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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Buy a Graphics Card with the Correct Frame Rate

Frame rate is an overall test of the efficiency of a graphics card as regards speed. It depicts how many complete images can be displayed by a graphics card in one second. It is measured in frames per second (FPS). Frame rate has two components, called triangles or vertices per second (how many vertices of a polygon can be measured in a second) and pixel frame rate (how many pixels it can convert in a second). The higher the frame rate, the smoother the onscreen movement. A high frame rate is a must for 3-D games. The following steps will help you to buy a graphics card with the correct frame rate you need.

Decide on the type of games you would like to play on your computer. If the output is in the range exceeding 25FPS, the human eye will not be able to distinguish individual frames. High- paced games, such as first person shooters, will need an FPS of 60 or more to provide smooth scrolling and fluid movements.

Check the type of monitor you have. In the classical CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) monitors, resolutions can be set until it exceeds the maximum physical resolution that the screen can support. In the case of TST (Thin Film Transistor) monitors, the physical resolution can’t be set as they have fixed resolutions. In this case, it is better to choose a graphics card that supports the resolution setting of your TST monitor.

Decide on the screen resolution you would like to set. If you want a high resolution to be fixed, you'll need a higher frame rate. A higher screen resolution allows more pixels to be displayed on the screen, which makes the output more detailed. The most widely used resolutions are 1280 x 1024 and 1600 x 1200.

Assess the ability of the graphics card to provide a high frame rate. Check the pixel fill rate. Determine how many megapixels it can process per second. If you want to play advanced 3-D games, a higher frame rate is what you need. Currently, 1024 x 768 pixels is regarded as an acceptable gaming resolution.

Check the memory bandwidth of the card. This will measure the speed with which the processor will read and write data from memory. More memory bandwidth will ensure a better performance.

Check the prices of available graphics card with your required frame rate. Generally, a card with higher frame rate will be more expensive than one with a lower frame rate. Use search engines to look online for the prices of different cards and compare them.

Decide whether you want to purchase online or from stores. Generally, online shops will provide you with more discounts than local stores. If ordering online, don’t forget to check the cost of shipping and handling. Browse through popular online stores such as CompUSA, Best Buy and Circuit City (see links below).

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