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A video card is not an essential component for every PC, but it is certainly helpful in any situation that requires complex visual output. While a CPU can certainly handle some of the processes that a GPU would normally handle, the CPU isn’t dedicated to visual output, and, therefore, performance will suffer. That’s why PC builders who want to play cutting edge games or work with image and video editing tools need to add a desktop graphics card to their build. Additionally, desktop PC users who want to use more than one monitor at a time will want to invest in a graphics card. Fortunately, there are more than enough variations of video cards to satisfy any budget and need.
Currently there are two major designers of desktop video cards: NVIDIA and AMD. Both designers work with a multitude of manufacturers who build graphics cards based on each designers’ reference cards. Some of the popular video card manufacturers are EVGA, MSI, ASUS, Gigabyte, Sapphire, XFX, Zotac, and PNY. Additionally, both NVIDIA and AMD video cards further segment into different series. On the NVIDIA side, the series break down into different GeForce lines, whereas the AMD series break down into different Radeon lines.
Both designs have their pros and cons, which their respective fan communities love to debate. Additionally, both designs offer different technologies. For instance, NVIDIA uses Scalable Link Interface (SLI) in order allow two identical GeForce graphics cards to work in tandem, offering a very large gain in performance for programs that can take advantage of it. The comparable technology for AMD is CrossFireX, which allows two Radeon video cards to work together without necessarily being identical.
Not everyone is a gamer, of course. Many users need desktop graphics cards to assist in design. For these users, a traditional graphics card isn’t the best fit. Instead, they should seek out workstation graphics cards which are created specifically for computer assisted design (CAD) software. These graphics cards offer higher specifications and typically cost more than other graphics cards. As such, these video cards are usually bought by organizations who can afford the higher cost in order to get professional work done. Despite having cutting edge hardware, workstation graphics cards are not suitable for gaming since the drivers and software for these cards don’t consider gaming use cases and, therefore, don’t support them.
Building a PC means always having a choice. Shopping at Newegg for your next graphics card means the number of your choices is huge! Find the best desktop graphics card for your PC today!