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GPU or Graphic Processing Unit is a specialized electronic circuit initially designed to accelerate computer graphics and image processing (either on a video card or embedded on motherboards, mobile phones, personal computers, workstations, and game consoles).

For years I've wanted to buy a graphic card but I've been stuck in the problem that I don't have a desktop. I have a X280 lenovo laptop used to work and personal use with an integrated card that has let me so far to play old games such as King Arthur Gold or Age of Empires II, but has hard times playing "newer" games such as It takes two. Last year I also bought a NAS with awesome hardware. So it makes no sense to buy a desktop just for playing.

Now that I host Jellyfin on the NAS and that machine learning is on the hype with a lot of interesting solutions that can be self-hosted (whisper, chatgpt similar solutions...), it starts to make sense to add a GPU to the server. What made me give the step is that you can also self-host a gaming server to stream to any device! It makes so much sense to have all the big guns inside the NAS and stream the content to the less powerful devices.

That way if you host services, you make the most use of the hardware.

Market analysis

Done on January of 2024 taking into account the next requirements:

  • Price under 600$
  • Able to perform the next actions for at least 5 years:
  • Jellyfin transcoding
  • Videogame streaming from a headless server.
  • Machine learning operations.

at I don't wa

Using these sources:

Overview of the market analysis

The best graphics card is objectively Nvidia's RTX 4090 but it's too expensive. Then there's the RTX 4080, which is a bit too pricey for us, and the RTX 4070 Ti. The RTX 4070 Ti also costs a heap more cash than we'd like, but at least it's more reasonable than Nvidia's finest for a perfectly 4K capable card.

On the other end of the market, Nvidia has a rather uninspired upgrade in the RTX 4060. We also met the release of AMD's RX 7600 with a shrug, but at least it's cheap enough now to feel more competitive. And Intel still has a dog in the budget game: the Arc A750. When this card drops down to around $200, it's a steal, though the drivers aren't always up to the standard we'd like to see. That leaves AMD's RX 7600 as the best budget graphics card today, mostly for being a boringly safe pick.