Sizing up high-end graphics cards

If you’re serious about gaming, you’ll want to invest in a dedicated high-end graphics card. These powerful devices enable you to push your computer to its limit and handle the realistic graphics that make today’s games so compelling. But which one is right for you? Before you hand over your hard-earned cash, consider what’s important to you in a graphics card.

Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
Although most modern games need a fast CPU to run properly, many of the latest titles make use of GPUs, as well. High-end graphics cards flex some serious muscle when it comes to the GPU, which is essentially a computer in itself. The GPU handles memory management to enable games to run at higher frame rates. As a rule, the closer you can get to 60 frames per second, the better the game will look.

Although a fast GPU is one of the most important things to consider when choosing a graphics card, the faster the processor, the more heat it will generate. So what do you need to do? Cool things down a little.

Heatsink
As they generate so much heat, high-end graphics cards often come with built-in heatsinks. These components ensure that heat created by the GPU is distributed evenly across the card, cooling the surface temperature of the circuitry to avoid malfunctions due to overheating. Most of the best models on the market also feature fans to circulate cool air toward the card and dissipate heat generated by it.

Memory
Most high-end graphics cards use GDDR5 memory to supplement the power of the GPU. Just as with desktop computers, the more memory a graphics card has, the more tasks it can handle. Depending on your needs and setup, the amount of memory you’ll need will vary. The most powerful cards on the market can come with up to 8GB of memory, which will definitely pack a punch when it comes to handling high-end graphics.

Do you need an upgrade to your graphics card? If you’re in the market for the latest and most powerful graphics card, check out the new NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan or the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690.

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