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Thread: Hardware Tutorials!!! How to Buy a PC

  1. #1
    Upgrading your graphics card can make the world of difference to your PC's performance.
    We look at some of the key things to consider before making a purchase

    A capable graphics card can breathe new life into your PC, freeing up the processor to do other work and accelerating video, games and 3D images. Here, we look at the key things you need to consider when choosing an upgrade.

    Graphics processors
    Most graphics cards are based on either the Nvidia Geforce or ATI Radeon family of chips. Technical differences in design give each their strengths but, in reality, both offer state-of-the-art image acceleration and comparable features.

    It's how software developers use them that determines the results. Performance improves as you move up a particular range. Top chips offer more features and can usually draw more pixels or textures in a single pass than cut-down, lower-cost options.

    All current graphics processors are fine for office work but hardcore gamers currently favour the Geforce FX series and ATI's Radeon 9800 chips. Faster processors appear roughly every six months. Check the scores in our regular graphics cards group tests to find the best performers.

    Today's leading graphics cards offer full compatibility with Microsoft's DirectX 9.0 graphics system and version 1.4 of Open GL, and boast resolutions up to an astonishing 2,048 x 1,536 pixels - great if your screen can display it.

    Make sure the card you buy can display the resolutions you want to use with at least a 75Hz monitor refresh rate to avoid eye strain from flicker.

    Graphics cards manufacturers often quote megahertz numbers. There are usually three clock speeds quoted: the core clock speed, the memory clock speed and the Ramdac clock speed. Core clock refers to the internal speed of the actual graphics processor.

    Memory speed (or memory clock) refers to the speed of data transfer between the card's onboard memory and the graphics processor. Ramdac speed refers to the capabilities of the digital-to-analogue converter that provides the graphics output from the card. It doesn't affect graphics performance but governs the range of refresh rates the card can support at a particular resolution.

    Graphics cards use their own dedicated video memory to store data, images and textures. In general, the more of this you have, the better the performance will be. A card with 32MB or 64MB is fine for working in, say, Microsoft Office, but we'd recommend at least 128MB for the latest games and video applications.
    You can't usually upgrade this memory later. PCs with graphics chips integrated on the motherboard often steal a portion of system Ram, reducing overall performance.

    The price of graphics cards can vary from under Rs:1000 to over £15000, depending on the features. However, you don't have to spend vast amounts to get a capable card. Around £40 will buy you a Geforce FX 5200 card with 128MB of Ram, which is good for 2D action/strategy games and all but the most demanding 3D games. ATI Radeon 9200 products come in at the same price.
    Those wanting to play 3D action games smoothly at higher resolutions, and need more video memory and a variety of output options, should look at Mid range cards, while serious gamers who demand the fastest frame rates can take things further with high-end products like the Geforce FX 5950 Ultra.

    Depending on the type of motherboard in your system, you'll need either an AGP, PCI or PCI Express graphics card. AGP 8x is the current standard, while PCI cards are designed for use with older systems. Although somewhat rare, you can still buy them.
    PCI Express (PCX) is the newest interface standard from Intel, offering double the bandwidth of an AGP 8x slot for even faster and more complex graphics. Both ATI and Nvidia have announced PCX designs and products are expected to hit the streets later in the year.

    Features to look for include support for AGP 8x, both VGA and DVI interfaces for analogue and digital displays, and S-Video and composite video outputs for use with TVs. Video-editing or graphic design enthusiasts may want to look for the option to spread their desktop and applications across two or more monitors at once.
    Some 'all-in-one' cards have a built-in TV tuner and video capture options, saving on separate purchases and potential compatibility problems. However, while often a good buy, there's generally a long wait for versions based on the high-end chips.

    In terms of on-chip features, many games won't function without hardware-based Transform and Lighting. This isn't supported by many integrated graphics chips, making a separate add-in card essential for 3D gamers.

    Full scene anti-aliasing can eliminate jagged edges on angled lines, especially good if you're running at 1,024 x 768 pixels or outputting lower resolutions to a TV, while hardware mpeg-2 decoding will help DVDs play back smoother.

    Drivers and software
    The driver software for a graphics card can make or break performance, and it's not unusual for a product to get a boost in speed simply from a driver update. Both ATI and Nvidia now offer unified drivers, a single piece of code that supports all of their current chips. Whichever card you buy, visit the manufacturer's website regularly to check for updates.
    Other software bundled with graphics cards can include games that show off the performance, DVD playing software and graphical demos. These deals vary greatly, so check out the bundle that suits you best.
    You know What i Mean!

  2. #2
    Good work ..Dreamboy

  3. #3
    info entirely based on graphic cards.nice :up;

    Thanks 4 sharing.

  4. #4
    Thnx Alot BlueHacks
    And Rahen Sis ur a lways Welcome
    You know What i Mean!

  5. #5
    Thanks a lot for the turorial. I will study it soon.
    Dream, I do.

  6. #6
    No problem Brother u r always welcome
    You know What i Mean!

  7. #7
    Good say..WIll surely help newbies..

    Keep going


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