news hardware You don’t need an RTX 4090 to play video games on PC!
PC games can be very capricious at times. Between the exclusivity of the console, the poorly optimized games or simply the exorbitant cost of a gaming PC, it can discourage more than one. Fortunately, there are solutions to play on a PC without a graphics card!
What is a graphics card for?
With the RTX 4000 likely to launch in late 2022, PC gaming has attracted the interest of many gamers.
But then why have the latest graphics card to play video games?
A graphics card, or GPU (Graphical Processing Unit), is a processor entirely dedicated to displaying 3D graphic elements on a PC screen. The quality of an image, as well as its refresh rate, largely depends on the video memory available on your GPU and its connectors.
Popularized in the late 90s, graphics cards have evolved and support calculations too heavy to be handled by their processor alone. Today, video memory in graphics cards can convert digital data into images on your screen much faster.
Your GPU will then have two different tasks, one to receive information from software (a game, an application), and the other task will be to display an image accordingly.
If the video memory could be displayed in MB (Mega Bytes) during the 2000s, for some time now, the dedicated video memory of graphics cards is usually between 2 GB and 24 GB.
When we look at the Steam page of a game like Marvel Spider-Man, we can see that the developers recommend a graphics card with at least 6 GB of dedicated video memory from Nvidia, or 8 GB of VRAM from AMD.
Obviously, models are shown to guide the player, but it can be difficult to know concretely whether or not we can play with the equipment we have.
Two schools compete for graphics cards: Nvidia and AMD. Both have very different architectures and then offer more or less comparable performance depending on the games or software used.
Play on a PC without a graphics card: yes, but what games?
As said before, a graphics card is mostly there to support your computer’s processor in computing 3D images.
In concrete terms, it is entirely possible to play video games without having a proper graphics card. In fact, current processors have an iGPU for the Integrated Graphics Processing Unit. This means that your processor is fully capable of displaying 3D images on its own, but of course there will be some trade-offs.
For example, in an Intel i5-10600K processor we find the following iGPU: Intel UHD Graphics 630. To find out your processor, simply go to your PC settings window and access the system tab, then “about”. On this page you will be able to find information about your PC and therefore about your processor. Finally you will be able to see if your processor has a good iGPU.
If we take the example of an Intel i5-10600K that has a UHD Graphics 630 iGPU, you’ll be able to play some games like Grand Theft Auto V at around 30fps (in Full HD), or even Fortnite at 900p resolution at around 60fps.
I took here the case of games that are not necessarily very greedy, or a bit “old”, because of course recent 3D video games require better computing power to display the game correctly.
So a graphics card becomes essential if you want to play in good conditions, without having to compromise on resolution or fluidity.
Then you may be interested in graphics card models from AMD or Nvidia, but you should know that a new generation of GPUs is being prepared on the side of the two manufacturers, and should appear at the end of 2022.
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