Graphic Cards

Graphics card also called graphics adapter, is an interface between a computer and a monitor. The graphical information computed by a CPU transferred through this card in order to display images on a screen.

Graphics card is responsible for interpreting the instructions received from a CPU and display it so that a user can see it in on a computer monitor. It is an important component in a computer system which affects your computer performance.

Cards with faster processor and memory will display images quickly. This dictates giving due attention when you select video cards.

an imageGraphics cards allow computers to produce graphics and images more quickly. A graphics card has its own processor, a GPU or graphical processing unit, according to Jason Cross at PC World. The video card connects to the motherboard and the monitor. This allows the card to accept information from the CPU (central processing unit) and send output to the monitor. A graphics card or video card often has its own cooling system, due to the large amount of power it uses and heat it produces. Some graphics cards also have additional connections for game controllers and FireWire or other specialized outputs, according to a computer hardware resource at Missouri State.

Graphics cards have different types of connectors for connecting to a computer's motherboard. A PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express) connector appears on most modern computer graphics cards. AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) connectors remain somewhat popular, but the latest computers no longer use this technology. Most graphics cards no longer use simple PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) connections, as PCIe allows a faster communication speed. While there are many graphics cards to choose from, all graphics cards come in four basic types. Anyone looking to upgrade their existing computer, buy a new machine altogether, or just learn a little bit about how their computer works, should be aware of what different kinds of graphics cards exist. What follows is a simple overview of the 4 main types of graphics cards.

1. Integrated If you have a computer, but did not assemble it yourself or upgrade it in any way, chances are that it uses an integrated graphics card to display images on your screen. When a graphics card is described as integrated, it refers to the card's relationship with the computer's motherboard. Integrated graphics cards are sometimes also known as on-board graphics cards. Integrated graphics cards are the default option that comes with standard motherboards. An integrated graphics card can be upgraded, but it requires plugging a new graphics card into your computer's motherboard and ignoring your old card. Integrated graphics cards are the least powerful variety overall, at least compared to the time period they are from. If you have an integrated graphics card and want to play the latest video games, you will need to upgrade.

2. PCI PCI graphics cards are graphics cards that use the PCI slots on your motherboard to connect to your computer. PCI graphics cards are usually a little bit out of date, if not extremely so. However, many older motherboards have PCI slots, but lack newer varieties of connections. For this reason, there is still a reason to buy a PCI graphics card - but only if you are trying to upgrade an older system.

3. AGP AGP graphics cards are named for the same thing PCI cards are - the slot they connect to on a motherboard. AGP cards can have 4 speeds, the fastest being 8x. However, if your motherboard only supports a lower speed, such as 1x, 2x, or 4x, your graphics card will behave as if it is of that slower speed, rather than its real speed. AGP connections are not quite as fast as PCI-E slots due to technological limits, and as a result will not be developed to run at higher speeds. However, like PCI cards, they are more widely compatible than the most cutting-edge cards.

4. PCI-Express PCI-E cards are the most advanced, connecting to the motherboard's PCI-E slot. PCI-E graphics cards can be accelerated to 16x. In addition, a motherboard with more than one PCI-E slot can have more than one PCI-E graphics card connected to it, combining their power. However, this is a rare scenario. This can also cause compatibility problems if not planned out correctly; certain motherboards work better with certain other specific brands of PCI-E video card. The processing power of a graphics card or video card enables a computer to produce images in faster motion and better detail, a necessity for some computer games and video software.