Video card (or graphic card, graphic board, graphic adapter, video adapter, display card, display adapter) is a hardware device designed for processing graphic images (sometimes, audio files too) so that they can be displayed onscreen. That is to say, everything that a user can see on a computer/laptop/TV screen is created by video card.
In plain words, central processing unit has some data that are to be processed. It passes these data to RAM (Random Access Memory) where video adapter begins turning them into the signal that is “understandable” for a computer screen.
Installing graphic, video cards drivers is essential initial stage as well as updating them from time to time.
All existing video cards are of two types: integrated and discrete.
Integrated video card is a part of motherboard or central processing unit chipset. It reduces the value as well as energy consumption of a computer/laptop, although its productiveness is limited. The largest producer of integrated video cards is considered to be Intel.
Discrete video adapter is a separate expansion board that is installed into a special motherboard slot. It distinguishes itself by top productivity, although its price and power consumption are much higher comparing to integrated video adapter. NVidia and AMD’s discrete video cards are the most popular and reliable nowadays. They require corresponding drivers to be installed on a computer. If a user does not have them at hand, he/she can download drivers for graphic, video cards from the Internet without problems.
Besides, video cards can be playing and professional.
Video cards main characteristics are the following:
Interface (it designed for data transfer between 3D-accelerator and central processing unit).
Speed of video processor (the higher it is, the faster video adapter works).
Video RAM frequency (the higher it is, the faster memory subsystem works).
Video RAM capacity.
Video RAM type (the more contemporary video RAM is, the faster it works. Today, the fastest one is GDDR5 but the most popular is GDDR3).
Memory bus breadth (the wider bus is, the faster video card’s performance is).
SLI/CrossFire technologies support (system’s capacity enhances in an extensive way).
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