Topic: This wiki is all about the video card and graphical processing unit.

Description:
Simply, a video card is a hardware device that generates images to be displayed on the computer screen. The video card actually translates the binary data from the CPU and turns the information into a picture that can be displayed on the monitor by adjusting the pixels that make up the screen. Generally the more RAM a video card has, the better the performance of graphically intensive applications such as video games.

Interfaces:
  • AGP - Accelerated Graphics Port. A bus specification from Intel that gives graphics cards faster access to main memory than the PCI bus, thus greatly speeding up graphics display and texture rendering, especially virtual reality and 3D rendering and display.
  • PCI - Peripheral Component Interconnect. (PCI) slots are an integral part of a computer's architecture. For years, PCI has been a versatile, functional way to connect sound, video and network cards to a motherboard. But PCI has some shortcomings. As processors, video cards, sound cards and networks have gotten faster and more powerful, PCI has stayed the same. It has a fixed width of 32 bits and can handle only 5 devices at a time. A new protocol called PCI express (PCIe) eliminates a lot of these shortcomings, provides more bandwidth and is compatible with existing operating systems.

Outputs:
  • Video Graphics Array (VGA) - Analog-based standard adopted in the late 1980s designed for Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) monitors displays, also called VGA connector.
  • Digital Visual Interface (DVI) - Digital-based standard designed for displays such as flat-panel displays LCDs, plasma screens, wide high-definition television displays) and video projectors.

How to install a video card:



Web Resources:
More about PCIe

Terminology:
GPU - Used primarily for 3-D applications, a graphics processing unit is a single-chip processor that creates lighting effects and transforms objects every time a 3D scene is redrawn. These are mathematically-intensive tasks, which otherwise, would put quite a strain on the CPU. Lifting this burden from the CPU frees up cycles that can be used for other jobs.
Video BIOS - The basic program, which is usually hidden, that governs the video card's operations and provides the instructions that allow the computer and software to interact with the card. It may contain information on the memory timing, operating speeds and voltages of the graphics processor, RAM, and other information.
Binary - The language the computer uses that represents text or instructions using the Binary number System which consists of only "0" and "1"
Video Memory - Much like RAM memory found on the expansion slots of a computer's motherboard, video memory is a form of writable memory, usually RAM , dedicated to the purpose of holding the information necessary for a graphics card to drive a display device. In modern 3D graphics cards, the video memory may also hold 3D vector data, textures , backbuffers, overlays and GPU programs.

Components of a video card:
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Graphics:
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Citations/References:
GPU definition retrieved on 2/2/10
AGP definition retrieved on 2/2/10
PCIe defintion retrieved on 2/4/10
Video BIOS definition retrieved on 2/5/10
Video memory definition retrieved on 2/5/10