Would a professional GPU or gaming GPU be better for light gaming? Or do I even need a GPU? I plan on playing "retro" games (read: games with retro graphics)

Game List (currently, may expand in the future):
- Super Hexagon
- Race the Sun
- Boson X
- Halcyon 6

Do "retro" games rely more on CPU or GPU power. Also which card would be more compatible? I run a varient of GNU/Linux, Ubuntu Budgie, a derivative of Ubuntu which is a derivative of Debian

PCPartPicker Link: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/rtvXcc

Please Note that I am pushing the limits of my budget currently

  • Given that you picked Xeons you will need a dedicated GPU if you want graphics.
    – SEJPM
    Aug 21, 2017 at 14:09

1 Answer 1


Would a professional GPU or gaming GPU be better for light gaming?

I'll list the key differences between professional and gaming GPUs so you ccan better understand what you need and why:

  • Professional GPUs are much more expensive
  • They come with error-checking and correcting VRAM (slower, more relieable even though faults are rare)
  • They come with special drivers which have special boosts for certain creative programs
  • They support 10-bit color output via OpenGL

As you don't care about the last three points, it is a gaming GPU for you.

Or do I even need a GPU?

You have picked two Intel Xeon E5s. These do not come with a graphics chip on the die, so you will need a dedicated GPU if you don't want atrocious graphics performance, which will be really annoying even for light desktop activity.

Do "retro" games rely more on CPU or GPU power.

I'd say they rely less on the GPU than modern games, however you don't need to worry about the CPU with your current configuration.

I've looked at the games and it seems like you need a graphics card that has like 1GB of VRAM to be good in all of them. Depending on the offers you can find, something like a 750, a 950 or a 1050 should all be able to do the job well, these cards are about 100 USD on amazon, so you can probably find them a little bit cheaper elsewhere.

  • what about low-end GPUs such as an r5?
    – j. kay
    Aug 21, 2017 at 14:51
  • @j.kay if they have at least 1GB of GDDR5 RAM, then no problem. Else they should also be ok (but probably quite slower).
    – SEJPM
    Aug 21, 2017 at 14:53
  • Another difference is that professional cards typically have unlocked FP64 (exceptions include the Quadro M6000), again not important for games, but useful for compute. That's why you see supercomputers using Tesla GPUs as accelerators
    – timuzhti
    Aug 22, 2017 at 2:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.