Graphic Cards: What Kind of Features Matter?

You can find several buying guidelines for graphic cards, focusing on minor points. Most of them are the same and will be repeating the same things in the list. These are all basic smart buying tips, and what you truly need is the ones with the best fundamental features that matter. Whether you are buying RX 6800 XT or any other card, you need to ensure it has the essential basic features.

Graphic cards help the GPU render graphics, and your computer can display the information. People have a misconception that graphic cards are only for playing 3D games, but in reality, your PC needs a graphic card to show any image on the screen. In fact, without a graphic card, your PC cannot function at all. The article lists the features you must look for in a graphic card.

Graphic Card Features 101:

Memory amount/VRAM

VRAM is the abbreviation of Video Random Access Memory. It signifies the amount of memory your graphic card has. You can consider the graphic card as a mini-PC, which is made to render 3D graphics on the screen. A PC must always have enough memory to function properly. A 4GB memory is the minimum memory your graphic card must possess. 

Power connectors

Avoid buying graphic cards with power connectors different from your computer. Most of the cards come with 6-pin or 8-pin configurations, and it also depends on the card tiers. Always check the connectors before you buy the card.

The cards that consume less power tend to have 6-pin or 8-pin connectors. Those that consume high power will have multiples of 6-pins or multiple 8-pins. You can also find the combination of 6-pin and 8-pin. High-performance cards like RX 6800 XT usually have 2x8-pins.

Display outputs

The latest cards have DisplayPort, HDMI, and even an antiquated DVI (Digital Video Interface). Hence, before buying the graphic card, you need to check your monitor's port type. If the ports are different, you may have to return the graphic card.

Thermal Design Power (TDP)

TDP is also called the thermal design point. It is the maximum amount of heat produced by the card so that you can check whether your cooling system can keep it in check or not. TDP also tells you whether your power supply can give the card enough juice or not. Graphic cards with high TDP are not a bad thing, but if your cooling system cannot control the heat, you may face severe issues in the system. You have to buy a card with low TDP, or you will need to increase the cooling efficiency of your PC.

You need to check some other specs of a graphic card which are not as important as the specs mentioned above, but these specs can affect the performance of your PC.

  • Form factor
  • Clock speed
  • CUDA Cores/Stream Processors
  • Memory bandwidth

If you take care of all the specifications/features mentioned above, your PC will run smoothly and efficiently. You can also play high-definition and high-quality games. The new-age graphic cards also support 3D and interactive games.

Whatever graphic card you choose, ensure that they are compatible with your GPU/PC and that your cooling system can control the heat that the card will emit. Follow these tips and customise your PC into a high-performing PC.

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