4k 60FPS or Bust! Graphics Processing Unit, or GPU
The Graphics Processing Unit is a piece of hardware that goes by many names; GPU, Video Card, Graphics Card, Graphics Processor, the list goes on. All of these refer to the same thing. There are a couple important things to keep in mind with picking out at GPU. These are the model of GPU, and how much power it requires. With GPUs, there is a lot less variance than with CPUs, and are much easier to pick out. While it may be easy to just go out and grab the best GPU you can find and slap it in your build, you may find that you really don’t use as much of its power as you thought. There are a number of guides for picking GPUs based on the games you want to play, or benchmark tools like SpecviewPerf that will give performance metrics for programs like Solidworks and other industrial use programs. Armed with that information, you can find the GPU that fits your use case and budget. Power requirements are going to be the other thing to look out for. Many modern GPUs can suck down a lot of power under heavy load, and it will be necessary to get a power supply that can support it. Various features like real-time ray tracing (The big selling point for Nvidia’s RTX launch) or volumetric lighting (Nvidia’s Pascal launch, or the 10-series cards big thing) are mainly going to be functioning in the background and won’t be dealt with by the average user. Now, a particularly observant user can look for these things while reading about game development, but it isn’t necessary. The big take away for this will be to look for a GPU that meets your use case and budget as well as is sufficiently modern to leverage the power of the rest of your system.