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The Video Card/Graphics Card/GPU Edit

By Sophie Hills

The video card, or graphics card, serves an important purpose in computers that don't have graphics processing software built into the motherboard. The video card takes the binary data in the form of more than a million pixels and organizes them into the images and graphics shown on the monitor. The information is sent from the CPU to the video card to be organized, and then it is sent to the monitor. The video card builds a wire frame with straight lines, fills in the pixels, and adds lighting, texture, and color. More about the process can be found in this article. To keep games running, the video card has to repeat this process about 60 times per second.

Graphics-card-5

The video card draws its power and data from the motherboard. It's processor tells it what to do with the information, and it has a certain memory capacity to temporarily store information about each pixel. The best video cards have fast processors and lots of memory. Graphics integrated in the motherboard is sufficient for computers meant for word processing, web surfing, and email. In addition to supplying the video card with power and data, the motherboard lets it communicate with the CPU. Video cards produce a lot of heat, which explains their proximity to a fan in the setup of a computer. There are three possible interfaces through which the video card can connect with the motherboard: the peripheral component interconnect, the advanced graphics port, and, the PCI express. The latter is the newest and quickest, an improvement on the original PCI (peripheral component interconnect). (http://computer.howstuffworks.com/graphics-card.htm)

Timeline of the Graphics Card: Edit

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