Measuring graphics card preformance

When discussing system requirements/specifications, there's something that has confused me, the video card. Now hard drive, RAM, Processor, all of those have standard units of measurements, GB, GHz, etc. but with video cards I sometimes see it measured in allocated memory space, but more often than not I see a Directx number or NVidia. I don't know how these relate to eachother or what they mean numbers-wise. they're both brand names, aren't they, why are they used in a system specifications sheet? I'm fairly certain my laptop doesn't use either of those, so I'm a bit confused on the whole situation.

Cranyx:
When discussing system requirements/specifications, there's something that has confused me, the video card. Now hard drive, RAM, Processor, all of those have standard units of measurements, GB, GHz, etc. but with video cards I sometimes see it measured in allocated memory space, but more often than not I see a Directx number or NVidia. I don't know how these relate to eachother or what they mean numbers-wise. they're both brand names, aren't they, why are they used in a system specifications sheet? I'm fairly certain my laptop doesn't use either of those, so I'm a bit confused on the whole situation.

If you have windows you have DirectX.

For a GPU you just have to look up the game in question and your video card to see if it will run, that's all you can do.

What about things like dedicated RAM? Is Directx # really all there is to worry about?

There are many, many factors that come into play when deciding what GPU you want to get. Stream processors, amount of RAM, bandwidth, core model, core and memory frequencies, etc. The best way to decide what GPU to get is to read reviews. Pretty much all computer hardware sites on the net reviews GPUs. I can give a few recommendations though:

If money is not a question: nvidia GTX 690
If you have a lot of money to spend: GTX 680
If you have a moderately amount of money: GTX 570

Thanks, but what are the things I should look at aside from reviews? Like I said, Hard Drive you can look at GB storage, Processor you look at GHz. Is there nothing like that for graphics cards? If it is more complex than one number or specification, could you be so kind as to give a brief summary?

Please and thank you.

Even for hard drives or processors there is no standard unit for measuring performance.

There really isn't much you can do beside read reviews , but you could determine relative performance in graphics cards by looking at their names.

example -: GTX 560 or HD 6850.

Ignore the letters. The first number is the series number which tells you which 'family' the cards belong to.The second( and third )letter determine(s) the ranking of the card within that family with a higher number being a better card.Now cards from tier 'x' in family 'b' are usually on par in terms of performance with cards from tier 'y' in family 'a' provided the two cards are from the same company.

phew! That was a really tiring.

If this is for your laptop, then the first thing you need to check is whether you can even upgrade it's GPU.

Some laptops have an integrated graphics chip hard-wired onto the motherboard that can't be removed or replaced.

If you can upgrade your laptop's GPU, then your choice is narrowed down quite a lot as you can really only use GPUs specifically made for laptops (usually with a M suffix, e.g. GT520M).

You should post the make and model of the computer so someone can advise you on what type of cards it can take. It may turn out that your laptop can't be upgraded at all or can only take a small GPU with a low power consumption, so there's not much point in researching a wide range of GPUs if you can only utilise a select few.

I know that my laptop cannot swap graphics cards. I was not planning to, I was simply using it as an example.

For instance, my laptop runs Directx 11, but I know it does not have a very good graphics card. I would like to know what about it is the bad part? Is it the memory (1696MB)? the chip type (Intel(R) HD Graphics family)?

Cranyx:
For instance, my laptop runs Directx 11, but I know it does not have a very good graphics card. I would like to know what about it is the bad part? Is it the memory (1696MB)? the chip type (Intel(R) HD Graphics family)?

Graphics cards have a whole load of different statistics which aren't easy to sum up, CUDA cores/Stream processors, memory amount, memory bandwidth etc. The best way to compare would be to use the Tom's Hardware GPU hierarchy. Reading reviews would get you used to the different aspects of a graphics card, but I personally find it too much information to process.

 

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