If you’re building a killer PC gaming rig – or you’ve already got one sitting under your desk – then you know that getting the right graphics card is of paramount importance. With the release of Nvidia’s brand new RTX 30 series (albeit one that’s fairly hard to get hold of right now), there’s never been a better time to think about replacing the aging graphics card in your system with a sprightly new model. You may, of course, be wondering why you might want to do this. Well, we’re here to act as the devil on your shoulder. Here are 10 reasons you need a new graphics card.
1. You want to game on your PC
Whilst console gaming has just entered a new generation with the PS5 and XBOX Series X, PC gaming remains a popular option for gamers. Purely and simply, buying a new graphics card will vastly improve your gaming experience. Without a dedicated GPU – or a more up-to-date version of the card you already have – you’ll struggle to run some of the more demanding gaming applications and may even be completely unable to play more modern releases. When you’re gaming on a new card, you’ll notice the difference in frame rate, visual fidelity, and plenty of other areas.
2. You want smoother web browsing
Many web browsers nowadays use hardware acceleration in order to improve their performance. This means they’re using the GPU in your system to accelerate speeds, load pages, and display animations quicker. If you’re on a roll in the Casimba online casino and about to win huge, the last thing you want is for your system to suddenly hang or slow down. That’s why a new GPU is important; your web browsing experience will be much smoother.
3. You can probably afford a graphics card
There’s a common – and not entirely inaccurate depending on when you’re talking about – perception that PC gaming is prohibitively expensive. However, nowadays, that simply isn’t the case anymore. You don’t need the most expensive Nvidia RTX model to have an ultra-solid gaming experience. Even Nvidia’s ultra-affordable “mid-range” cards can run modern games at lightning-fast speeds, so even if you can’t quite stretch to a high-end rig, buying a new graphics card will still give you an amazingly smooth experience when you’re gaming.
4. Your old PC is flagging
Does this situation sound familiar? You head over to your favourite digital distribution platform and pick up a new game. Firing it up for the first time, you notice it feels sluggish and you can’t easily window out to check other apps. That’s a clear sign that your PC needs an upgrade. If this is happening to you – even for games released a few years ago – then it’s almost certainly time to upgrade your graphics tech. Your PC, and the games you’re playing, will thank you for it.
5. You’re still using onboard graphics
You may have heard the term “onboard graphics” from time to time. Essentially, what this term means is that the CPU in your PC – the processor – is handling all of the heavy lifting when it comes to rendering 3D graphics. As you might imagine, this will place a heavy toll on your processor, and that’s why an external graphics card that handles all the rendering work is essential for a gamer. If you don’t have a graphics card, you’ll need to pick one up if you intend to do any serious gaming.
6. You’re using a laptop
Believe it or not, there are several excellent external graphics card solutions available for gamers who want to use a laptop. While the machine is never going to be optimal for PC gaming – laptops don’t often contain up-to-the-minute processor and memory hardware – you can turn your laptop into a very respectable PC gaming rig with an external graphics card, and you won’t be compromising on portability to do so. You don’t necessarily need to buy an expensive PC to become a PC gamer.
7. You’re a video editor
That’s right – a new graphics card serves several purposes beyond simply gaming. If you regularly use video editing software suites like Adobe Premiere or Lightworks, then a powerful graphics card can bear some of the brunt of these remarkably resource-intensive programs. Of course, you’ll also need a robust amount of RAM; 16GB is the absolute minimum, but 32GB will ensure you can edit video at 4K resolution smoothly. Just be sure you have a good graphics card to back you up.
8. You’re a music producer
Once again, a good graphics card is required if you want to run DAW software like Cubase, Pro Tools, or Adobe Audition. Now, those programs almost certainly don’t use the same level of resources as video editors do, but consider this: many VST plugins (instruments, effects, et cetera) are graphically-intensive. If you run into one of these and your graphics card isn’t up to snuff, you may find your session crashing or slowing down, which is not ideal. Be sure to invest in a graphics card if you’re an aspiring producer.
9. You have a 4K display
Older graphics cards are going to really struggle with 4K displays. Even the best graphics card of the previous generation, the Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti, can’t quite stretch to displaying games in 4K at 60fps on a consistent basis. That’s why, if you’re looking to game on a 4K display – including a TV – you’ll need to invest in a new graphics card if you want the experience to be smooth and hassle-free. Even if you’re rocking 1440p monitors, a new card can really enhance your experience.
10. You have a multi-monitor setup
Everything changes when you have more than one monitor as part of your setup. In essence, you’re asking your card to render two displays at once, which could mean multiple instances of things like web browsers and even potentially two games at the same time. It stands to reason that you’d want a beefy machine to take care of that, especially if you intend to play games on one screen and display processor-intensive material on the other.