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How to choose a video card for a PC

Separate video card or integrated graphics?

The first question is whether to use a separate video card or to use the graphics integrated into the CPU. Integrated graphics are a substantially cheaper option, given the additional cost of a separate video card. For most users whose graphics needs include playing casual video games, watching DVDs and streaming videos good integrated graphics will be fine and save you money. If serious 3D gaming is your thing you really don't have a choice, you need the graphics power of a separate video card.

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Integrated graphics for most

The graphics processors integrated with Intel Celeron, Pentium and Core 6th generation CPUs are breakthroughs in integrated graphics performance. These will do an excellent graphics job for the majority of PC users who are not serious 3D gamers.

Low end video cards

Intense competition exists between the two video card designers, AMD and NVIDIA, at most performance levels of video cards. We don't recommend either of their low end cards. It's better to save with integrated graphics which have now become really good if you're not a serious gamer or better to get a higher class of video card if you are.

video card

Recommendations - mainstream video cards

A video card with the powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 GPU with 2 GB video memory, is a video card we would recommend for the majority of gamers who use 20 inch to 24 inch LCD monitors, gaming at 1920 x 1080p resolution.

Recommendations - high performance video cards

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU with 6 GB video memory or even the same GPU with 3 GB video memory is a great choice for a high performance video card. The AMD Radeon RX 480 GPU with 4 GB video memory is a cheaper option here.

Recommendations - high end video cards

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 GPU with 8 GB video memory is a great choice for a high end video card.

Recommendations - ultra video cards

In this category we would recommend the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 GPU with 8 GB video memory.

SLI and Crossfire configurations

You can also get increased graphics performance by combining two video cards in the same PC. NVIDIA calls it SLI and AMD calls it Crossfire. This requires a motherboard that supports dual video card configurations increasing the motherboard cost, in addition to the extra cost of two video cards. These days you can get very powerful single video cards so these dual video card configurations are overkill and over expensive for most, but hey it can be fun to do!

It's not a bad idea though for extreme gamers, and we recommend it, to plan ahead for a dual video card Crossfire or SLI configuration when they design their PC starting with selecting a motherboard that supports at least two video cards at PCI Express Gen 3.0 at x8 x8 speeds and better still at x16 x16 speeds. That way when the price of the single video card you originally installed drops by a significant amount in the future, you can add a second one.

For a dual video card ultra gaming PC we recommend an SLI configration with either two NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 GPU video cards or two NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 GPU video cards. As you can see the two cards in SLI have to have the same GPU.

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Linux interest and tech freedom articles!

Microsoft: 'Software is ultimately the biggest deflationary force' for businesses - Yahoo Finance, October 17, 2022:
Open source free software like Linux yes is deflationary, Microsoft not really. Kamil

Microsoft’s greed is killing Windows 11 for me - TechRadar, April 21st, 2022:

March 21st, 2022: Windows 11 will add a watermark if you use unsupported hardware - engadget

Dec 2, 2021: Microsoft’s new Windows prompts try to stop people downloading Chrome - The Verge

Oct 8, 2021: Amazon Delivery Partners Rage Against the Machines: ‘We Were Treated Like Robots’ - Yahoo Finance

Sep 10, 2021: Epic v. Apple ruling: Judge finds Apple's App Store restrictions violate antitrust law - Yahoo Finance

Aug 28, 2021: Why You Suddenly Need To Delete Google Chrome - Forbes

FTC says Facebook has been a monopoly ‘since at least 2011’ in amended antitrust complaint - The Verge

Windows 11 Is Making It Absurdly Difficult to Change Browsers - GIZMODO

What the Linux Mint developers have pulled off is nothing short of astounding - TechRepublic

Fired by Bot at Amazon: ‘It’s You Against the Machine’ - Bloomberg News

PC users are furious about the new Windows 11 design - Creative Bloq

Epic v. Apple fight: Billions at stake as judge determines fate of App Store - Yahoo!

Google reportedly made it difficult for smartphone users to find privacy settings - The Verge

I looked at all the ways Microsoft Teams tracks users and my head is spinning - ZDNet

Microsoft just force restarted my Windows PC again to install more unwanted apps - The Verge

Disastrous Windows 10 update is reportedly breaking some PCs - TechRadar

With Edge, Microsoft’s forced Windows updates just sank to a new low - The Verge

A million students and counting have learned Linux - ZDNet

Linux Mint 20: Still the best Linux desktop despite one quirk - ZDNet

What Operating System Is the Best Choice for Software Engineers? - Interesting Engineering
From the article "GNU/Linux is, hands down, the most highly acclaimed operating system for software engineering."

Microsoft: we were wrong about open source - The Verge

How to choose PC parts

CPU Video card Memory
Motherboard SSD/HDD DVD CD
Power supply Case OS
Speakers Monitor Linux

How to assemble a PC

PC assembly guide
PC assembly project
High Performance Everyday PC build
Premium Everyday PC build
Premium Everyday Mini PC build
Gaming PC build
Extreme Gaming PC build
Workstation Computer build
Save with Linux on a PC
How to choose PC parts
Dual boot Linux and Windows
Upgrade to SSD project
Transfer data from old PC to new PC

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