Desktop Video Cards
If any computer component has constant change it is Desktop video cards. With a life cycle ranging from 3 months to a year the vast majority of desktop or consumer video cards have very short lives. That rapid change makes it difficult to choose the best card for the application. If you have a specific application in mind that is. Understanding what you need is going to be your first requirement. Some basic questions to consider would be the following…
• Am I playing Games or just Web and Office?
• Will this PC be used for Video?
• Do I need more then 1 display?
The most Basic configuration (out of the box) would be to use the on board video provided with most motherboards. This is Ideal for the user that has one display and is only using the internet and basic use of Office applications. With the constantly improving onboard video chipsets this will be fine for the basic PC user.
Do you think you’re a gamer? Honestly the on line games that you find on places like POGO or FaceBook will work just fine with the integrated graphics. It is the more advanced games that will require the additional horse power but again that power can be subject to the user and the overall configuration. Myself? I have a pretty standard 19” LCD and it’s not worth going to the top of the line. There are the true enthusiasts that are willing to drop $500 to $1000 on a graphics card but it can be overkill. The truth is that most people can get fantastic performance on a mid level card.
The same thing is true with watching videos. Just playing a DVD is not that demanding, even a Blu-Ray film (although more demanding) can run fine depending on your system configuration. Now if you are planning on doing more than just watch a movie then you can look into adding a better video card. This can help deliver smoother play back and use less computer CPU resources.
How many displays? That sounds like an easy question but the application can make things more complicated than you would think. Driving 2 and more screens can really require more from your video card and although some motherboards can do it you will find it a better fit for the office. 2 Displays for Video, Gaming or even Graphic intense content can be done with most add on cards. It is when you past 2 displays that it can get tricky and more costly.
ATI Eyefinity Technology is fairly new giving you the ability to run up to 3 displays out of the box. To actually get 3 displays you might need a few adapters as most of these cards had the new “Display Port” connection on them.
4 Displays? That becomes a much more complicated configuration. That is really only because of the verity of cards and configurations that you can do. One card with 4 ports or Two cards with 2 ports?
… More to come on Future Posts…