Nothing gives your PC a shot-in-the-arm like a shiny new CPU and/or GPU. I’m also passionate about gaming and that needs a goodgraphics card. These days with folks at NVIDIA and ATi exploringthe use of GPUs for more multi-purpose processing than just pixel,vertex and geometry shading, there could be tangible benefits to non-gamersfor buying a good graphics card. Besides this, the visual revolution, whether it’sWindows with its 3D (Aero) look or Snow Leopard’s snappy UI, is upon us andto enjoy the richness of today’s multimedia content you need some sort of 3Daccelerator (remember the days when graphic cards were called that?)
DX 11 is the new thing and we’ve seen a couple of DX 11 titles like Battleforgeand Grid 2 in action. From the looks of things DX 11 will be, as good (if not better)looking than DX 10 and the optimisations make it up to 30 per cent faster. On future games, we’re bound tosee visual improvements as wellas developers spend some timewith the new API. They alsohave 30 per cent of performanceheadroom to work with, whichshould lead to a noticeable hikein eye-candy. That being said,if you’re not a hardcore gamerlooking to play the latest andupcoming titles, you can easilymake do with an older generation DX 10-based graphics card. DX 9 graphicscards are still available, but they’re not really worth it, since the price differencebetween them and the entry-level DX 10 cards is hardly anything.The way I see it, audiences for graphic cards can be divided into four categories.
1. Those who are buying a basic PC and have basic needs including somemultimedia usage including the odd game.
2. People who are buying a slightly more powerful PC for multimedia and alsowant to play some games.
3. Casual gamers who want to play all the latest games with fair levels of detail.
4. Gaming junkies who demand the best gaming experience and therefore will bewilling to invest a sizeable chunk of dough in a top-end graphics card.