Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The BIG Graphics card debate and grading

It comes as no surprise that even after the biggest graphics card revolution, most Indians are still unaware of such cards. Most of us tend to neglect this component when buying a personal computer. Later on, they whine about the "pathetic" graphics their monitor displays and they tend to get the monitor replaced (though this is not a common case).

So what exactly is a graphics card? A graphics card is a component installed on a computer responsible for rendering images on the monitor. (acc. to wiseGeek)

What's the use of a graphics card?

For normal users : A graphics card allows them to use the power to render images extremely fast and with the best quality. Since the release of Microsoft Windows Vista, Aero has become extremely popular. But Aero requires a graphics card to render properly. The in-built video accelerator is insufficient for this purpose.

For entertainment fanatics : Entertainment fanatics always look forward to getting the best quality from their digital stuff eg. Movies, Television shows, et cetera. A graphics card allows such people to use it to accelerate such videos and render them in high quality!! A normal video accelerator will have trouble rendering videos in resolutions of 1280x720 or greater.

For casual gamers/pro gamers : A graphics card is a component of utmost importance to such people. Without a graphics card, no game released in recent times would work on a computer.

A question which baffles many :
Which graphics card is better? ATI Radeon HD 4670 or ATI Radeon HD 4770
Ans. ATI Radeon HD 4770
Why? Both are available in 1 GB GDDR3 versions and the HD 4670 costs less than the HD 4770.
Ans. Each graphics card has a GPU. Each GPU is different in terms of computational power. The GPU of a graphics card costing <> Rs. 4500 even though the memory in both is the same.

The best graphics card to buy for their price range :

Price range : Under $55 (approx. Rs. 2,568)
Card : ATI Radeon HD 4650 GDDR3

Price range : Under $75 (approx. Rs. 3,501)
Card : NVIDIA GeForce GT 240 GDDR5

Price range : Around $105 (approx. Rs. 4,901)
Card : ATI Radeon HD 4850 1 GB OR NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 1 GB

Price range : Around $135 (approx. Rs. 6,302)
Card : ATI Radeon HD 5750 1 GB

Price range : Around $155 (approx. Rs. 7,236)
Card : ATI Radeon HD 5770 1 GB

Price range : Around $200 (approx. Rs. 9,336)
Card : NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 768 MB OR ATI Radeon HD 5830

Price range : Around $230 (approx. Rs. 10,735)
Card : NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 1 GB

Price range : Around $270 (approx. Rs. 12,601)
Card : 2x ATI Radeon HD 5750 1 GB in CrossFire configuration

Price range : Around $300 (approx. Rs. 14,,002)
Card : NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470

Price range : Around $310 (approx. Rs. 14,468)
Card : 2x ATI Radeon HD 5770 1 GB in CrossFire configuration

Graphics cards above this price range are meant for those who'd rather spend money on the graphics card for showing off rather than for performance.The price/performance ratio goes up significantly for such graphics cards (a lower price/performance ratio implies better performance for price).

With this post, I intend to disseminate knowledge about the graphics cards to those who remain unaware. If there are more queries, feel free to ask me through comments or through chat on IIIT Delhi mail by sending me a chat invite. E-mail ID :


  1. It was a good blog,I want to know which of the two: Radeon or Nvidia is better?

  2. Good article Manish! Perhaps it'd be nice to add a paragraph, blowing up the general myth that more graphics memory = always better performance?

  3. yo yo yo...!!!

  4. great post.nice short ,precise and informative.great work done giving price ranges for difft. graphic cards.

    one doubt: i don't know what AERO is??

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. ATIs graphic cards and drivers are top notch, in my opinion better than Nvidia. Ive always bought ATI cards !!

  7. @ Shubhansh: You can never say which one of the two is better....EVER!!! It all depends on preference.... Both have their advantages and disadvantages....

    @ Kshtiz: I indirectly tried to.... By stressing on the GPU factor... :)

    @ Akshay: Aero is a component of recent Microsoft Windows operating system Windows Vista and Windows 7..... It basically gives the operating system an awesome UI.... For that you need a graphics card since it is very heavy.....

    @ Vasant: ATI is better in some cases and NVIDIA in the others.... NVIDIA has CUDA and 3D Vision and PhysX and ATI has cheap good performing graphics cards..... each manufacturer is good in it's own way....

  8. Hah...makes me jealous..i hav a 14 inch 2gb core 2 duo...(nearly 3 yrs old now)... dad ..plz buy me a new one...a 15 inch, i-7 ,6gb ram ,1 gb graphics card,1 tb hdd ..wud be satisfying.... :-) :-)

  9. @ Arjun : That's one good config you've got in mind. Though beware. Think in terms of quality and not quantity.

  10. a nice blog, and it brings out the differences clearly. the prices at the end do make your blog really practical too.

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