 video ram is enough to power all the HD video you can imagine and it will even handle some light gaming. The 120Hz max resfresh rate and max analogue resolution of 2548×1536 means you are able to get some great video out of this card. It gives you the option of HDMI, DVI-I, or VGA a connection. That’s really about it. If you watch a lot of HD video on your computer and want Windows to run smoothly, this is the card for your computer. You can pick it up for a steal at $34.99 to $39.99.

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Graphics Card Buying Guide

Graphics cards can be pretty foreign to a lot of people. There is a long list of things to consider when purchasing a new graphics card. You have video ram, GPU clock speed, the type of PCI connection, power supply requirements, and so much more. Here are some of the bare bones basics to consider when looking at graphics card specs.

Video RAM

The higher the number the better here. Anywhere from 1GB to 4GB is going to take care of viewing HD video. You’ll need to step it up if you plan on editing video or gaming. Then you need to look at the type of ram it is. GDDR3 is slower than GDDR5. Keep that in mind.

GPU Clock Speed

This is just like the rating of your computers processor. The higher the better, but to a certain extent. If you are only going to be performing everyday tasks, a little will go a long way. If you need to run the newest game at the highest settings, look for the fastest graphics processor you can find.

Video Output Support

There are a lot of different output connections on the back of these things. Why so many? They allow the flexibility to choose which type of display you can use. They all have their pros and cons. HDMI can allow for stereoscopic 3D while a Dual Link DVI cable will help you to push the resolution past 1080 or use multiple monitors.

These three points really only scratch at the surface of choosing a video card, but will be the basis of choosing a certain model. Once you pick a card, investigate a little further into the special features and extras different manufacturers add to make their brand more appealing.

Brian Jones has had a passion for photography and anything related for the majority of his life. One photography class in high school was all it took to get hooked on everything to do with the subject. He became more focused on learning about camera… See more about Brian

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