AMD Graphics Cards Buying Advice
AMD stands for Advanced Micro Devices. Creators of the world’s first high-performance GPU, AMD is now the leading force in the gaming industry, with AMD graphics cards at the heart of every major games console. Combining breakthrough architecture, software, and APIs with cutting-edge technologies, AMD are dedicated to manufacturing products that change the way people interact with technology to deliver truly immersive experiences.
From simple systems with minimal resources to highly-complex systems that are resource intensive, the AMD FirePro series of graphics cards has been designed to provide unique solutions for workstation and enterprise solutions. FirePro GPUs are the ideal choice for those looking to power multi-monitor displays, medical and financial workflows, accelerated graphic design, video editing and animation, computationally intensive workloads, engineering and more. Incredibly powerful and optimized for professional applications, FirePro AMD graphics cards deliver unbeatable performance. While graphics cards such as the FirePro W4100 or the FirePro W2100 serve as a great starting point for light work flows, and the Radeon Pro WX5100 are ideal for those of greater requirements, those seeking the best possible performance should look to GPUs such as the FirePro W9100 or the Radeon Pro Duo – a GPU which has been designed to meet the needs of both the professional audience as well as those in gaming.
A division of AMD, Radeon is the company’s flagship consumer line featuring graphics cards and processors. Radeon graphics cards are suited towards video games and other consumer applications, and go head-to-head with other leading graphics cards such as the NVIDIA GT and GTX lines. With a broad host of specs targeted at multiple consumer levels, Radeon AMD graphics cards range from entry-level to cutting-edge, innovative technologies that deliver astonishing performance with every frame.
Radeon R7 Consumer
Allowing those who use their PCs as a means for web browsing or video and audio entertainment a way to enhance their experience, the Radeon R7 series of graphics cards allow for multi-monitor configurations and additional performance for general computing. For those looking for a graphics cards to enhance their day-to-day computing activities, graphics cards such as the R7 240 or the R7 250 can provide the required performance.
– Radeon Gaming Performance Tier
Developing each GPU generation with improvements over the prior, AMD graphics cards see higher clock speeds, additional memory, increased core counts and enhancements to energy-efficiency. As AMD graphics chips serve as the leading platform in game development due to their presence both in game consoles and the PC, AMD GPUs share much of the same traits and benefits across the two platforms, with rendering technologies and feature-sets being viable on both.
Following each generation of AMD graphics cards the performance that’s offered by the latest GPUs will see adjustments to the performance ratings of the prior. High-End GPUs of the previous AMD graphics cards will have similar performance levels to that of the latest Mid-Tier and High-End graphics cards. This serves as an indication of the enhancements that have been made to the latest GPU manufacturing technology, with the benefits commonly arriving as increased memory, smaller GPU chips, power savings, lower temperatures and an increase to the number of graphical processing cores on the graphics cards. This also applies to the specifications of the latest Entry-Tier GPUs, scaling in performance that sits between the Entry-Tier and Mid-Tier GPUs of the prior generation.
Proving to be a great starting point for those new to PC gaming, AMD’s Entry-Tier graphics cards offer performance that’s identical to the latest gaming consoles, with the added benefit of custom cooling solutions and overclocking capabilities to exceed them. GPUs such as the RX 460 pack extremely fast clock speeds while being extremely energy efficient. While others such as the R7 370 are fitted with additional memory and more cores, allowing it to be a competitive solution for those seeking more performance than.
Allowing for high frame rates and maximum visual quality, AMD’s Mid-Tier GPUs prove to be a great solution. Graphics cards such as the R9 380, R9 380X, RX 470 and the RX 480 deliver a gaming experience that solely demonstrates the visual superiority that PC gaming has over a games console when experiencing a game in Full HD. These GPUs also provide an enjoyable gaming experience at higher resolutions such as 1440p, as well as gaming in Virtual Reality.
Designed to deliver a gaming experience for owners of 1440p and 4K displays, AMD’s High-End graphics cards contain the necessary amount of cores, memory and high clock speeds in order to power through such a gargantuan amount of pixels. Proving ideal for gaming in Virtual Reality, GPUs such as the R9 Nano, R9 Fury, R9 Fury X and the Radeon Pro Duo are the latest in AMD’s line-up for uncompromised, high performance gaming.
Most monitors today have a frame rate of 60 Hz or 60 frames per second. This means that if your graphics card is capable of 90+ Hz, then tearing occurs in the image. The most common solution has been VSync. This forces the graphics card to slow down and meet the monitor’s frame rate; however, this can cause stuttering and lag when games are demanding. This is where FreeSync comes in. FreeSync works to eliminate the lag caused by VSync by synchronizing the graphics card and the frame rate of the monitor. This feature is available on a large number of displays by manufacturers such as LG, Asus, Acer, AOC, and Liyama.
Giving gamers the means to apply overclocking capabilities directly from the AMD Radeon Crimson Software driver panel, gamers can apply their own preferences for the performance of their GPUs with the satisfaction of knowing that the application has been built directly in-mind for their GPUs. Gamers can apply overclocking settings based on resolution, target framerates, thermal limits, and on a game-by-game basis. Throughout all of these features the Radeon Crimson provides gamers with an easy to use menu where they set different profiles for each of the settings they choose to apply.
Developed as an alternative means for game developers to utilize the simulation-based physics system, developed by Nvidia – HairWorks, AMD’s solution known as TressFX allows for the complex rendering of objects such as hair, fur and environmental foliage to be greatly improved by taking full advantage of the GPU's processing power. Where Nvidia’s HairWorks system has been developed to function best on Nvidia hardware, TressFX provides cross-platform compatibility that works just as well on both manufacturer’s graphics cards.
Allowing gamers to combine multiple-GPUs for additional performance, AMD graphics cards can be installed in either two, three or four-way configurations in order to improve the gaming experience. This feature is known as CrossFire and delivers additional performance based on how well it has been implemented by the game developers. For gamers who choose to use an AMD APU rather than a CPU ( Advanced Processing Unit which combines the CPU and a GPU in to one package), the integrated GPU that’s present on the APU can be combined in a CrossFire configuration with the discrete Radeon Graphics card, in order to provide improved performance.