The graphics card is one of the most important parts of a computer. It is a computer extension that has the function of processing data to be converted into a quality image on the screen to be seen by users. A computer that allows office automation and web browsing do not really need an individual graphics card, it is already integrated into the processor. Tasks considered heavy require, on the other hand, a specific graphics card such as the PCI Express graphics card.
Considered a basic card, it is appreciated by users for its ease of installation and its ability to display good-quality images. Most French people spend 4 to 5 hours a day on a computer, however, those who have a graphics card adapted to their real needs are few. To help consumers find the PCI Express graphics card that meets their requirements and needs, we’ve put together this guide and packed it with practical tips for ensuring the durability of your graphics card.
Our selection of the best PCI express 2.0 graphics cards
1 MSI GT 710 2GD3H LP PCI Express Graphics Card
To bring your multimedia content to life, the MSI brand offers you the GeForce GT 710 2GD3H LP graphics card. It embeds a PCI Express interface with a 2 GB DDR2 type video memory offering a fast and immersive experience on any application. With a low profile design, this graphics card is suitable for multimedia configurations such as HTPC and Home Cinema PC. With a maximum resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels, your videos and photos will look amazing. Equipped with ultra-quiet passive cooling, this device allows you to spend long hours with your computer without fear of overheating. Less bulky, this model benefits from 3 various inputs (VGA, DVI and HDMI) for more versatility.
- Graphics card compatible with DirectX 3D and Open GL
- The built-in DX12 benchmark tool
- Has passive cooling
- GPU frequency1600MHz
- Minimum Power Supported300W
- interface typePCI express x16 2.0
- Premium Capacitors
- “Low Profile” design to save more space
- The graphics card does not have integrated ventilation, but it heats up very little
- Does not have a user manual
2 MSI GTX 1050 TI Aero
The MSI GTX 1050 TI Aero is a graphics card with an 8-pin PCI Express connector. It features 8 GB DDR5 RAM which offers the possibility of enjoying breathtaking rendering and an exceptional immersive experience when playing big titles such as Resident Evil 2, Devil May Cry or Tom Clancy’s The Division 2. Supported by an overclocked CPU frequency of up to 1268 MHz and a memory frequency of 7000 MHz, it accompanies gamers in the latest games and displays images closer to reality. This card is ideal for users with 1080p displays and promises high-quality visuals. This model also has a Dual-Slot format which allows it to provide multi-screen and multi-GPU connections.
- 8-pin PCI Express connector
- AMD FreeSync technology to improve the display
- Featuring Armor 2X cooling
- CPU speed1.27GHz
- GPU frequency1268MHz
- Minimum Power Supported450W
- The graphics card does not overheat
- Low energy consumption
- Ease of assembly
- Emits a slight noise
3 MSI N730K-2GD3H/LP graphics card
If you want to breathe new life into your old PC, the MSI brand offers you the N730K-2GD3H/LP graphics card. Ideal for office automation and multimedia as well as photo editing and video viewing, this model incorporates a 2048 MB DDR3 type video memory with a frequency of 1600 MHz. This MSI GeForce GT N730K-2GD3H/LP graphics card also has a frequency of 902 MHz which offers the possibility of using a dual-screen. To guarantee the display of fluid, sharp and quality images, this model is equipped with various outputs such as the HDMI port, the D-Sub output as well as a DVI-D Dual-link port. These connectors are supported by HD Ready and GeForce Experience technology to strengthen graphics performance.
- The built-in DX11 benchmark tool
- Remote control with iOS/Android device
- Video outputs consisting of an HDMI port, a DVI-D Dual-link port and a D-Sub output
- GPU frequency920MHz
- Memory2048 MB DDR3 (Frequency 1600 MHz)
- Dimensions14.6 x 6.9 x 3.8cm
- Possibility of being integrated into a smaller housing
- Automatic download of drivers and BIOS updates
- Silent model
- Powerful graphics card, but not part of the latest models
How to choose a PCI Express graphics card?
The PCI Express graphics card distinguishes itself from other models by its ability to offer high transfer speeds between the card and external peripherals since it increases the throughput of the interface. Allowing to improve the visual quality of videos and images on a computer, it offers the possibility of indulging in video games, watching high-definition films or creating a 3D drawings. On the current market, various manufacturers make available to their customers, various PCI Express graphics cards. As a result, choosing a high-performance and excellent quality gaming graphics card is quite difficult. To help you recognize a good external graphics card and opt for the best graphics card at the best price, we’ve picked out the essentials to consider when buying it. These criteria will be very useful for you to choose the model that will meet your needs and requirements.
1 PCI-e graphics card processor
In order to opt for the best PCI Express graphics card, it is important to take a close look at the GPU. Also called Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), it ensures the calculation of display to lighten the tasks of the CPU. To determine if the graphics card is good, you have to look at the frequency of the GPU. Expressed in MHz, it offers the possibility of knowing the power of the graphics processor. The higher it is, the higher the quality of the graphics card.
2 Graphics card memory
The second criterion that you should not lose sight of when buying a PCI Express graphics card is the memory of the graphics card. It allows the storage of the calculations carried out by the processor. Entry-level PCI Express graphics cards have 1GB of memory, mid-range ones have 2GB of memory, and those with excellent graphics options have 3GB or more of memory. It is also essential to have a close look at the type of memory. To be sure to choose the fastest, favour models with DDR4 or DDR5 memory.
3 The available outputs and inputs of PCI Express GPUs
When purchasing a PCI Express graphics card, you should also consider what inputs and outputs the card has. They provide the link between the graphics card and external peripherals such as screens, Blu-Ray players, etc. To connect the graphics card with the screen, it must have an analogue output for the CRT monitor or a DVI-type digital output for LCD screens. The HDMI socket, for its part, allows the transmission of sound and images. Your card must at least consist of one of these connectors, but for a better connection and more versatility, we recommend a model with several inputs and outputs.
4 The ventilation of your PCI-e graphics card
Fanning a PCI Express graphics card and any other card helps keep it at room temperature. Indeed, during the execution of the tasks, it is possible that the graphics card starts to heat up. When it is too hot, its performance and its proper functioning are jeopardized. To choose the best PCI Express graphics card, make sure that it is equipped with a cooler. However, you must get a silent model so as not to be bothered by the noise pollution of the fan.
How to use a PCI Express graphics card?
You don’t need to be a computer or electronics expert to know that without a good graphics card, you can’t fully enjoy HD movies and video games. The same goes for using a PCI Express graphics card, you don’t need to be computer savvy. However, it is essential to handle the graphics card well in order to guarantee its proper functioning and give it a long lifespan. To help you respect this, we provide you with practical advice, even if it means handling the equipment properly and maintaining it properly.
1 Make sure it is well laid out
In order for your PCI-e graphics card to work perfectly and give you no problems, it is essential to install it correctly. To ensure its stability, you are advised to put the case in a well-lit room to be able to distinguish the components inside. Then place the case on a large table in a lying position. Finally, install the card in the dedicated slot and screw it in correctly. To avoid creating static electricity or touching other components of the motherboard, you are advised to wear rubber gloves or insulating soles.
2 Check connections and hardware
When installing your PCI Express graphics card, remember that loose screws can cause considerable damage. It is therefore essential for you to carefully check the hardware and ensure that they are firmly attached. Before switching on the machine, it is also recommended that you examine the cables and connections connected to the equipment. They must be correctly connected with external peripherals to ensure the proper functioning of your PCI Express graphics card.
3 Take the time to maintain your PCI Express graphics card
The proper functioning and longevity of your PCI Express graphics card also depend on its maintenance. First of all, you have to clean it regularly. Although it is equipped with a fan which helps to keep stubborn dust away, it is possible that these settle on the device when the machine is switched off. Accumulation around the equipment can cause it to malfunction. It is, therefore, necessary that you pass, from time to time, a hand vacuum cleaner to eliminate them.
RTX or GTX graphics card?
We know that if this is your first time buying a graphics card, you may be asking yourself this question. Especially if you don’t know what an RTX graphics card is. If you are looking for a graphics card for less than 150 euros, a GTX will be perfect for you!
The different brands of GPUs
If you have made your choice between GTX and RTX, all you have to do is choose the brand of your graphics card. So you can go for a GPU of the same brand as your processor, or go for another brand.
FAQ: All about PCI Express graphics cards
Where can I find a quality PCI Express graphics card?
In recent years, shopping online has become common practice. All kinds of goods can be acquired in online stores. The same is true for PCI Express graphics cards. Various merchant sites offer different models of graphics cards with a PCI Express connector. However, in order not to buy counterfeit products or to avoid being scammed, shop in the computer departments of renowned e-commerce sites such as Fnac, Amazon, Carrefour, Cdiscount… In addition to providing quality goods, these webs are reliable, safe and advanced secure payment systems.
What is the preferred brand of PCI Express graphics card?
When purchasing certain products, consumers consider the brands of the merchandise in question. The PCI Express graphics card is not left out. When it comes to graphics cards, whether PCI Express or otherwise, there are two major manufacturers, AMD and Nvidia. These two giants have been competing in the graphics card market for a long time up to the present day. They are, moreover, in close collaboration with renowned companies, so it is not uncommon to see an Nvidia and AMD graphics card associated with a single brand such as MSI, Gigabyte, Zotac, Asus, etc
At what price is sold the best PCI Express graphics card?
In addition to brand and specs, price influences a consumer’s choice when purchasing a PCI Express graphics card. In addition to avoiding unpleasant surprises, having a price range allows you to negotiate with the seller and close good deals. For entry-level graphics cards, plan an amount starting at 100 euros, up to 200 euros. As for mid-range models, be sure to discount a price of around 200 to 300 euros. Promising the display of high quality or even three-dimensional images, fluid rendering and good responsiveness, high-end graphics cards are offered from around 300 to 500 euros.
Does my computer need to have a CD drive to be able to install the driver for a PCI Express graphics card?
In general, the manufacturers of the graphics cards slip the pilots of these on a CD delivered with the graphics cards. The driver for a PCI Express graphics card is no exception. To install it, your computer must have a CD drive. With technological advances, some PCs are not equipped with a CD drive, to allow users of these computers to install the driver for their graphics card, some manufacturers put the driver for their graphics cards on their web. To obtain them, you need an internet connection and download the driver in question.
Is updating my PCI Express graphics card necessary?
In the field of multimedia and in the world of gaming, new software and games are offered monthly. More beautiful and realistic than earlier versions, performance requirements may vary. To continuously respond to the configurations requested by these applications and above all to avoid slowdowns and cascades, you do not need to renew your computer’s components. You just need to update the graphics card. In addition to being able to meet the recommended setting, you can take advantage of additional features. Some PCI Express graphics card drivers update automatically.