The last time I changed the video card in my desktop computer, I put in a pretty cheap model. It was a GeForce GT520 with 1GB of 64-bit DDR3 video RAM. The main features I wanted were that it works and that it was silent. This model had a large heatsink and no fan.
On the other hand, it wasn’t particularly fast. It seemed fast enough, but it did hurt my Windows Experience Index, which is a compatibilities index that Windows will calculate on your computer for comparison purposes.
The Windows Experience Index checks multiple PC components (CPU, memory, primary hard drive, graphics, and gaming graphics, Then, it rates the overall PC at the rating of the lowest rated component.
Below you can see the Windows Experience Rating of my desktop before the new video card.
Every once in a while, Windows 7 Professional (64-bit) would complain that the graphics speed was slow, and would want to revert to non-Aero mode. Bummer…
Then, I changed the video card…
My new card is the Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 GHZ OC 2 GB GDDR5 Graphics Card. It uses the Radeon HD 7870 chip, overclocks it and has 2GB of 256-bit GDDR5 memory. Massive heatsink and heat pipes, with two fans & and it’s been absolutely quiet from my point of view — sitting beside it, I haven’t heard it in my already quiet. And it’s made a huge improvement in my video card’s performance, which also translates into Windows responding even more quickly.
I like it. Here’s my desktop’s new Windows Experience Index — 7.7, limited by the fast CPU and memory, not the graphics.
What CPU and memory do I have?
My desktop has an Intel Core i7-3770 Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz CPU and 16 GB (2 modules of 8 GB) of Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600 memory.