In today’s world, new technologies are constantly being developed. From electric cars to plasma screen TVs, technology strives to make our lives easier and more efficient. One aspect of technology that is changing is the gaming industry. With the demand for better graphics always growing, there is also a need for the technology to make these graphics available to everyday computer users. By connecting their computers to a video card, users can access graphics, even 3-D images at high speed and quality.
A video card is a type of expansion card which is designed to generate images and upload them onto a display, often a computer screen. These cards are especially useful for people who use their computers to view a high volume of video content or to play games with advanced or 3-D graphics. By using a graphic card, these users can accelerate the rendering of images or even connect to multiple monitors for an extreme gaming experience.
The first video card was developed by IBM and released in 1981. This card, the Monochrome Display Adapter or MDA, only had 4KB of video memory and showed images in only one color. Since 1981, many corporations have created and released their variations on the video card and by 1987, a better model; the Video Graphics Array was capable of storing up to 2MB of video memory and had a 1024×768 resolution. In 1995 the first video card available to consumers was released. These cards followed the standards set by the Video Graphics Array but also allowed users to stream 3-D content. In recent years, the market for these graphics-enhancing devices is lead by ATI and Nvidia who hold almost 90% of the market.
The contemporary graphic card is based on a printed circuit board on which the different parts are mounted. The graphics processing unit or GPU is essential for performing the “floating-point” calculations which are needed to render 3-D graphics. The GPU also contains a number of pipelines which decode 3-D images into pixels. The video BIOS houses the basic program which manages the interactions between the computer and the software. The video memory is another key component of the video card which is used for storing data and images. A variety of memory capacities are available ranging from 128 MB up to 4 GB.
A number of other components may be attached to the circuit board and in order to achieve the fast rendering of modern and 3-D graphics. All of the components of a video card work together to create a link between the expansion card and the computer, allowing users to enjoy quickly-rendered, high quality images. No matter what type of graphics a user views on his computer, a graphic card is available to make their experience more enjoyable.