Choosing a Video and Sound Card

Select a Video Card and Sound Card for your PC

Video Card

The best Video Card to buy will depend on what you will require from your PC. If you will be running business applications and other 'visually' low performance applications, then a reasonably low specification, low price Video Card will suffice.

However, if you are building a PC with the intention of playing the latest 3D games, a Video Card of a much higher spec. will be necessary to handle the very demanding output from such games.

A video card may have any number of connectors depending on it's built-in features, like TV-Out/In, S-Video or Digital Video, but be sure to choose a Video Card which has a suitable connector (or can be adapted) for the type of Monitor you intend to use (see next page.)

Today's Video Cards are of two basic types: AGP and PCI-Express, with the latter offering the higher performance in some cases.

Reputable Video Card Brands: nVidia, ATI, Matrox, Asus, MSI, Leadtek, XFX

Be aware that some motherboards feature built-in Video and Sound cards. In this case, it will not be necessary to purchase an additional Video/Sound card.

Sound Card

Here again, as with the Video Card, your choice of Sound Card will be dependant on your requirements. Business applications will have very little benefit of a sound card, whereas games can sometimes seem unplayable without one. A Sound Card with a 'stereo' output is fairly standard, but many now come with all manner of extra sound options to enhance your PC's audio output.

If you buy a sound card for your PC, you will need some speakers to go with it. A pair of 'Stereo' speakers is standard, but it is possible, with the right sound card and speaker package, to create surround sound such as you might hear in a cinema.

Reputable Sound Card Brands: Creative Sound Blaster, M-Audio, Terratec, Voyetra