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Can I have some Info on graphics cards?


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#1
Peptobismol165

Peptobismol165

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Hello!
I'm building a PC and something occured to me. I need more information on graphics cards! Can somebody give me some good info? Here is what I'm wondering:

-Does my graphics card need to be pluged into my moniter to work/help?
-Will a PCI graphics card and a PCI Express 2.0 work together?
-(singe work at x16 or dual work at x8/x8). What does that mean!
-1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots (@x4 mode, 2.5GT/s) 2.5 GT/s?
-Supports NVIDIA Quad-GPU SLI Technology
Supports ATI Quad-GPU CrossFireX Technology
That means?
-GDDR5?!? Computers only go up to DDR3!

Thanks for all your help!
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#2
MedStudent.003Hz

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I'm new here, but I hope my limited bit of knowledge helps you out a little.

What type of graphics card you decide to get depends on what your needs are, or in other words, what will you be using the computer for? Depending on what you are going to using your computer for will determine what type of graphics card(s) you buy.

Typically computers usually have onboard graphics processors (GPUs) or a graphics card, which is also called a video card, and by the simplest definition, controls visual output to the computer's monitor or similar display device.

To answer your question about the memory, GDDR refers to the graphics memory on the card not the RAM on the motherboard. You are correct, in that, newer computers use either DDR2 or DDR3 RAM, but as for as graphics cards are concerned, you will find the newest cards using GDDR4 and GDDR5 memory.

If you are going to be playing in games with your new pc, I recommend reading this forum topic here:

Best Video Card for Gaming

I would also read the How To Build Your Own Computer Guide here.

Tom's Hardware and Anandtech also offer pretty good reviews and information on graphics cards.

This is an older article, but it is a good one from Tom's Hardware: Graphics Beginner's Guide.

If you post the specs of the computer you are building, especially the motherboard and the CPU as well as what you are using the computer for, it well help those that take a look at this thread to give you spot on advice. :) Hope that helps some.
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#3
Peptobismol165

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Thanks!
I would give you the specs of the computer I'm building, but I'm waiting to shop until I get the money to build a computer. Prices drop and technology is forever changing. I'm gonna wait a bit. All I can tell you its going to be a minor gaming computer. By that I mean I'm going to play games that don't need a lot of "power". (Games like the Sims 3 and Civilization)
I'll be sure to keep you in mind when I'm all set and ready to build! :)
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#4
Peptobismol165

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I looked at the Tom's Hardware: Graphics Beginner's Guide and it was pretty cool! I looked through it and it opened up another question. Can I run a GDDR3 graphics card on a system that runs on DDR RAM? I heard somewere that the two are completly unrelated to each other (I think that was kinda what you were saying), but Best Buy said you can't. So which is right? :)

Edited by Peptobismol165, 12 July 2010 - 10:15 AM.

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#5
MedStudent.003Hz

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I looked at the Tom's Hardware: Graphics Beginner's Guide and it was pretty cool! I looked through it and it opened up another question. Can I run a GDDR3 graphics card on a system that runs on DDR RAM? I heard somewere that the two are completly unrelated to each other (I think that was kinda what you were saying), but Best Buy said you can't. So which is right? :)


The Best Buy sales person is wrong. Again, although both GDDR and DDR are types of memory and very similar, the "G" in GDDR refers to "graphics," and GDDR is specific to the graphics card, being specifically designed to be used on and with the graphics card. You can't buy GDDR type memory and install it in the RAM slots on your motherboard. GDDR comes into play when running graphics or video intensive operations and applications such as modern games. DDR, on the other hand, is RAM designed for the motherboard and comes into play in virtually everything your computer does. Most of the latest motherboards for laptops and desktop computers are designed for DDR2 and DDR3 SDRAM. If your are curious, for both GDDR and DDR, the "DDR" stands for "double data rate," and "SDRAM" stands for "synchronous dynamic random access memory."

As far as answering your question about compatibility, I am running a graphics card that has GDDR3 memory in my rig that is using DDR memory on the motherboard with no problems: an 512 MB AGP keyed HIS Radeon X1650 Turbo on a socket 754 Asus K8V-SE Deluxe motherboard that currently has 1 GB of DDR-400 memory installed. What you want to be concerned with in purchasing a graphics card for your computer when it comes to compatiblity is: one, making sure the graphics card is supported by the motherboard you are considering for your build and two, buying one that fits your needs.

In a nutshell, just remember that GDDR memory, whether it is GDDR, GDDR2, GDDR3, GDDR4, or GDDR5, is designed to be used on graphics cards while DDR, DDR2, DDR3 SDRAM are designed for to be used on the motherboard, and you don't have to match the memory on the graphics card to the memory on the motherboard. If that was the case, no one would be able to use graphics cards that use GDDR4 and GDDR5 memory.

edit: corrected some typos....doh!!!

Edited by MedStudent.003Hz, 12 July 2010 - 12:35 PM.

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#6
Peptobismol165

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Thanks a BUNCH! I can't tell you how helpful that was! I think I might just go out and get a graphics card! One again thanks! :)
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#7
MedStudent.003Hz

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No problem and you're welcome. :)

Just make sure the graphics card you get is compatible with the system you are building or have, i.e. specifically the motherboard. Good luck and have fun.

edit: corrected spelling snafus again...doh!!! I swear I can't spell today for the life of me.

Edited by MedStudent.003Hz, 12 July 2010 - 03:25 PM.

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