Graphics cards are of the utmost importance in rigs intended for gaming or workstation PCs. For graphically intensive software and high-end games, a discrete card like those here is a must. AMD and NVIDIA dominate this market, and both firms offer a huge variety of cards across a broad spectrum of prices – cards for gamers start at just over £20 and can reach almost £1,000. Features and cooling solutions are just as diverse, but with any card you need to check that your case has room for it, your PSU has the right connections and that its display outputs meet your needs.
The AMD FirePro cards in this category are designed for use in industries where multiple displays from one computer are required – multimonitor display walls, financial and healthcare services and call centres, for example. These cards support industry standard connections and can power set-ups with two, four or even six displays, though you'll need to check the exact number on each card as well as the connections, as purchasing extra adaptors may be necessary too. They are single slot cards, so space requirements are low, and many are passively cooled, ensuring silence and extra longevity.
From adapters to replacement brackets, these accessories are aimed at helping you get the right and desired use from your equipment.
VGA coolers are the best way to cool your Graphics card when overclocking. This prevents damage to your components and can also decrease fan noise on certain graphics cards. Updated
ATI Radeon™ HD 5450 graphics card is designed to offer everything you need for gaming and entertainment in one package. Expand your visual real estate with ATI Eyefinity technology. Accelerate the most demanding applications with ATI Stream technology and unlock your PC’s potential.
The Radeon Pro Duo is AMD's flagship graphics card thanks to its two 1,000MHz GPUs, each with 4,096 stream processors for a unparalleled 8,192 processors. Each GPU has access to 4GB of HBM memory, for a total of 8GB. Because of the twin GPUs the Pro Duo consumes a lot of power and has three 8-pin PCI-E power connectors so make sure you have a compatible PSU. The standard cards are watercooled to keep noise in check.
Radeon Pro graphics cards provide fast and accurate rendering and display for graphics workstations. Choose from models optimised for 2D or 3D applications, depending on the size of the models you're working with. Radeon Pro cards are based on the latest Polaris architecture so offer superior performance and power efficiency compared to previous generation FirePro cards.
As one of the most affordable discrete graphics cards on the market, the R5 230 is designed primarily for everyday users seeking smooth HD video playback, extended desktops and faster performance in accelerated apps, though its 80 cores will still outpace many integrated graphics solutions in light gaming workloads too. Its low power design means it doesn't require a PSU connection and it's also available in passively cooled models.
This entry-level graphics card is only capable of light gaming but with 320 cores it's still a significant step up from R5 series products. It requires no PSU connection and is typically a single slot card, sometimes with a half height PCB as well, meaning it can give almost any old machine an easy upgrade, and is very suitable for home theatre and small-form-factor PCs.
The R7 250 is similar to the R7 240, but has a few more cores for and also supports faster GDDR5 memory on some models. It's very affordable and comes in a range of small, unimposing designs, some of which are passively cooled, and doesn't need a PSU connection.
With many models under £380, the AMD Radeon 390X offers very competitive value for money. Its Hawaii GPU sports a whopping 2,816 stream processors and is able to boost to at least 1,050MHz. With 8GB of GDDR5 on tap, it's capable of pumping out smooth frame rates on a 2560 x 1440 monitor and to multi-monitor set-ups. It also supports DirectX 12, Mantle and FreeSync for stutter and tearing free gaming.
Based on the new power efficient Polaris architecture with 14nm FinFET transistors, the RX 460 has 896 stream processors and 2 or 4GB of GDDR5 memory and so provides smooth frame rates on a 1920 x 1080 monitor.
ased on the new power efficient Polaris architecture with 14nm FinFET transistors, the RX 470 has 2,048 stream processors and 4 or 8GB of GDDR5 memory and so provides silky smooth frame rates on a 1920 x 1080 and good frame rates at 2560 x 1440 too. The Radeon RX 470 is a commedable choice for a mid range gaming PC as it supports advanced technologies such as DirectX 12, CrossFire and FreeSync.
Based on the new power efficient Polaris architecture with 14nm FinFET transistors, the RX 480 has 2,304 stream processors and 8GB of GDDR5 memory and so provides silky smooth frame rates on a 1920 x 1080 or 2560 x 1440 monitor with all the detail settings dialled up. The Radeon RX 480 is a solid choice for a high end gaming PC especially as it supports advanced technologies such as DirectX 12, CrossFire and FreeSync.