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Graphics Card

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 7 months ago

Facts about the Graphic Card


What the purpose of a Graphics Card is...

The images that appear on your monitor are made of millions of dots called pixels. At a normal resolutuion settings a screen displays over 1 million pixels and the computer has to decide what to do with each individual pixel. To do this your computer needs some type of translator. A translator is something that takes the binary data from the CPU and turns it into a picture that you can see. Unless your computer has graphics capability built into the motherboard this translation will take place on the graphics card.

Four Major Components of a Graphics Card

There are 4 major components of the graphics card. They are connections for the motherboard and monitor, a processor, and memory.

How a Graphic Card Works

A graphics card works along the same principles. The CPU working in conjunction with software applications, sends information about the image to the graphics card. The graphics card decides how to use the pixels on the screen to create the image. It then sends that information to the monitor through a cable.

Evolution of a Graphics Card

Graphics cards have come a long way since IBM introduced the first one in 1981. Called a Monochrome Display Adapter (MDA), the card provided text-only displays of green or white text on a black screen. Now, the minimum standard for new video cards is Video Graphics Array (VGA), which allows 256 colors. With high-performance standards like Quantum Extended Graphics Array (QXGA), video cards can display millions of colors at resolutions of up to 2040 x 1536 pixels.






Creating a Moving Image for Gaming

Creating an image out of binary data is a demanding process. To make a 3-D image, the graphics card first creates a wire frame out of straight lines. Then it fills in the remaining pixels. It also adds lighting, texture and color. For fast-paced games, the computer has to go through this process about sixty times per second. Without a graphics card to perform the necessary calculations, the workload would be too much for the computer to handle.

The graphics card accomplishes this task using four main components:

  • A motherboard connection for data and power
  • A processor to decide what to do with each pixel on the screen
  • Memory to hold information about each pixel and to temporarily store completed pictures
  • A monitor connection so you can see the final result





A big problem with graphics cards are heat. If you have a top line video card and your computer suddenly reboots itself, there isnt a need to be worried there is just a circulation problem. When this happens you should shut off your computer and try and get as much air as possible into the computer. Another common problem is a driver update. It will often take time to find the driver, but once found and upgraded, everything will be fine.



Links on the Graphic Card

Wiki Graphic Card

How the Graphic Card Works

Graphic Card Prices


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