When choosing your new computer, you have no doubt considered a GPU. Nowadays these are essential for even casual gamers, allowing all the pretty effects and graphics to be processed fast enough to make you competitive. But which graphics card is best, why can’t the main processor do all this, and how much money will this cost. These are all questions I would expect, and therefore, this series intends to answer them all. In todays article, I will be discussing the naming conventions of nVIDIA, and how to interpret them.
First off, two main companies make graphics cards, nVIDIA and AMD. As a general rule of thumb, nVIDIA makes the expensive, but much more powerful cards, whereas AMD makes the less powerful, but budget friendly graphics cards. This is a general rule of thumb only, and exceptions occur, like everything else in life.
Generally speaking, nVIDIA graphics cards are enthusiast grade, and therefore anything higher than a GTX 640 can run games.
Their naming strategy makes sense once you get to grips with it. Basically, every year nVIDIA creates a new “series” of graphics cards, and incorporates new features and new architecture into them. This new series gains a number. For instance the 600 series was the 6th series, 700 series was the 7th and so on. At the time of writing, only some of the 800 series have been released. Basically the series number indicates how up-to-date the technology is.
Then you get the graphics card number itself. What they do, they start off with the series number and increase the number by increments of 10 per graphics card. So, for instance, the GT 610, 620, 630, 640 and the GTX 65, 660, 670, 680 and 690. The higher the number, the more powerful the card. Finally, they then add a couple on the end, which are often extreme gaming cards with extra performance, developer cards like the original GTX TITAN, or dual GPU cards such as the GTX 690 and the TITAN Z, which contained two gpu’s on the same card. The cards above x80 will always be extreme cards, designed to showcase what the company can create in the best light. For instance the TITAN z and 780 Ti are currently designed to demonstrate 4K gaming at it’s best, whereas the previous series the GTX 690 and the original GTX TITAN were designed to demonstrate 3d gaming at it’s best (at that point 3d gaming was only just rearing it’s head).
Basically this is how we determine how new the product is, how powerful it is/how much horsepower it has, and how we identify the card.
That is the end of the nVIDIA article. But shortly I will be releasing an article explaining more advanced concepts such as the architecture, cores, clock speed and more. Plus I will also be doing a similar guide to this one for AMD, identifying their naming conventions.
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