Graphics cards

Graphics card models

Although there are a large number of graphics card vendors, there are actually only two major manufacturers of chips for graphics cards. ATI and Nvidia dominate the business, and nearly every graphics card you buy will use chips from one of these companies.

Usually, the chip in use is detailed in the product name or specifications. Cards using the same graphics chip are fairly homogenous: one graphics card using the Nvidia GeForce 6600 chip will perform roughly the same as another card using the same chip; that is not to say however, that you should not shop around. Some brands are known for offering more reliable cards that often come with slightly higher clock speeds out of the box, as well as increased, manufacturer guaranteed overclocking (see our overclocking section later) for a slightly higher price. Other factors that should come into your decision include the amount of memory a card has (128MB, 256MB etc) and its features, such as TV-Out and dual-screen support.

Unfortunately, figuring out which is the best chip for you can be challenging. The graphics chip business has become a nightmarish monstrosity involving a seeming infinite number of chip models and variations. For instance, in the Nvidia "5000 series" alone there are more than 14 discreet chips, each with different clock speeds, memory support and multitudinous other specifications. Factor in variations in memory size, interface, output support and other features and the task of choosing a graphics card becomes almost overwhelming for a casual buyer.

Geforce 7800 GTX

Nvidia are rectifying this with their next series of cards. The 7800 GTX comes in a single model. No complex variations in numbers or builds. There will be differences based on a number of the factors mentioned above, but the process of graphics card selection will grow much simpler over the next six months.

If you're not much interested in the Herculean task of unravelling the performance specifications of the various chips, we suggest the best strategy is to choose your graphics cards based on price.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

PC World Staff

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?