Definition: Graphics cards are PCBs (printed circuit boards) that perform the dual role of sending pixels to the display and providing a specific type of processing using a GPU (graphical processing unit).
One of the main features of a graphics card is the ability to draw 3D graphics in realtime using a technique called rasterization. This involves converting 3D coordinates into areas of pixels and filling the areas with either a transformed image called a texture or a flat surface.
Most graphics cards can perform a technique called "Hardware Transform and Lighting", which means the 3D movement and illumination of triangle surfaces is handled by the card rather than using the CPU and making frequent use of buses.
A more recent addition to the capabilities of graphics cards is shader processing, which allows a game programmer to write special programs called shaders that have control over the way the GPU transforms coordinates and images.
When buying a graphics card, common indications of performance are triangles per second, texture fill rate, shader cores, GPU clock speed and memory clock speed. Other attributes that are likely to dictate which card to buy are form factor and power consumption.
Graphics cards follow standard interfaces, such as PCI-E, PCI or AGP, meaning they are common attachments for desktop computer motherboards.
Popular GPU designers include NVIDIA and ATI. A multitude of manufacturers produce the card itself, which contains the onboard video memory (sometimes referred to as GDDR).
Usage: "The XFX Geforce 9600 GT is a capable graphics card, with NVIDIA's g94 GPU"
Posted by the3vil on April 28, 2009 at 03:25:43 Pacific
Definition: An overpriced amalgamation of silicon, copper and aluminum that is capable of drawing millions of triangles per second and filling them with pretty pictures called textures. Generally when seeking the higher performing card one should try to find the one with the highest numerical value followed by at least half of the alphabet, preferably starting with the letters GTX.
Usage: My new 595 GTXZ OC X2 graphics card is capable of running Crysis on it's highest settings.
Posted by Slowranger on April 28, 2009 at 03:49:09 Pacific
Definition: a graphics card interfaces a display to a computer. it's role is to generate signals that are understood by displays so that you can actually see what you are doing on the computer.
a graphics card usually holds a graphic chip and several memory chips which make up the video memory.
If you want to evaluate your graphic board, you should find out as many of the following:
- the amount and type of video memory
- the video memory interface bandwidth
- the speed of the graphic chip/ memory
- the directx version supported by the graphic chip
- the number of shaders in your graphic chip
- the host connector (PCIe, AGP, PCI, ISA etc)
- there are some more but I forgot them
Usage: My graphics card uses an ATI 4870 graphic chip running at 700MHz and it has 512MB DDR5 memory on a 256bit bus running at 800MHz. NOT.
Posted by ceteras on April 28, 2009 at 03:16:16 Pacific