Updated at: 17-03-2023 - By: Leo Hall
Exactly what are the variations between a GPU and a graphics card? This guide will teach you the fundamental distinctions between the two.

Some people seem to use seemingly unrelated terms and acronyms interchangeably, which can be very confusing for those who are new to the world of PC building.

Examples include the widespread misunderstanding between “graphics card” and “graphics processing unit.”

Does this mean that a GPU and a graphics card are interchangeable?

Read on for the answer to that question and a few more that may come up while you’re reading this.

What is a CPU

The CPU, short for central processing unit, is responsible for all of a computer’s operations. Modern CPUs typically have the ability to run multiple instructions simultaneously. A user can use the CPU to do multiple things at once, including browning, spreadsheet calculations, listening to music, playing a video game, etc. Coprocessors are specialized processors that help keep the central processing unit from becoming overworked. The central processing unit (CPU) can get help from a coprocessor. The graphics processing unit (GPU) is one type of coprocessor.

GPU vs Graphics Card - What Is The Difference? [Simple Guide] - YouTube

What is a GPU

The acronym “GPU” means “Graphics Processing Unit.” The rendering of images is its primary function. Mathematical ideas like matrices are used to represent visuals in a computer. As a result, the GPU can handle a high volume of simultaneous calculations. In terms of the mathematical problems it can solve, its computing units are identical.

Graphics processing units (GPUs) are ubiquitous in today’s embedded systems, PCs, workstations, gaming consoles, mobile devices, and even televisions.

What is a Graphics Card

A graphics card may also be referred to as a display card, video card, or PCIe graphics adapter. An add-in card, it’s part of the gadget that makes the visuals you see on your screen. Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) are used to create the graphics card, which can be attached directly to the motherboard.

When talking about visuals, the resolution and refresh rate are crucial. Resolution is the number of pixels used to display an image, while refresh rate is the number of times that image is redrawn in one second. There is a dedicated processor on the graphics card called the GPU, and it is responsible for all the graphics processing. In general, the graphics card handles display functions, freeing up the main CPU for other uses.

Graphics Card vs GPU

As a general rule, you’ll go with either an AMD or Nvidia GPU when shopping for a graphics card. Numerous companies, including Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, EVGA, and Zotac, produce AIBs.

As its name implies, a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) is a type of computer processor designed specifically for handling graphics processing tasks. Since it is a dedicated graphics processing unit, or GPU, it can handle the bulk of the in-game graphical processing without slowing down the action.

Nowadays, a graphics card has more than just the GPU. However, it consists of more than just the GPU itself, including things like video memory, a printed circuit board (PCB), connectors, and a cooler. However, the graphics card is more than just a processor; it is the hardware component responsible for handling graphics processing and video output.

GPUs are the graphics processing units made by Nvidia and AMD, while graphics cards are the finished products sold by companies like Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, EVGA, and others.

A Few Other Potentially Confusing Terms

A graphics card may also be called a dedicated graphics processor or a discrete graphics processor. This means the graphics card is an independent component that connects to the rest of the computer through a PCIe slot on the mainboard.

GPU vs Graphics Card - What Is The Difference? - YouTube

A regular dedicated graphics card housed in an external enclosure and linked to a computer through a cable (typically a Thunderbolt 3 port) is what is meant by “external graphics card.” Most people prefer to use external graphics cards with their laptops because they allow them to keep their portable nature while improving their gaming performance to a near-desktop level.

Next, we have integrated GPUs, also known as integrated graphics, which are GPUs that are built into a CPU, meaning that a single die houses both the CPU cores and the GPU cores. These integrated GPUs are more power-efficient and consume less space on the motherboard, but they also have no dedicated memory and instead must draw from the main RAM pool.
So, even the cheapest dedicated GPUs are usually superior to integrated graphics, and integrated graphics are rarely a good choice for gaming. The fact that they save space, power, and money while still being capable of handling basic graphical tasks makes it clear why they are suitable for casual day-to-day activities like web browsing, video watching, music listening, etc.

Accelerated processing unit (APU) is another term for this. An AMD marketing term for a family of processors that includes built-in graphics.

However, if you’re putting together a budget PC and don’t mind playing games in a lower resolution and/or lower settings, AMD’s Ryzen APUs are perfectly viable for gaming. They feature some of the most powerful integrated graphics seen to date.

Difference Between GPU and Graphic Card


Graphics processing units (GPUs) are specialized electronic circuits that speed up the process of creating images in a frame buffer for output to a display device by rapidly manipulating and altering memory. A graphics processing unit (GPU) is an add-on card in a computer that sends rendered images to a screen.

Main Functionality

The graphics processing unit, or GPU, is a component of a computer’s graphics card used for graphical and image manipulation. The graphics card is responsible for creating the images that are shown on the screen. This is essentially the main distinction between a Graphics Processing Unit and a Graphics Processing Unit.


The Graphics Processing Unit is abbreviated “GPU.” The term “graphics card” refers to any of several hardware components responsible for displaying visual information on a computer screen.

Best GPU for Apex Legends

1. RTX 3070

We think the RTX 3070 is the best card in the 30 series so far. This card offers great competitive performances in most games without costing a great deal of money, making it ideal for gamers who do not intend to max out the latest graphical powerhouse single-player games.

This 240Hz card may be ideal for playing Apex Legends, as it provides well over 240 frames at 1080p and only drops below that mark (but never much lower than 200 fps) for very brief periods when the action gets extremely hectic.

When you factor in that it also performs admirably in all the other games we tested and has enough power to run graphically intensive games at high settings (so you can occasionally indulge in eye candy games), you have a card that is practically ideal for Apex Legends specialists who also enjoy dabbling in other games. This is also a great card to have if you play at 1440p 144Hz, as it will almost never dip below 144 frames per second while doing so.

2. RTX 3080

This RTX 3080 is a fantastic option if money is no object and you want to maximize performance. Considering it does not offer noticeably better performance than the RTX 3070 at 1920 x 1080, it may even be too much if you plan to play at competitive in-game settings (basically meaning ‘not maxed out’).

However, at higher resolutions, this card becomes truly impressive. If you have a top-tier setup and want to play at 1440p 240Hz, this card is for you. It will consistently maintain above those frames at that resolution (with occasional drops during very hectic scenes, as is typical of these games). Naturally, it will also run any other games at their native resolution and frame rate without a hitch.

If you’re even remotely competitively minded, you shouldn’t play games at 4K because the performance hit isn’t worth it. However, if you’re more of a casual gamer (no shame in that, of course) and you want to take advantage of your 4K monitor, the RTX 3080 will keep the framerate above 144 fps.

3. RTX 3060

The RTX 3060 is an excellent option if your build is on a tight budget, or if you’re planning to build on a tight budget. If you can’t afford a 240Hz setup or simply don’t want to spend that much money on a monitor, this is the perfect card for you. It will have no trouble maintaining frame rates above 144 fps in Apex Legends at 1080p.

Not ideal for those who place a premium on visual fidelity (whether through higher resolutions or playing single-player games at high graphical settings), but still capable of providing playable frame rates at 1440p.

4. RTX 3060 Ti

If you have the means to do so and intend to play the game on a 240Hz monitor, the RTX 3070 is our strongest recommendation; however, the RTX 3060 Ti is an excellent option for those on a tighter budget or who are confident they won’t require the additional graphical processing power.

It consistently hovers around 240 FPS, though once the action really heats up, it frequently dips below that mark and into the 170s. That’s still very respectable (hence why we consider the RTX 3060 Ti as an option for people who want to play at 240 frames per second), but as we said, if you want to have some slightly more table performances, we’d recommend the 3070.

Best graphics card in 2022

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti is the best graphics card for gaming.

In spite of the fact that the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti is the most powerful GPU currently available, I would recommend instead purchasing the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti for gaming purposes. Its performance is on par with that of its more expensive sibling, but it costs you only $200.

Even though the AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT is cheaper ($999 USD vs. $1,199 USD), the RTX 3080 Ti easily outperforms the team red flagship in ray tracing. It’s perfect for 4K gaming at high refresh rates because it’s also capable of traditional rendering.

Favorite things:

  • Low cost RTX 3090 performance for gamers
  • Superior to the RX 6900 XT in ray tracing performance.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 is the most capable low-cost graphics card.

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050, which supports Ampere and costs just $249 USD, makes building a gaming PC within your budget. The RTX 3050 is less expensive than the RTX 2060, but it still has advanced features like Nvidia DLSS. With this upscaling technology, even the most demanding games can be played at high frame rates with minimal to no loss in visual quality on the budget card.

It outperforms its primary competitor, the AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT, and it supports ray tracing. With Nvidia Reflex compatibility, the RTX 3050 is an excellent choice for your PC if you primarily play esports games like Call of Duty: Warzone, Fortnite, or Valorant.

Favorite things:

  • Nvidia DLSS and Nvidia Reflex can be used without breaking the bank.
  • Maintains a high level of performance in 1080p ray tracing

What are the differences between GPUs and graphics cards? - Quora

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT

The AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT is the most powerful graphics card the company has to offer.

The AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT, the flagship of the company’s RX 6000 series of graphics cards, is the red team’s primary contender for the GPU performance crown. It can produce very similar frame rates to the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3090 Ti, but at a much lower price tag of $999 USD.

It’s a shame it can’t match up to the green team’s flagships, but Nvidia’s RT cores completely destroy AMD’s ray accelerators. The RX 6900 XT is the best of the red team’s cards and should be considered if standard rendering is important to you.

The Things We Enjoy:

  • Affordable sub-$1000 4K gaming
  • Sometimes achieves better performance than the RTX 3080 Ti.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti is the fastest graphics card currently available.

The Ampere graphics card, Nvidia’s flagship product, is currently the world’s most powerful consumer GPU. For the asking price of $1,999 USD, however, you get only a marginal increase in gaming performance over the cheaper RTX 3080 Ti.

However, if you need a card for both gaming and production work, this one with 24 GB of GDDR6X VRAM is a serious contender.

In terms of our preferences, we have:

  • Simply the most powerful consumer GPU available.
  • Superiority in handling real-world production workloads

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 is the most effective graphics card currently available.

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 offers an optimal balance of price and performance. It’s from the same GA102 family as the pricier RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3090, but it’s a lot more affordable at just $699 USD.

Players with Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2080 Ti can anticipate a noticeable increase in frame rates, and the situation improves even further for those who are still using a GTX 10-series card. In addition, it works with the full suite of Nvidia software features, including Nvidia DLSS, Nvidia Reflex, and Nvidia ShadowPlay.

Favorite things:

  • Even more of a generational leap than the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
  • When compared to the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT, it performs and has more features above and beyond.


This concludes the discussion for this piece. We hope this article has been informative and has helped you better understand the difference between a graphics processing unit (GPU) and a video card.

Finally, if you’re looking for a new graphics card, you should check out our roundup of the top graphics cards of 2022; you’re sure to find something there that’s perfect for you.