Choose video cards with graphics processing units (GPU) and central processing units (CPU) that handle multiple needs. Effective units can handle intensive gaming sessions, CAD, graphic designing and video editing, and maximize your computer's performance. Consider the Thermal Design Power (TDP) as an optimal choice for your system, as it indicates how much power your graphics card will need, and how much heat it produces. There are models available with different connectors that work with a variety of monitors to help set up multiple screens. Most models feature Thunderbolt® and USB or USB-C™ connections, providing plug-and-play capabilities for a quick setup.
Check your screen resolution when selecting video devices and graphics cards to choose models that match those requirements. Games require graphics cards that can handle higher refresh rates and overclocking, which help prevent latency. The cards have memory ranging from as little as 64MB to 16GB. Desktop graphics card with 2GB to 4GB of memory meet the needs of most creative professionals. Gamers require 6GB to 8GB of memory for less lag and latency during play. Laptops used for browsing the internet and using productivity applications only need up to 1GB. Consider dedicated graphics cards that improve overall performance for serious gaming and running high-end video software.
Creative professionals can use workstation graphics cards designed to handle the demands of power-intensive applications. The memory on these graphics cards will usually start at around 4GB, and have professional pixel resolution to produce high-quality images. Entry-level cards support basic computer use, like surfing, checking emails and creating spreadsheets. Connect multiple desk top graphics cards by selecting options with either SLI® or CrossFire® support, depending on whether you have Nvidia® or AMD® hardware. Verify the available space inside your case when choosing video cards, as the additional fans and cooling systems require more room. Dedicated video cards often feature improved driver compatibility and support, which benefits users switching to different operating systems, or who need to run specific software. Consider 4K gaming cards for playing the latest multiplayer titles, or enjoy crisp videos when watching Netflix® and other streaming media.
There is a range of video card accessories that allow you to get the full benefit from your existing card or when upgrading. Adapters let you upgrade older systems, even if you don't have the right connections. Use a second graphics card by installing an SLI bridge if you have Nvidia hardware, or a CrossFire bridge if you have AMD hardware. Check out the external graphics enclosures and docks if you want to upgrade your laptop without opening it up. Use slot extenders, braces, and adapters for convenient installation. External power supplies let you connect workstation graphics cards so they share the load on the motherboard. Be sure to check the specifications and connections on your chosen graphics card to match it with the accessories.