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What is a Graphics Card?

Find out everything you need to know about graphics cards and what they do with our helpful guide.

A graphics card is a piece of computer hardware that is responsible for making everything on your screen look great. Whether it’s the high quality picture of the best TV shows online, or the detail in your favourite games - it all comes from the graphics card.

What a graphics 
card does

Graphics cards are sometimes known as video cards, because they’re mainly used to help your computer deal with images, videos and animations. They take information from the computer’s processor (also known as its brain), and arrange it into the image you see on your screen. A more powerful graphics card can manage more demanding images, processing them faster and with a higher resolution.

Screen Resolutions

What kind of graphics card you will need

The great news is that all computers have a graphics card that’ll do a good job of basic tasks like watching videos or browsing the web. Often these are integrated graphics cards, which aren’t as powerful and share your computer’s RAM.

More info on RAM

The alternative is a dedicated graphics card, which has its own memory. These are much more powerful, and ideal if you’re a gamer, or work as an animator or developer. If you want to future proof your computer, then choosing one with a dedicated graphics card will mean it stays up to date for longer.

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What kind of graphics card you will need

Types of graphics cards

There are three main types of graphic cards on the market; Intel, Radeon and Nvidia.

Intel cards are intergrated, and more than suitable for your general laptop needs like steaming Netflix or Amazon Prime.

Radeon cards are better if you use photo editing software. Most Radeon cards are integrated but dedicated versions are available too.

If you're looking for the ultimate performance, then Nvidia graphics cards are the most advanced you can buy. They're all dedicated and extremely powerful, which is ideal if you want to edit stunning family movies as a budding Spielberg or play the latest games without any lag or drop in quality. If you want to take your computer to the next level, a Nvidea card is ideal.

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