Help Me Choose: Video Card
Along with the display, the video card affects the number of colors available, contrast, resolution and overall performance.
How Video Cards Work
Discrete video cards can provide better performance, as compared to integrated video cards. Discrete video cards are separate from the motherboard and include a specialized graphics processing unit (GPU). Because of their onboard GPU, discrete video cards don’t have to share the CPU with other programs.
Discrete video cards include memory of their own, measured in gigabytes (GB). Graphics memory is used by the GPU to accelerate graphics performance, store textures using game graphics, and make gaming, movies and other entertainment intensely realistic. High-performance graphics cards require a significant amount of graphics memory.
Integrated video cards are built in to the system motherboard and use the system’s processor (CPU) and memory to create graphics. Integrated video cards are fine for applications such as word processing and email, and for the internet, but not great for gaming or other graphic-intensive applications.
While integrated video cards can process some complex graphics such as 3D images, they have to share the CPU and memory with other programs. If the CPU and memory are overloaded or busy processing other information, it can really slow down the graphics.
|If you want ...||Choose ...|
|To tackle complex graphics, applications and gaming, a discrete video card can handle all the applications an integrated card can handle, plus:||A single discrete video card|
|An entry-level solution for typical office productivity applications, internet use, relatively small digital images, low-resolution video, simple games and other relatively undemanding applications, integrated video cards are generally acceptable for:||An integrated video card|
| ||NVIDIA GeForce GT 640|
|Intel® HD Graphics 4000||NVidia® GeForce® GT 705|
|2GB DDR3||3GB GDDR5||1GB DDR3||2GB DDR3||System dependent (Shared Memory)||1GB DDR3|
|902MHz~ (dynamic change)||941MHz~(dynamic change)||800~1030MHz||675~825MHz||650MHz||874MHz|
|Onboard Memory Speed|
|900MHz||1250MHz||1GHz||1GHz||System dependent (Shared Memory)||825MHz|
|Onboard Memory Data Width||128-bit||128-bits||192-bits||64-bits||128-bits||128-bit||64bit|
3.0 Gen PCIex16
|3.0 Gen PCIex16||3.0 Gen PCIex16||3.0 Gen PCIex16||3.0 Gen PCIex16||N/A||2.1 Gen PCIex16|
|Maximum Resolution||2560 x 1600 DP|
1920 x 1200 HDMI
2560 x 1600 DVI
|-||-||-||-||2560 x 1600||1920x1200HDMI|
Graphics and system memory: GB means 1 billion bytes and TB equals 1 trillion bytes; significant system memory may be used to support graphics, depending on system memory size and other factors.