Generally speaking its safe to surmise that an RTX 3060 is an RTX 3060 and that is true for pre-built computers as well, but sometimes there are graphics cards (GPUS) that are made specifically for a system integrator. Let’s explore some general concepts surrounding Graphics cards and what to watch out for in pre-built computers especially those built by mainstream system integrators, that you see in every office around the world.
In this article I am going to give you an idea of what to watch out for in pre-builds and when upgrading, what you can upgrade and what you should be looking for when upgrading. I’m going to give you brand recommendations based on my personal experience. And I will briefly discuss how much graphics power is right for you.
Who to Watch Out For
The companies that you should be most leery of are the ones that are already huge and have grown in the office segment of the market. That being said it is still best to take it on a case by case basis. It would be foolish of me to say all of x companies products are bad, because ultimately I would be proven wrong. To best protect yourself is to look at the exact specifications in the system integrators spec page. One other thing to look out for when choosing a pre-built computer is to make sure they are not using proprietary parts. Some companies have motherboards that do not fit the standard of ITX, micro ATX, ATX and E-ATX. This can lead to a bad time when upgrading your graphics card in a pre-built computer. Weak and inadequate power supplies (PSU) can be a problem in the future too. Not only will it lead to a higher failure rate, it may snuff your dreams of an easy gpu upgrade.
I will only list companies by name when doing direct reviews or comparisons, but never in the general sense. I think most of you can deduce which companies I am referring to anyway.
Can I Upgrade
You can always upgrade, but its best to know what you are getting into before you start purchasing products that may or may not work in your system. You need to know how many total watts your system is using before installing a more powerful graphics card. You can find this by using a power supply calculator like this one https://outervision.com/power-supply-calculator. Also, be sure that your current power supply has the correct connectors. If it doesn’t and it is powerful enough then you just need to get an adapter. You are lacking in power, then you will need to get a new power supply as well, make sure that your computers motherboard has a standard layout though or you may have trouble converting it to work with your new PSU. You do need to upgrade your psu I wouldn’t stray far from the tried and true. Corsair, Evga, Nzxt, Thermaltake, Seasonic, MSI, Gigabyte. Though, am sure there are other great companies out there.
You aren’t if your pre-built computer has proprietary connectors or if the connectors can be bypassed feel free to reach out to me in a comment here. Or you can join my Facebook Group Tech Yeahs and ask me there.
What Brand Do You Recommend
I have always liked EVGA because of their warranty and customer service, though I think most board partners fair pretty well these days. Asus, MSI, and Gigabyte seem to be a safe bet.
Evga is my go to still though. Evga has a transferable warranty and this helps the parts retain their value upon resale. I know there are probably other companies that do as well, but I have experienced it firsthand with Evga and can note from my personal experience it was handled well.
How Much Graphics Power do I need?
This is going to depend on what you are doing with your system. You are just surfing the web and word processing you may be fine with some form of on board graphics. Planning on doing light gaming and web surfing, then you would probably feel real comfortable with something like an rtx 3050 or an rx6600. You are doing high end gaming on triple a titles or doing massive video renders you may want to step up to an rtx 3070ti or a 6900xt. You are just in need of the best then settle for nothing less than the rtx 3090 ti. Most of however will probably end up somewhere in the middle with an rtx 3060 or 3070, which will be a good balance of cost vs capability.
If a system integrator advertises that the GPU is an RTX 3070ti then it is, but if they are vague about the interpretations of what Graphics card is in their pre-built, be wary. Its prudent to pay attention to proprietary parts like non-standard motherboards and connectors. The power supply is important and can have an effect the ability to upgrade your computer in the future. Name brands with a good reputation are the best place to go for power supply upgrades, because using a low quality power supply can destroy your system and waste your hard-earned money.
The power of your graphics card comes down to your own personal needs. In the future I will have an article addressing specific use cases.
Now you know the type of company to look out for. How to know if you can upgrade your graphics card in your pre-built computer. Not to cheap out on a power supply. What brands I recommend you upgrade with and just how much graphics power you actually need.
Thanks, Best wishes Chris Coul