Gaming Graphics Card Buying Advice
We know you might be on a budget, or looking for the very best graphics card, or somewhere in between. A typical rule of thumb when building a new gaming computer is try to spend about a 1/3 of the total cost on a graphics card since that is single biggest factor in gaming performance. If you are interesting in building your own computer but have never built one before, we suggest you watch Newegg.com's great video tutorials on building your own computer.
See Our Recommended Graphics Cards in the left sidebar. For a comparison of relative performance see the Graphics Card Comparison Table
For a Budget computer Build, we recommend trying to fit at least a Geforce GTX 750 Ti into your budget or it won't really be much of gaming PC. If your budget is more limited, try to grab a Radeon 7750 from the last generation of AMD video cards which is still very capable although may be discontinued soon. For a High-End Build, the Nvidia Geforce 780 Ti and AMD Radeon R9 290 are the video cards to beat with the Nvidia card slightly edging the AMD card out. For even high performance multiple Nvidia video cards using SLI technology or AMD video cards using Crossfire technology can be combined in a single system provided you have a supported motherboard.
Upgrading a Video Card
A new graphics card is a great way to extend the useful life of a computer that is a few years old. Unforunately, most pre-built computers from the Lenovo, Dell, HP and others have low watt power supplies and will not support high-end video cards. Many also lack an extra 6-pin power connector required by even the mid-range graphics cards. Currently the best performing graphics card that does not require an extra power connector and is safe to use on many pre-built computers that contain only a 250 or 300 watt power supply is the Geforce GTX 750 Ti. However, the Geforce GTX 750 Ti is a dual slot card and may be too large for your case and motherboard. Be sure to measure the inside of your case and compare to the specifications for the card you are going to buy. Measure the distance starting from where bracket will rest against the case and parallel to the connector to see if card will be too long. Also measure height from the connector up to your CPU heatsink to make sure the card will fit without touching the CPU heatsink or shroud.
To check whether your computer can handle a graphics card upgrade you will need to open up the computer case. Look for the sticker on your power supply that states its wattage or if you cannot find one, go to the technical specification for you computer on your computer manufacturer's website. Ideally, the power supply should be more than 400 watts with the +12V listing 25A (amps) or more and at least one free 6 pin power connector which looks like this:
If you have a sufficient power supply and an older 4-pin connector this adapter may also work to convert your power supply to a 6-pin cable.