Search TQA Weekly
Log into your TQA Weekly


Or Do You Even Need a Graphics Card?

Steve Smith talks about whether, or not, you need a graphics card.

Episode #8-34 released on April 15, 2018

Today, we revisit an episode topic I had a while ago, do you need a graphics card, and if you do, how can you figure out which one you may need.

How about we talk about each use case scenario separately, so you understand that you don't necessarily need to break the bank to get the performance you want.

If you only intend to do light work, access the Internet, access social media, watch some DVDs, etc. and your computer has a processor with onboard graphics and your mainboard supports onboard graphics, then you do not need a graphics card. If your processor did not have onboard graphics, or your mainboard did not support onboard graphics, you can use any graphics card solution, some being as inexpensive as $50, sometimes less. The brand is not important here.

If you plan on gaming at 1080P with 60 frames per second, and low or average settings, or you aren't worried about frame rate. Plan on playing Blu-ray videos on your computer, do some video editing, some graphic design, etc. You can get a modern graphics card with at least 2GB to 4GB of VRAM. The more VRAM the more pixels can be rendered. The better the GPU and higher the clock speed of GPU, the more frames per second you can expect.

Beyond that requires that you inspect the program and game requirements for each given task. Video editing with Adobe products requires a graphics card, but which one is not as important as you think. In that case, you'd focus more on the RAM. So, look at each program specification to be sure you are getting what you need.

Now, considering that if you took the time to look up what are the requirements from VRAM for 4K, or higher, you will notice that anything above 4GB seems to be icing on the cake. This is true only if you are playing vanilla versions of games. Adding mods, like many do for games like Skyrim would mean you need more VRAM. If you purchased an 6GB to 8GB graphics card, you should be future proof for a while.

In short, the higher the quality of the picture, and the more pixel density or higher the resolution, the more VRAM you need. Basic tasks that require 1080P or less, can function with onboard graphics, beyond that, 2GB to 8GB, rarely more, depending on the type of task, or software requirements. That's it. It is frankly not true that you need a graphics card for every use case scenario. It is, also, false, that the best card for your situation, must be the most expensive card. In some cases, a used card might do the job. Just make sure you, also, meet the requirements for CPU, RAM, and storage, as well, for your given needs.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Dot Net