As gaming technology continues to advance—pushing the limits of visual brilliance, realistic character models and scenery—video card manufacturers are producing faster, stronger and more capable hardware in order to keep pace with the evolving software. The demands and requirements of recent games like Titanfall, Dragon Age Inquisition and Assassins Creed Unity feature worlds and people that are more realistic and detailed than ever before; however, to take utmost advantage of these stunning visuals, you need to have the right video card or you’re going to fall behind the evolution of gaming graphics.
While AMD doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to hardware, its Radeon R9 Series is on a whole new level. The new flagship video card Radeon R9 295X2 is a step in the right direction with dual Hawaii GPUs that clocked higher than any other card they offer. The 500W board is cooled by a closed loop liquid cooler system for superior temperature control while maintaining a reduced sound profile.
If you aren’t looking for a dual GPU setup, take a look at AMD’s single GPU leader the Radeon R9 290X. The single GPU card is the biggest and fastest of their 200 series cards and the only one to feature the new Hawaii architecture. It also boasts the fastest memory bus they offer, operating at a staggering 512 bit and matched up with the 5GHz GDDR5 memory it boasts an impressive bandwidth of 320GB/sec.
Both cards operate on PCI3, offer TrueAudio and AMD’s Eyefinity technology allowing you to use up to 6 monitors, have Crossfire support available, and can be configured with up to 8 GB GDDR5 memory.
Battling head to head with AMD, NVIDIA’s GeForce family of graphics cards has stepped up to the challenge with the release of their latest high powered video card, the GeForce GTX 780 Ti. Featuring the now fully enabled GK110 GPU and a clockspeed increase from its predecessors, the GTX 780 Ti is NVIDIA’s fastest and highest clocked card available. The 7GHz memory clock paired with the GDDR5 memory gives this card a total memory bandwidth of up to 336GB/sec. While it is fixed at 3GB of VRAM, the higher performance bus and GPU easily makes up for it even with today’s highest demand games.
For those of you looking for something a little smaller but don’t want to sacrifice a lot of performance, consider the GeForce GTX 770. Taking advantage of a fully enabled GK104 GPU, higher clock speed and improved turbo boost mechanism, the 770 easily replaces its predecessor the GTX 680. It is also the first of its size to offer the 7GHz GDDR5 for enhanced memory bus speed.
With all the choices available to you in video cards and build options, make sure you do your homework before building your PC. Check the requirements for the games you want to play and any games that may be coming out in the near future. There is nothing worse than spending the time and money required to build your perfect gaming PC, then finding out that the game you were waiting for won’t play at its preferred settings. Make sure you get the right card for your needs so that nothing interferes with your epic gaming experience.