How Do Graphics Cards Affect Your Gaming Experience?


As the gaming industry pushes the limits year upon year in order to continuously improve the next generation of visual entertainment, the hardware needed behind the scenes has to keep up with demand. Games such as GTA V, Final Fantasy XV, and Assassin's Creed: Odyssey all put huge pressure on your computer’s graphics processing unit (GPU), and if your machine’s not up to scratch, then you’re not taking full advantage of these awesome games, and in some cases, you’re unable to run them at all.

Graphics cards have come a long way since IBM first developed their 4kb monochrome display adapter back in the early 80s. At the time, the world was in awe of its capabilities as up until this point computer monitors were still relying on cathode-ray tubes to produce images in much the same way an old TV set would.

Nowadays, companies like NVIDIA and AMD are producing GPUs capable of incredible 3D renders that make it hard to distinguish computer-generated imagery from real life, but you can expect to pay several hundred dollars for the privilege.

Before we get into how much processing power you may need for your particular requirements, let’s first take a look at what goes on in that tiny piece of hardware that makes all this happen.

How do graphics cards work?

A graphics card is a circuit board that contains a processor, RAM, another chip to remember its default settings, and a fan to stop it from burning up. This is all connected to the motherboard and becomes part of the hardware build that determines just how good your gaming experience will be.

They may be small, but they’re incredibly powerful. The graphics card in your computer turns binary code into a visual representation called a wireframe. Next, this image gets rasterized. Colors and texture are adjusted, and then it’s fired off to the monitor. This might sound like a simple task for a computer, but imagine having to do it 60 times every second.

The monitor contains 1 million+ pixels, and without the graphics card, it would have no idea how to display them correctly and produce the desired image. The amazing visuals that are produced by the most advanced graphics cards are also helped along with additional enhancements from the manufacturers such as full-scene anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering.

Do you need a special graphics card for online gaming and gambling?

The type of graphics card that you might need will always depend largely on what you’re hoping to achieve.

For those who are looking to complete everyday tasks on their computer, the standard hardware included in most off-the-shelf builds should be more than sufficient. Online casino programs produced by big software companies like Playtech and Microgaming are fairly easy going on the GPU due to the nature of the game — spinning reels and shuffling cards don’t need anywhere near as much power as slaying dragons, for example — but the pressure on the CPU can still be reasonably hefty as the action needs to be near real-time with minimal lag. For more details about the latest generation of online casino games, check out Modern mobiles, tablets, and laptops are generally fine for this type of activity.

Super-detailed games, like the ones mentioned before that involve a realistic 3D experience and perfectly smooth gameplay, will require something a little more powerful. If you’ve tried playing your favorite game, but your PC isn’t up to scratch, then you may need to invest in a new graphics card. Some of the things to consider are:

1. RAM. There is always much debate surrounding the memory needs for the modern gamer. As a general rule, go for a card that has half the RAM of your system memory

2. GPU clock speed. The higher the clock speed, the faster the system can render the graphics for seamless gameplay

3. Frame rate. Measured in frames per second (FPS), 60 FPS is generally considered the benchmark for games that are hard on the GPU like Grand Theft Auto V

For loads of help and information on gaming hardware, the guys at the subreddit Patient Gamers are always happy to answer your questions.

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