Definition Of A Video Card

A video card is an important device inside a computer or gaming console. This card displays graphics to your monitor or TV. Games, videos and even surfing the web requires a video card. The type of media that you wish to view may depend on the style of video card you currently have. Certain games and other media may require an advanced device.


The Monochrome Graphics Adapter was the first video card on the market. IBM, in 1981, sold their first set of computers with this device. Even though, it was a graphics design, in the early computer era, text could only be in display. The component was 4KB with a color scheme of only green.

In the mid 1990s, video cards were available with multi-color schemes. The design was also with a display of 2D and 3D graphics. The first video card with complete 3D graphics capability was the Voodoo. The manufactures 3dfx had a release of this device in the late 1990s.

Since the early development of video cards hit the market, several companies began mass production. The initial manufacturers include IBM and 3dfx. In the late 1990s, companies such as ATI and NVIDIA also began production with faster 3D graphic accelerators.


A video card is a device with a circuit board. The installation inside a desktop computer is simple. However, changing a laptop video card needs a certain skill level that most people do not possess. Replacement video cards for a gaming console do not exist. The video card uses a signal that runs though the motherboard and releases into the monitor or TV. The more RAM the video card offers, the better the quality. This also assists the speed of the graphics from the video card to the screen.

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Video cards have a large role in the computer industry. With the development of games at a rapid rate, these devices are always changing. However, advanced card are not only for games. Websites and videos on the Internet are ever changing. A high performance graphics accelerator is important to be able to view and use online material.

A graphics accelerator has RAM and a processor. These assist the motherboard in relating the picture to the screen. The more RAM and processor speed your video card has available, the quicker the images appear. The graphics on the screen is comprised of dots commonly known as pixels. The video card is a small component in a full circuit. The motherboard powers the card. The processor in the computer tells the video card what to do with the information. Then the monitor releases the information onto the screen.

Some motherboards have integrated video. This means that it is directly on the motherboard sharing other components. Usually, this will only work by giving you a connection from the monitor to the motherboard. If you decide to play games or view videos, your options may be limited. This is because the integrated video is shared and the most RAM you may get out of this is only 32MB. Usually, videos and games today uses a minimal of 64MB of ram.


The PCI video card is the oldest in existence at this point. This is installed on the motherboard in the PCI slots, which are commonly white on a motherboard. These slots house sound or Ethernet cards. PCI devices are out-of-date and sluggish. They are also not adaptable for videos or advance games. You can however, install a PCI and AGP video cards in the same motherboard at the same time for duel video.

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The AGP video card is a more popular type. They have their own slot on the motherboard. These are longer than other installable components and have a different design. The AGP cards are approximately four times faster than the PCI video and compatible with videos or most computer games.

PCI Express video cards are the most recent type of the market. They are completely compatible with any graphics including advanced videos and more developed games. However, you will need a compatible motherboard to install a PCI Express card. This type of card works with a lane system. Each lane has data connecting to the screen output. PCI Express has between one and thirty-two lanes of data. The most common form, which you may have in your computer, is 16 lanes.


There are hundreds types of video cards on the market. Each one has distinct features. Some of the more popular features of video cards will be outlined.

The higher end video cards have between 256MB to 512MB of RAM. Even though, the RAM on certain cards can reach 4GIG. They have network speeds between 100Mpbs to 1000Mpbs. The graphic devices come with drivers. A driver is software that assists the video card to run smoothly on any computer.

Some cards have TV and video capture options. TV tuner features allow you to use your computer as a TV and receive all satellite and regular channels.

The newer video cards have duel monitor support. They also have better drivers to receive the correct resolution for your video and gaming needs.

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