How to Choose a Graphics Card. How to compare graphics cards

Creative professionals who render 4K video or run visually intense programs will use the same GPUs as gamers. Read about some of the best gaming GPUs in our HP Tech Takes article here.

AMD vs Nvidia: Full Comparison

Computer hobbyists and developers of computer game systems are well aware of the long, ongoing war for dominance on the graphics card market. The two titans caught in battle for decades are Nvidia and AMD, also referred to as the “Green Team” and “Red Team”. Advanced microdevices (AMD) were usually seen as the choice for budget builds, but AMD has had a few moments where new product launches took a temporary advantage over Nvidia’s high-end offerings.

Whether you want to pick a new graphics card or want to learn more about these two companies, the guide below will compare them with the products they currently offer.

AMD vs Nvidia: Side by Side Comparison

Nvidia Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
Date of establishing the company april 5, 1993 may 1, 1969
Product categories GPU, mobile graphics, motherboard chipsets, CUDA supercomputing solutions Consumer processors, graphics processors, mobile processors, professional processors, server processors
A flagship graphic product GeForce RTX 3090 Radeon RX 6900 XT
Adaptive synchronization technology G-Sync FreeSync
Current GPU series Nvidia RTX line Radeon 6000 series
Founder Jensen Huang Jerry Sanders
Graphics drivers GeForce Experience, Nvidia Control Panel Radeon adrenaline

AMD vs Nvidia-headerSapphire AMD 380 Dual-X graphics card. Sapphire produces graphics cards with high cooling performance.

  • AMD, despite its appeal to budget builders, is a much more mature company than Nvidia, founded almost 25 years earlier than Nvidia.
  • Graphics cards from both companies are very similar in performance, but Nvidia’s RTX series is much better at ray tracing and ultra-high resolution.
  • Nvidia’s products are mainly graphics processing solutions, while AMD produces a large portion of consumer processors in the computer market along with popular graphics processors.
  • Nvidia GPUs are also used for advanced applications in artificial intelligence and deep learning systems via Nvidia’s CUDA technology.
  • In addition to consumer processors and GPU products, AMD also produces RAM and solid state drives.

You can tell which GPU was recently released by looking at the RX number. If it is taller, the model is newer. Again, we’ll draw your attention to this: with AMD GPUs, a higher number doesn’t mean more power. Rather, it indicates how recently it was released.

Why does your graphics card matter?

For many people, gaming is the most hardware-intensive task you can ask your computer to do. So it’s no surprise that serious gamers spend hours researching the latest GPU technology and frequently update their GPUs frequently. As GPUs become faster, games are designed to take advantage of the extra performance, forcing manufacturers to create even faster GPUs while continuing the cycle.

If you don’t prioritize gaming, you may not care so much about your GPU’s capabilities. That said, professional applications often take advantage of the GPU’s special processing capabilities directly, just in different ways. Examples include video editing where the GPU can be used to speed up processes such as video encoding, 3D rendering, and computer aided design / manufacturing (CAD / CAM) applications such as AutoCAD. All of these programs use the additional processing power of the GPU, although they benefit most from GPUs designed specifically for these applications.

Choosing a GPU is therefore an important part of building, purchasing, or upgrading your computer. As with any PC component, the first question to ask yourself when choosing a graphics card is how will you use it?


The gaming industry has played a key role in the evolution of GPU technology. Today’s PC games are more realistic and complex than ever before, and the rising performance of modern GPUs is both one reason and a response to gamers demanding better looking and more complex games.

Simply put, if you’re building a computer to play games, the GPU will be your number one purchase. Other components can affect performance as well, such as CPU, storage, and RAM, but the GPU has the most direct connection to what you see on the screen while you play.

However, there are many different types of games out there, and not all of them require the most powerful GPU on the market. Therefore, it is important to review the required, recommended, and optimal game specs to ensure you are getting the right graphics card.

Buying the best GPU you can afford is a good way to secure your version in the future and keep it ready to play popular games that have yet to be released. That said, if you know exactly what games you want to play, doing a little research into the ideal GPU to run this title is a great way to start the purchasing process.

Video and professional applications

aMD Radeon Pro wx7100

Those who use their computers for complex tasks such as 3D rendering, game development, and video editing also benefit from faster graphics processors. Advanced applications such as AutoCAD and Adobe Premiere Pro can use graphics processors for faster processing and a faster and more efficient workflow.

Therefore, there is a whole segment of GPUs designed specifically for professionals. These workstation graphics processors are optimized for these applications, and their drivers are certified to be stable and reliable in performing these operations. Professional-grade graphics cards can be incredibly powerful and often more expensive than even high-end gaming GPUs, but since they aren’t specifically designed for gaming tasks, they’re likely not ideal for gaming PCs. Therefore, the most expensive GPU is not always “better”, and it is important to choose a GPU based on how you intend to use it, not just on price.

Integrated vs discrete GPUs

Most modern processors have integrated graphics, which are essentially graphics processors built into the processor itself or otherwise closely related to the processor. These integrated graphics tend to be lower-performance options, providing enough power to run your operating system and run web browsers, email clients, productivity apps, and other routine software, but they don’t do anything more than regular (or older) games. This changes quickly as processors become more powerful, but for now, if you want to play games, a separate (or discrete) GPU is probably your best bet.

Standalone GPUs range from relatively inexpensive, entry-level options to incredibly powerful GPUs that alone can cost well over £ 400,000. You can purchase discrete GPUs as part of off-the-shelf systems, for a PC you build yourself, or to upgrade an older GPU.

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