Here’s part two of our component advice checklist, that has once again been brought together with the help of our friends at ASUS. Part one, looking at Motherboards, can be found here. This week, it’s the Graphics Processing Unit or GPU.
Continuing with the previous format, we have condensed down the major information into several key points.
The GPU interface must match your motherboard interface, the latest is PCI-Ex16 2.0. The PCI Express Base 2.0 specification, introduced in 2007, doubles the previous bus standard’s bandwidth from 2.5 Gbit/s to 5 Gbit/s. This means a x32 connector can transfer data at up to 16 GB/s in each direction.
There are various add ons available that are intended to enhance your overall set up. For example Cuda, only available on Nvidia cards, provides faster data encoding and PhysX gives unseen realism to games.
Display Output quantity and type
How many screens do you want to run and do you need DVI, DSUB, HDMI, DP? The answer to these questions will depend on how serious you want to take your gaming and in some instances will only be necessary for those that want to play at the highest level. Other than gaming, another major use for multiple screens is workstations. Having two or more screens can greatly increase your productivity.
Onboard Memory size and Bit
Larger memory and higher bit provides greater bandwidth in games which allows more 3D rendering at once and at higher resolutions.
Faster GPU means better 3D performance. This is the sort of specification that is particular important for games such as the forthcoming, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The design of this game means that there will be long draw distances and a high density of items on screen.
Faster memory means better 3D performance. It is as simple as that so well worth due consideration.
Typically display technologies refers to DirectX 9, 10 or11. DirectX is a collection of APIs for handling tasks related to multimedia. Support for the latest DirectX provides greater 3D detail in games.
The final piece to the 3D puzzle is the graphics card. Ensure this is given a postion of prominence within your budget as you’ll want to make sure the whatever you go for is powerful enough to run 3D smoothly.
So there it is, the key considerations in ensuring that your rig will meet your requirements and most importantly, your expectations.
Please let me know if you have any further questions or require more detail on any area covered.