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What is a Graphics Card for

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A Graphics Card is a piece of hardware used in almost everything that has a monitor (phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, etc) to provide better quality graphics and faster Framerates (for games). That’s what is a graphics card for in short but let’s expand with more information in a question answer format.

GPU stands for Graphics Processing Unit. In most scenarios, it means the same as a Graphics Card. See this Quora link for more info

what is a graphics card for - pic1

Question 1 : Is Graphics Card necessary ?

Answer

Yes, because CPU is used for by all devices in the computer so the architecture is designed to provide the best results for this type of work.

Doing exclusive image calculations is what is a graphics card for.

Question 2 : Can’t the CPU do arithmetics or other calculations that the GPU does?

Answer

It can, however is not optimized for the graphics calculations but the GPU is.

Question 3: What’s the difference between Dedicated GPU Memory and Shared Memory?

what is a graphics card for - shared memory 1

Answer

Dedicated memory means it used entirely for the needs of the GPU. Shared Memory is RAM memory withheld for graphics calculation.

Question 4: Which is faster, Dedicated or Shared Memory GPU?

Answer

Decicated Memory is faster because it is inside the same chip of the GPU. For Shared Memory the GPU has to travel out of its chip to get it (from RAM). So even if you see it simply as a distance problem, you can understand that Dedicated Memory is faster.

Below there is a nice video about what is a graphics card for:

Question 5: What is the minimum & recommended Memory Size for a GPU?

Answer

Answer 5: The minimum is 2GB Dedicated Memory. The recommended is 6-8 GB (If you want to play Battlefield 5 and L.A Noire : The VR Case files.

Question 6: Is Graphics Card only for gaming?

Answer

Nope. It’s there for most image processing calculations (videos, architect programs etc).

Question 7: How do i know if my PC uses my Graphics Card?

Answer

If you have Windows 10 after 2018 April’s update, there is a Settings App. Check the article in the link for detailed information.

If you don’t have Windows 10, update your graphics driver to the latest version. That reduces the chance that your applications use the Shared Memory Graphics Card (If any).

You can always download GPU-Z. This tool can help you see how much load your graphics card has (and other information).

There are some scenarios where a system is designed to use both the shared memory graphics card and the dedicated memory graphics card.

Check the following Quora answer:

“When an application launches which requires the additional power of the NVIDIA graphics card, systems with NVIDIA Optimus technology seamlessly switch over to that, then turn it off when no longer required. “

https://www.quora.com/Can-I-change-my-laptop-display-from-intel-hd-graphics-to-Nvidia-GeForce-920M/answer/Amay-Mishra

You can check the above link if you want how to use only the dedicated memory graphics card. If you have an AMD graphics card there is a control panel there as well where you can make changes.

Question 8: Can you use 2 or more GPUs for better perfomance?

Answer

Yes you can. SLI(for Nvidia) and Crossfire(for AMD) enables your system to use up to 4 graphics card to work together.

Question 9: Is it recommended to buy 2 or more graphics cards for better perfomance?

Answer

No, it’s not. You can play all games with 1 good graphics card. Multi GPU Setup is for people who have a budget and want a better overall experience(maybe more screens, higher than 1080p (FHD) or 1444p (QHD) resolutions, or just because they are geeks and want the best of the best!).

Question 10: Can i use one Nvidia and one AMD Card simultaneously?

Answer

No, Multi GPU Setup is only available with 2 graphics card of the same brand (probably of the same model too).

Question 11: Which brand is better if i am on a budget?

Answer

AMD cards are cheaper and the perfomance isn’t so different from Nvidia Cards.

Question 12: What graphics card do i need to play all games at max Graphics?

Answer

Well, all you have to do is find out the game with the max graphics requirements and take that graphics card.

The game with the highest non DXR graphics requirements is L.A Noire The VR Case Files

It needs a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 8 GB.

Question 13: What graphics card do i need to play games with DXR ?(DirectX Ray Tracing)

Answer

At least Geforce GTX 1060 6GB. Check this site.

Question 14: Do i need a good graphics card to play Fortnite?

Answer

Not really. If you check Fortnite gamepedia it says it needs only Nvidia GTX 660 or AMD Radeon HD 7870 equivalent DX11 GPU (with 2GB VRAM).

These cards are pretty old so if you have better it will be a breeze(at least when it comes to the graphics card).

Question 15: What does TI mean in GeForce Cards?

Answer

It means Titanium and is better than the non Titanium version. Below there is a relative answer from Quora.

“Realize that titanium is a favored metal in aerospace and aviation. A little short of considering it an exotic metal, but very, very, close.
So if you are a graphics card maker and wanted folks to feel that this is a card that is above the rest, you give it a name that can be connected to one of the most respected hi-tech metals that sounds a bit like platinum. “

https://www.quora.com/What-does-%E2%80%9CTi%E2%80%9D-mean-in-the-context-of-NVIDIA-GPUs/answer/Jerome-Jackson-1

Feedback

If you have more questions that you want to be added, feel free to add them in comments.


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George

8 Comments

  1. I have an AMD card and it works ok, but I don’t really play any games on my PC, only on PS. Power of habit… 😛 I think about getting a new laptop, though. I guess the latest NVidia card is the best on the market now? 

    And what about the titanium. Is it better for the card or it sounds cool so they use it?

    • Well if you are planning to get the best graphics card available right now, yes it is the GeForce RTX 2080 Max Q(for laptops).

      There are better than that (for example the RTX 2080 TI and the Titan RTX) but they are not available for laptops.

      This laptop costs about 3 grand so as long as it is a good brand and doesn’t present any problems, it will last for many years (and certainly will play games at their max potential for at least 5-6 years).

      But if you play standard games (and you know that won’t change in the future) you better get a cheaper laptop. For most cases a laptop with a GTX 1050 or GTX 1050 Ti will play most games you want.

      The Titanium suffix is real and that card is an enhanced version of model.

      Thanks for stopping by. If you have any more questions feel free to ask. Have a nice day.

  2. This answers a lot of the questions I have had in regards to what a graphics card is used for. I know that there is a lot of conversations between gamers and video editors as to the type and size of graphics cards that are best for different purposes, and now I understand why.

    I personally use my laptop for gaming and for video processing. I create videos for clients and often they will want the highest quality that I offer. This takes longer if you do not have a graphics card that can handle the processing load this entails.

    For gaming, having a good graphics card can make the game a lot more fun, as the graphics operate smoother without choppiness and pauses (as long as your internet speed also is good too). Of course, having a good monitor is also important for this, as you want the refresh rates to work with the internet speed and the graphics card to give you the best experience possible.

    I did not know that you can use more than one graphics cards at a time, that is useful information and I will look into adding an extra card to further improve my experiences and get faster video processing done. I know it is not necessary based on your information, but I do have an external monitor and I think it may help.

    I have bookmarked this page as it has so much useful information about graphics cards. Any time I have a question, I can come here as a starting point. Thanks for putting this together, very helpful to us gamers and video creators too.

    • Thanks for the comprehensive feedback. For video processing, if you have both good GPU and CPU it will have faster results as the program sends parallel tasks to the GPU and CPU. Of course if you have a good graphics card, you must have a good monitor too. A 144 Hz monitor is cheap these days. Unless you need play some really fast paced games and want to get more Hz.

      The multi GPU setup would be useful if you have many screens or if you want 4K resolutions. For most gaming scenarios, it is not required as you might need a new motherboard that supports multi GPU.

      If you have any question that you think is missing, you can leave a comment here or PM. Take care

  3. I’m an ardent video gamer especially on PC and I do upgrade my PC  anytime I learnt of a new update in the graphics card. I currently own an Nvidia card but I learnt there is an update on it already. Mostly I play soccer games and adventure. My current graphics card work well with FIFA19 but I have a feel the latest installment would require a greater graphics card. Can I be introduced to the latest on the Nvidia cards and a possible PC that would maximally explore that.

    • Fifa 19 itself doesn’t require an expensive graphics card. As in the official site states, the recommended graphics card is : NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 or AMD Radeon R9 270X . But i know gamers like to get better graphics cards just for the fun of it (or having a greater graphics card enabling them to try and play some GPU intensive games).

      A GTX 1660 Ti would be a great graphics card and is relatively cheap. If you want to deep dive your pocket then you should get an RTX 2080 (Of course you can go for more but not worth it).

      Check out this link for some GPU benchmarks

  4. Hi George.
    Thanks for sharing such an informative article about the graphics card. You have described GPU step by step by answering questions and also gave the answers. I have learned many important things about the graphics card and GPU.
    I will share the helpful post and thank you so much for sharing such an informative post.

    • I’m glad you found the article informative. If you think there is a question (or more) missing, feel free to PM me or comment here.

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