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As much as I want my video card to last forever, I’ve learned it the hard way that one day it might give up on me.  Yes, folks! Your graphics card can go bad. 

And believe me or not, your GPU is smart enough to give you some earlier signs of failure like glitches and abnormal noises. So, before you rage over your component failing, you can take safety measures and prepare another card just in case.

My ignorance and lack of knowledge came to bite me on my toes. So we want you to avoid the same mistake and prepare yourself for the worse.

What happens if a graphics card fails?

There are tons of reasons for a graphics card failure. In most cases, the graphics card simply doesn’t give out video output. You will be greeted with a black screen. There cases where the system goes into a boot loop. The boot loop goes on until you force the system into safe mode.

A system might also get BSOD (Blue screen of death). The BSOD is the most helpful error among all. Windows operating system always spits out error code making it easier to find out the cause of the problem. The BSODs are caused usually at the startup or when the graphics card starts running graphics-intensive work.


Most of the symptoms of a failing graphics card are easy to find. You have to be very observative to find out the symptoms. Some symptoms are easy to find, some need very immaculate observation. But in general, here are the symptoms that you have to look up:

GPU Artifacting:


Glitches usually similar to artifacting. Sometimes you are playing a game you suddenly see weird colors or frame tearing. These weird colors and frame tearing while gaming or watching video is considered glitches. These glitches stay for some seconds only and you might even miss them. Or go away when you move your mouse. Please don’t take the glitch symptoms lightly.

BSOD (Blue Screen of Death):

The Blue screen of death or in simple terms blue screen appears when a component in the system fails. The blue screens appear for all kinds of problems from RAM, hard drives, graphics cards, and more. In the latest Windows version, the BSOD comes with the error code. The error code specifics the problem regarding the component. So when a BSOD pops up be sure to copy the error code.

If you get BSOD while starting up games or starting a rendering project, you surely have a problem with your graphics card.

Low Frame Rates or Stuttering:

The low frame rates or stuttering while playing games is a major sign that your graphics card is going bad. Poor framerate in a game or freezing on the screen shows a problem with the graphics card. But the stuttering in-game can also be caused by malware or RAM problems. You still have to keep the deteriorating performance as a potential problem of the graphics card.


There are several causes are leading to the failure of a graphics card. Overheating to the component failure might cause a graphics card to fail. It might not be your fault. But you have to keep your components from dust build-up or electrostatic.


Overheating is a major problem with all the components of a computer. Several things lead to overheating. The dust build-up is the major cause of overheating in graphics cards. Since the graphics card stays dormant in the system, it is prone to dust build-up.

There might be manufacturing defects in the product which also causes problems. Things like improper cooler mounting or dried-up thermal paste directly favor in overheating of the graphics card.

Component Failure:

Faulty Drivers:

We have been a victim of the newly released graphics cards with their faulty drivers. Not everything goes well during a new driver update. Faulty drives will cause graphics card performance to take a dip or even fail to run changing into a boot loop. Nvidia for the records has fewer faulty drivers whereas we have seen tons of driver failure from the AMD side.

Short Circuit or unstable power supply:

Unprotected power lines or unstable power supply are the leading cause of component death. Spike or surge in the voltage might cause the graphics card to malfunction. In the worse case, you might even fry your GPU causing BSOD or even death of graphics cards.

An unstable power supply or low-powered PSU will pose a huge problem in the system. The power delivery system on a cheap power supply is weak. In case of a power surge, the cheap PSU won’t protect your components and become the major cause of graphics card failure.

When to Worry and When not to?

So whenever you see these symptoms, don’t panic and toss your old graphics card for a new one. Before fixing any problem you have to diagnose the component. There are easier solutions without calling for a change.


Not every game is perfect and there are bound to be some flaws in a finished product. Usually, glitches don’t come directly from the graphics card. There might be in-game glitches that cause a game to crash or causes slight glitches on the screen.

Check for the forums or message the devs informing out the glitches. So when you see glitches when gaming it is not an alarming call. So do not worry when it glitches.


When you see artifacting on your screen you have to worry a lot. Games are generally optimized for the final release. If you come under artifacting in the game or desktop, your GPU might be failing on you. You have to worry if you see artifacting on the screen.

Black Screen:

When you turn on your system and get a black screen, it is kind of a mixed call here. The GPU might not be failing in this case. The black screen usually means a mismatch RAM or GPU failure. Newer motherboards come with POST codes making it easier to find out the failing component.


Getting the BSOD is the happiest and the worst feeling all in all. The BSOD shows the severity of the problem. For the smaller problem, you can get a quick fix. But it might also show severe problems even asking the user to switch out the graphics card.


Thermal Paste application:

Thermal paste application is the easiest physical fix that you can perform. It is the easiest but can be hard for a normal user. Mostly the thermal paste application is done on the GPU to reduce any form of heating in the graphics card.

Whenever you are changing your graphics card thermal paste, we suggest changing the thermal pad on the VRMs and VRAMs. Adding new thermal paste makes contact between the GPU and the heatsink. The thermal efficiency of the GPU increasing your performance.

Driver Reinstallation:

It is the first and the basic step you need to perform before checking the card for any physical error. A faulty driver or a bugged driver might be causing problems in your system. A fresh reinstall of the graphics card should if all of the problems.

Reseating Graphics card:

Sometimes during shipping or installing the graphics card, the card might come loose. So reseating the graphics card can solve the problem. But if you aren’t a pc build enthusiast, try taking it to a computer store nearby or contact a tech expert. It is quite easy to reseat a graphics card on your own too. Here’s how you do it: 


The graphics card failure is not your fault. But you can pave in some work just to prevent the failure of the graphic card.

Check for overheating and clock speed changes:

You can always keep your graphics card in check using software like HWmonitor or Riviera. The hardware monitor software gives a real-time update of your graphics card with temperature and clock speed. If your graphics card shoots above 90C you have to check on the thermal interface material or check for dust build-up.

If your card’s clock speed is running higher than the specified speed from the manufacturer, underclock your card. Overclocking does give you extra performance, but it takes the card’s lifespan and produces a lot of heat. So we suggest not to overclock your card unless needed.

Getting a better PSU:

The PSU is an integral part of your system. The PSU provides electricity to the components and protects your system from potential electrical surges or overvoltage. So getting an 80+ certified PSU is going to increase your system’s lifespan and protect your computer from surges.

The PSU is the one that takes all the blows and protects the system, keeping your graphics card safe.

Keeping the system clean:

The dust build is the main reason we see graphics cards die. The build blocks the airflow the causing overheating. The overheated component is bound to fail if keeps working at a higher temp. Use a dust filter in the computer case and frequently clean the components with help from compressed air.


How many times a blue screen of death can happen to a video card before it dies out completely?

There is no telling how many times a blue screen of death can happen before the graphics card completely die. Some graphics cards can face multiple BSOD and still run after a quick driver or hardware fix. There is no telling how many times a BSOD can occur before a graphics card dies.

How long should a graphics card last?

If there is no telling but with regular use, a graphics card can last more than 7 years.

Can you fix a shorted GPU?

No, even professional technicians have a hard time fixing a shorted GPU. Most of the technicians tell you to buy a new graphics card when it gets shorted.

So here are the symptoms and fixes that you can do to save your GPU. We might have missed some points, if we have please mention us. The end goal of the article is to find out your potential your problem and fix it. Some cases are way out of your hands, but it will help you draw more lifespan out of the card before it completely dies.

You're reading How To Tell A Graphics Card Is Going Bad Or Dead

How To Take A Passport Or Id Card Photo Using Your Iphone Or Ipad

This tutorial shows you how to take a studio-like portrait photo on your iPhone or iPad and edit it for use in ID card, job application, passport, and more.

Step 1: Take the photo in front of a solid background

Stand in front of a wall, a green screen, or preferably a single-color background like a plain curtain.

Ensure the room or area is well-lit.

Open the Camera app on your iPhone or iPad and ask someone to take a close-up photo of your face up to your chest (or as required). If no one is around, place your iPhone on a tripod and use the timer feature. Alternatively, you can remotely control your iPhone camera to take a picture. As a last resort, you may take a selfie.

Tip: Make sure to follow the required guidelines. For example, if you’re taking the photo for a US passport application, remove your glasses, keep your eyes open, and your mouth closed.

Step 2: Optional: Increase the photo brightness

Go to the Photos app and open the image. If the picture is not bright enough, tap Edit and use the brightness slider to adjust it. Hold yourself back from doing any other major adjustments.

Step 3: Extract your face from the photo

Open the picture inside the Photos app.

Touch and hold the main subject of the image (which is your face) until you see a white line run through it.

Tap Copy. This will remove your face from the image background and copy it to your clipboard.

Step 4: Create the final image

1) Download and open a photo editing app like Studio on your iPhone or iPad.

2) Tap the plus button and select Transparent.

3) Select a size and tap the check mark.

You will have to figure out the exact guidelines based on your use case. For instance, US passports require a square photo (2 x 2 inches). So, select Square (1:1). If you’re planning to use it for something else, like an ID card, then Portrait (3:4) may be suitable.

4) Tap once on the empty canvas and choose Paste. This will paste the copied subject (your face) here.

5) Tap the transparent area behind the image and choose Edit.

6) Select Color and pick white, blue, or any other background as per the guidelines where you will be using this photo.

7) Now pinch in and out or slightly zoom the image to adjust it.

8) With all done, tap the export icon and hit Save. The final image is saved to the Photos app.

Step 5: Use it digitally or print it Use digitally

The final image is ready to be used on websites, online forms, PDFs, etc.

One thing to remember is that many sites have precise image file size and dimensions requirements. For example, it may say the photo size should not exceed 120 KB, or the image should be 640 x 640 in size. If you come across such a requirement, we have dedicated guides to help:

Take a physical print

If you have to use this photo on a physical application, use a printer to get it printed on matte or glossy photo quality paper.

Check out next:

Stock image: Jurica Koletić for Unsplash

The Best Pc Games Of 2023 (That Don’t Need A Graphics Card)

If you use a low-power laptop or desktop, you can still play a huge assortment of games from Steam, the Epic Games Store, and others. As I’ve done for the last five years running, I’ve picked out the best and brightest games that will run even on low-power machines. (Oh, and it’s a nice bonus that most of these games come in well under the “new normal” $70 price tag—especially with the legendary Steam Winter Sale running right as we publish this.)

Here are my picks, in no particular order. Not enough? Check out the 2023 roundup too!


Railbound is a train-themed puzzle game that stars two heckin’ good puppers. (That’s dogs, for those who aren’t terminally online.) It’s your job to lay tracks, throw switches, and get cars attached to the engine in the right order. You’ll have to strategically lay the tracks and switches around environmental obstacles to make everything run on time.

Initially released on mobile, Raolbound’s adorable cartoon graphics hide a devilishly clever puzzle system. And with over 150 stages in the PC version of the game, you’ll have plenty of head-scratching challenges to get through. And yes, you can pet the dogs (thanks to a recent game patch).

Railbound is $13 on Steam.

Cult of the Lamb

Somewhere between Animal Crossing and Jonestown sits Cult of the Lamb, a combination town manager-dugeon crawler. Build up your cult of cuddly critters and your compound to get better at fighting, then go out and fight to gather resources and defeat rival religions. The juxtaposition of sweetie-pie art style and dark subject matter harkens back to games like Hollow Knight, but the combination of roguelite combat and town management is a unique one even without the creepy spiritualism.

Reviewers say that managing your resurrected lamb’s cult takes up the lion’s share of the game, so if you don’t like interacting with every member of your little insane village every day, this isn’t the game for you. Of course, you could just sacrifice them to your dark god to more efficiently murder your cult competition — hooray for player choices!

Cult of the Lamb is $25 on Steam. It’s also available on chúng tôi

Return to Monkey Island

Return to Monkey Island is $25 on Steam. It’s also available on chúng tôi

Vampire Survivors

Imagine the simple graphics and monster-slaying gameplay of an early Castlevania, combined with the huge battlefields and thousand-unit armies of Dynasty Warriors. That’s Vampire Survivors, an addictive little bullet hell shooter that lets you slay an absolutely ludicrous number of pestilent pixelated poltergeists. The game is so small it actually started online at chúng tôi where you can still play the free version.

Gameplay is astonishingly simple — you don’t even fire, your little monster slayer will do that all on their own. But the roguelike setup and incremental upgrades after your inevitable death give the game that just one more run before bed feeling. Finding the right combos of weapons and powerups is the key to surviving long enough to make progress.

Vampire Survivors is $5 on Steam. It’s also available on Xbox Game Pass.

The Wandering Village

Throughout human history there have been many tribes and peoples who believed the world rested on the back of some giant turtle or snake. The teeny-tiny people of The Wandering Village don’t have to believe it: they know they live on a giant dinosaur thing’s back, and they like it that way. Another twist on the standard city builder-manager, this game tasks you to deal with your village literally walking around in different environments and weather.

But the village isn’t the only thing you need to manage. The leviathan you’re riding on is just as important as the people and the buildings, and you’ll have to keep it happy and healthy to make sure everyone in this symbiotic relationship thrives. A surreal blend of 2D and 3D art combined with chill tunes makes The Wandering Village a perfect game for winding down.

The Wandering Village is $25 on Steam.

Cursed to Golf

For a football fan like me, watching an eternity of Golf Network is a punishment far more terrifying than anything Sisyphus or Tantalus had to endure. The protagonist of Cursed to Golf might agree, at least after he’s had to go through eighteen hellish holes to escape a golf-themed purgatory. The game is a series of physics puzzles, wherein you must put your way to freedom.

But this is “golf” in the Mario sense, even though it’s in pixelated (and charming) 2D. You can use all sorts of wacky power-ups to get past the underworld’s most fiendish traps and tricky bosses. Once you’re done with the main game you can use your Ace Cards in more than 80 special stages and climb your way up the leaderboards.

Cursed to Golf is $20 on Steam. It’s also available on chúng tôi and the Epic Games Store.


Fans of the original, fixed-camera survival horror classics like Alone in the Dark and Resident Evil owe it to themselves to check out Signalis. The game’s sci-fi setting and low-poly anime graphics offer such a distinct style that it’s a joy to watch in motion, even if what you’re watching is meant to terrify.

You play as an android, stranded on a crashed ship and a lifeless world, hunting for her partner and her memories. But as you can probably guess, not everything is as it seems. Solve puzzles, preserve ammo and resources, and try to stay alive (if you ever were to begin with) as you solve a dystopian mystery that reaches beyond the solar system.

Signalis is $20 on Steam. It’s also available on Xbox Game Pass.

I Was a Teenage Exocolonist

Growing up is hard enough without having to deal with the headaches of oxygen management and the occasional bug-eyed alien. But such is the case in I Was a Teenage Exocolonist, a game that combines classic JRPG elements with modern combat and absolutely stunning 2D art. In addition to keeping yourself and your fellow colonists alive, you’re looking for love in all the extrasolar places.

The game is a mix of role-playing and visual novel — you might be tempted to call it a dating sim, but there’s a lot more going on under the surface than just flirting. (Incidentally, this one is very much not for kids). You’ve got ten years to save the colony and set yourself up for adulthood via card-based combat and conflict resolution. If you can’t, start again and aim for another of the story’s 29 different endings.

I Was a Teenage Exocolonist is $25 on Steam.


A pentiment is a hidden image underneath the top layer of a painting. It’s appropriate, since Obsidian, the AAA developer behind Fallout: New Vegas, Grounded, and The Outer Worlds, is hiding among all these indie developers. But this murder mystery set in a 16th-century German village, and illustrated like one of the manuscripts you might find in an ancient monastery, is about as far away as you can get from the mainstream.

Pentiment is $20 on Steam. It’s also available on Xbox Game Pass.

Triangle Strategy

The classic tactical RPG is seeing something of a renaissance this year, with games like Marvel’s Midnight Suns and Tactics Ogre Reborn. But if you want something both old-fashioned and original, give Triangle Strategy a try. Coming from the same Square Enix team as well-received retro RPGs like Octopath Traveler, it’s a love letter to grid-based medieval party combat.

Triangle Strategy is $60 on Steam.

Honorable Mention: Dwarf Fortress

Technically, the first version of Dwarf Fortress came out 16 years ago. A small but thriving community has been obsessed with this world-building game ever since, even though its text-based graphics look more like some kind of ASCII nightmare than a modern video game. Understanding its incredibly deep and evolving systems is a study in itself, and one that most gamers simply can’t be bothered with.

But you really should try, if only to say you did. And with a new pixel-based graphics makeover, Dwarf Fortress now looks like it’s only 35 years old, instead of something out of the dawn of computing. To start a game of Dwarf Fortress is to create a tiny, living, breathing world, and to survive in it is an accomplishment that few can claim…and none can keep.

The new, pixel art version of Dwarf Fortress is $30 on Steam. The original is free.

How To Tell If An Android App Is Trustworthy

When you see an app you want, you may rush to install it without checking to see if it’s safe to do so. You may think that just because it made it to Google Play, there couldn’t possibly be anything wrong with the app, right?

Even if the app is on Google Play, there are still apps that may not have a virus in them, but that ask for permissions that have nothing to do with what the app does. Keep reading to see what warning signs to look out for and avoid downloading an app that is only going to be a headache.

Check Out Other Apps from the Same Developer Look at All the Results Before Selecting

When you type the name an app in the search bar, you should get a maximum of two results. One will be the app, and if the app has a pro version, that will result in number two.

Look at the name of each app carefully and see if you spot anything odd about it. The fake app will also try and mimic the original app’s icon, so keep that in mind as well. The mimic can be as subtle as moving an icon either to the left or to the right.

Look at the App’s Description

To spot a fake app, it’s essential that you read the description. If it has bad grammar and words are misspelled, that’s a red flag that the app is not worth the risk. Even a trustworthy app could have an error or two, but if even a five-year-old could write a better description, then it’s best not to download it.

A trustworthy app should have a description that shouldn’t be too short since a description with a decent length shows that the developer wants to convince the user that the app is worth using. If the description is written in poor English, that’s another red flag that goes into the do not download bucket.

Study the Screenshots

To save time, the developers of these fake apps will steal the screenshots or featured image from other genuine apps. Other fake apps will have screenshots of poor quality that may even be pixelated.

Don’t forget to also look at the text in the screenshots. If they have any phrases that don’t make any sense to you, then you might want to steer clear of that app. A genuine app will show you screenshots of the app’s interface to show you what it looks like. A perfect example of the screenshots to look out for are the WhatsApp ones above.

Investigate the Developer

If the developer is trustworthy, they will try to inform you as much as possible about them to gain your trust. So, why not Google them and see what you get. Also, take a look at the developer’s name, if it sounds ridiculous, then the app probably is too.

Also, take a look at the name of the company that created the app. Are there extra spaces or extra character before or after the developer’s name?

Apps That Ask for Too Many Permissions

If a photo editing app asked for permission to your device’s gallery, you wouldn’t think twice about allowing it. But, what of that photo editing app asked for permission to your contacts, location and other personal information?

When an app asks for permission to things that you don’t think it needs to access, it’s best to think twice about installing it. Sure, you can deny that permission, but it kind of makes you doubt if by installing it could be monitoring you in ways it hasn’t told you about.


With time, fake apps may get harder to spot, but with the previously mentioned tips, you’ll at least reduce the probabilities of you installing one. What other tips you do practice to detect fake apps?

Fabio Buckell

Just a simple guy that can’t enough of Technology in general and is always surrounded by at least one Android and iOS device. I’m a Pizza addict as well.

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How To Tell Which Geforce 30

We understand if you’re confused about how to tell the difference between various new gaming laptops using GeForce RTX 30-series GPUs. Nvidia has muddied up what “Max-Q” means with 30-series GPUs, so it’s even more difficult to choose a laptop based on its performance.

Max-Q, where are you?

As part of Nvidia’s launch of RTX 30-series laptops at CES, the company quietly turned Max-Q into an umbrella term that covers everything from WhisperMode 2.0 and Advanced Optimus to Dynamic Boost 2.

What’s confusing people the most, though, is Max-Q doesn’t mean the laptop’s thin or light anymore. In fact, we’re seeing laptops that in the past would have rocked full-power versions of the GPU being built with lower-power “Max-Q” versions.

”Max-Q” vs. “Max-P:” What’s the difference?

As far as we can tell, “Max-P” stands for maximum performance, while Max-Q stands for, well, maximum Q. A mobile GPU’s lower-power Max-Q version will differ from its higher-power Max-P version based on its power range. Of the three RTX-series GPUs available so far, the top-end GeForce RTX 3080 stands to gain the most from additional power, as it ranges from 80 watts to 150-plus watts. We’re already seeing performance swings from 15 percent to 25 percent based on the wattage differences among GeForce RTX 3080 laptops.

The GeForce RTX 3070 is likely to remain more consistent, because the power range is far more limited at 80 watts to 125 watts.

The RTX 3060 has very wide swings in power at 60 watts to 115 watts, but we suspect these will be more situational. A 3.5-pound very thin laptop with a 60-watt GPU is expected to be slower.


Each of the RTX 30-series mobile GPUs has a power range, and their Max-Q versions should dwell near the lower end, while their Max-P versions should fly at the higher end.

How to tell the difference 1. Check the weight

Simple physics says you can’t get as much performance out of a 4.5-pound laptop than you can out of one that weighs 6.5 pounds. From looking at published specs of the RTX 30-series laptops so far, you can basically assume any laptop that’s 18mm or thinner and weighs less than 4.5 pounds to be the lower-power “Max-Q” variant in either 3070 or 3080 models. While we’d love to be proved wrong, we just don’t think any laptops lighter than 4.5 pounds will have a GeForce RTX 3080 tuned up to very high power usage. 

2. Don’t rely just on the vendor’s website

Interestingly, the laptop vendors themselves have not yet detailed the power levels of the GPUs in their laptops. The details might be obscured because vendors just don’t know yet—some have not been released—or they don’t want to highlight what might be a perceived weakness.

Sure, the store specs for laptops can wrong, but after eyeballing multiple laptop listings for different laptop vendors, it feels like we’re getting more information from the stores than the laptop vendors for once.

Gordon Mah Ung

The larger 280-watt power brick (top) is needed to drive a laptop with the GeForce RTX 3080 tuned for its 150 watt range, while a laptop with a smaller, 230-watt power brick (bottom) indicates that the lower-power GeForce RTX 3080 variant is present.

3. Powerful power brick, powerful laptop

One definite indicator of whether a GeForce RTX 3080 is the more powerful version is the power brick. The more powerful the GPU, the more power you need to run it. Looking at multiple listings for different GeForce RTX 3080 laptops that we know are tuned for Max-P/155 watts or Max-Q/105 watts, the power brick seems to the differentiator.

Laptops with 230-watt bricks all look like GeForce RTX 3080 GPUs tuned for lower Max-Q power. Laptops with 280-watt bricks are driving the high-performance Max-P variant. For example, Razer’s new Blade Pro 17, with its thin body and 230-watt power brick, couldn’t possibly run the most powerful version of the RTX 3080 GPU. It must be rocking the Max-Q version instead.

4. Wait for independent reviews Keep things in perspective

Before you drive yourself crazy trying to figure out which GPU is in a certain laptop, you probably want to keep in mind that the actual performance swings might not matter that much. Depending on the game or application you run, the difference between a Max-P 30-series GPU and a Max-Q version might be as little as 10 percent, not worth sweating bullets.

Best Cyber Monday Graphics Card Deals: Amd And Nvidia Gpus On Discount

If you want to see which GPUs we rate highest, check out PCWorld’s rankings of the best graphics cards of 2023. Some of our top picks could be on sale. And if you’re looking for other tech deals, make sure to check out our full Black Friday/Cyber Monday coverage.

Best Cyber Monday Nvidia graphics card deals  Best Cyber Monday AMD graphics card deals  Best Cyber Monday Intel graphics card deals FAQ


Are Cyber Monday graphics card deals worth it?

We couldn’t say this last year, but in 2023? Yes, Black Friday and Cyber Monday graphics card deals are legit. Both Nvidia and AMD have brand new models hitting the market, which means the GeForce RTX 30-series and Radeon RX 6000 series are seeing big discounts as retailers move to clear inventory. New competitor Intel is also on the scene, but its cards are so cheap (and so rare) that they’re unlikely to see any huge price reductions. As always, the more expensive the card, the more it’s likely to be discounted.


Are Black Friday and Cyber Monday graphics card deals lower quality?

It’s all relative. As we’ve stated above, we’re seeing discounts on previous-generation GPUs. Does this make them “lower quality”? No, they’re just not bleeding-edge for 2023. But if you’re looking to score a true deal, it may make sense to buy a GeForce RTX 30-series and Radeon RX 6000 series card at a big discount. The cards themselves are fine!


What graphics card should I buy? 

Okay, that’s kind of a big question. The answer is generally “whichever one you want and can afford.” But there are a lot of factors that go into which card is actually practical for you, not the least of which is whether your PC can physically hold or power up the GPU you choose. Make sure to read PCWorld’s rankings of the best graphics cards of 2023 to make informed decisions. 


Should I buy Nvidia, AMD, or Intel? 

All modern desktop graphics cards connect via the PCI-Express slot on your desktop computer’s motherboard. As long as you have one slot free (and the required number of slots open to plug it into your computer case), it’ll work. The difference between Nvidia and AMD is pretty slim at most price points. Unless you’re interested in a particular feature of one brand, like Nvidia’s RTX effects or AMD’s FidelityFX SuperResolution, either will do fine.

Intel’s brand new Arc cards are a different proposition. The company is competing aggressively on price, making these cards a bargain, at least for newer games. But Intel’s drivers are still immature compared to AMD and Nvidia, especially if you’re playing older titles. 


Is my desktop compatible with a new graphics card? 

It’s time to break out the tape measure. Almost all modern desktops can fit at least some kind of external graphics card, as long as they have at least one PCIe slot on the motherboard. But before buying a new card, make sure your case can fit it, both in length (measured in millimeters) and in slots (the number of eternal notches at the rear of the case, not physical PCIe connections) it needs. Most mid-range cards use two slots, but more powerful ones can use three or even four.

You also need to make sure that your computer’s power supply can handle the additional watts drawn by the new GPU, and that it has the correct power connections to supply electricity to it. If not, you can always upgrade your power supply, too. 


How much should I spend on a new GPU? 

Generally speaking, the more you spend on a graphics card, the more powerful it will be—the better the effects and the more frames you can push in AAA games. A $1,000 card isn’t necessarily twice as good as a $500 card, but it’ll definitely be a lot better. 

However, there’s such a thing as too much. If your computer is six or seven years old, the “bottleneck” of performance might be your processor or RAM, so spending four digits on a new card wouldn’t be wise. 


Should I upgrade the rest of my computer too? 

It depends. If you’re upgrading to a really powerful graphics card, you definitely want to make sure that your power supply can handle it. If you haven’t upgraded any of the major components in a while, it might be time for a system overhaul, too. That usually means a new processor, motherboard, and sometimes RAM, though AMD AM4 motherboards can slot in relatively new CPUs without needing any other new components. 

If you’re not sure you want to drop that much on new hardware, you can always upgrade the GPU, do some testing in your favorite games, and see if you have the performance increase you want. If not, you can upgrade the other components as needed.

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