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PC gaming changed forever in the mid-1990s when the graphics processing unit, or GPU, was introduced. The GPU is a separate add-in that assists PCs in rendering so that the CPU can focus all its resources on processing. These days, GPUs are standard in many different types of gaming desktop and laptop brands – these computers are typically more expensive and can run into heating issues as they generate more heat than a standard, non-gaming PC computer would.

You do not necessarily need a GPU for gaming, but you will typically have better results when using a discrete GPU and your gaming experience will be greatly enhanced. Keep reading to learn why.

The significance of a GPU and how to choose one

Today, if you buy a computer without a graphics card, you will still be able to see images on your computer screen. This is because every computer has an integrated graphics circuit that is needed to display macOS or Windows operations. That being said, a powerful graphics card like a GPU can assist the computer’s central processing unit, or CPU, to calculate the movement of the pixels. The assistance given to the CPU by the GPU means that the video quality is much higher in resolution and the graphics are much more detailed.

Currently, there are two major players in the competitive landscape, AMD and Nvidia, along with a number of smaller, niche competitors in the market. It will not come as a surprise to you that some GPUs are made specifically for Macs, whereas others are made for Window OS processing. When it comes to the specs to watch out for, you should take a look at the specific GPU’s memory capacity, memory speed and clock speed. If there are particular games that you are interested in, they will likely also have listed the required specs in order to play the game.

Many hardcore gamers and tech lovers will spend weeks comparing different GPUs and debating the benefits and pitfalls of each brand. At the end of the day, if you are looking to purchase a GPU or upgrade your current GPU, it is worth comparing the important specs listed above and reading several reviews about the newest models available.

Using a GPU in a non-gaming context

As recently reported in Consumer Reports, GPUs are extremely helpful in a number of different contexts. If you are doing any work with photo or video editing, they can be useful for detailed, up-close editing. A few different photo editing software applications also get a boost from the use of a GPU, and applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and Premiere Pro will all take advantage of the extra power and reward you with a better, more detailed editing experience. Videographers also find GPUs helpful for working with complex, multi-layered filters and effects, and for high-resolution, 4K viewing and displays.

Those of us who enjoy watching rather than making videos can also benefit. The introduction of a GPU into your computer’s processing will also give web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Edge a boost. GPUs can also help with streaming videos off platforms like YouTube and Netflix because the GPU offloads much of the video processing from the CPU. This results in the video experiencing fewer stutters and glitches.

Finally, perhaps most surprising of all is the fact that you can use your GPU to mine several of the biggest cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Online casinos, sports betting and GPUs

Online gambling platforms and sports betting sites have grown increasingly popular over the course of the last few years. There are now thousands of different online casinos available for gamblers to choose from, and just as many sports betting platforms. To compete, online casinos now offer extensive libraries of games along with tempting bonuses and registration offers.

The largest game production houses are now creating games with high quality graphics so that playing a game on an online casino allows for a fun and engaging visual experience. Aside from casino games, many gamblers also enjoy participating in sports betting and watching the match on their desktop or laptop.

A GPU will provide you with a fully immersive, visually compelling experience, regardless of whether you are playing particularly fun and creative slot games or watching a rugby match. Gambling is meant to be a fun, exciting experience, and high-quality, high-performance graphics help to create that level of visual exhilaration and engagement.

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