Graphics Card Buying Guide Spring 2015

I want to play 1080p, high-definition videos

Playing full high-definition videos might seem like an easy task and it is; the fore-mentioned graphic options presented by the processors would be up to the task of delivering high-quality picture detail. However, what if you already have an existing computer with poor integrated graphics? You then move onto the most basic of discrete graphics cards. The models at this end of the spectrum will happily play 1080p videos all day long and will use very little power in doing so.

AMD HD 5450 @ £19.99.

  • Core clock: 650MHz
  • Processing cores: 80
  • Memory: 1GB GDDR3
  • Memory clock: 1066MHz (Effective)

This is a tried and tested graphics card. Even though the technology behind it is a few years old; the passive cooling, very little heat production and offer 1080p playback in a package that fits into the smallest of computers is something that has kept buyers coming back. This isn’t a graphics card you want to start playing games on, but for watching high-quality videos; it does the job perfectly.

NVIDIA offers a slightly wider range of options for below £30 that can match the AMD offering. Both of these graphics cards will display high-quality videos all day long and will do it passively.

NVIDIA GT 210 @ £19.99

  • Core clock: 589MHz
  • Processing/ CUDA cores: 16
  • Memory: 1GB GDDR3
  • Memory clock: 1200MHz (Effective)

NVIDIA GT 610 @ £25.99

  • Core clock: 550MHz
  • Processing/ CUDA cores: 48
  • Memory: 1GB GDDR3
  • Memory clock: 1000MHz (Effective)

Pitting AMD against NVIDIA at this level is pointless, the designed purpose of these graphics cards is to offer low power, low noise, low heat options that will play 1080p video. The only reason for buying these particular graphics cards is to upgrade an old tower unit that does not have the video processing power or to use in overclocking events for processors such as the Intel i7 Extreme range.