An in depth analysis of your rig: VideoCard

by • June 14, 2011 • TechnologyComments Off1259

Pinoys always want to be entertained and gaming has been one of our favorite past times. Aside from consoles (Playstation, Wii and Xbox), the PC due to its versatility, is also a great way to play games.

The graphics card (video card) is an add-on card. This is a great addition to your new as well as existing desktop PC. The inclusion of a graphics card to your PC will relieve your microprocessor and RAM of the load in the execution of its video (2D and 3D) processing.

Will you really need an additional card like this one? What model of video card should I get and how much video memory is enough for me? These are the normal questions we have about the video card.

The video card was designed to have its own graphics processing unit (GPU)(similar to a microprocessor with a sole purpose of encoding video-related tasks) and memory chips (similar to RAMs) to support the graphic processor.

Most of the time, video card installation will be based on user requirements. Most users will require one (or more) of these devices to support them in playing full 3D games or executing graphic applications related to high–resolution photo editing, computer-aided design soft wares, and full 3D rendering and visualization not to mention the playback of high definition videos.

Video cards are usually plugged in a PCI-Express port (successor of the AGP – accelerated graphics port) which is located just below the processor, color-coded in orange (the rest of the PCI ports are in white and are shorter in length). PCI-Express port is longer than the AGP port and supports higher bandwidth speed (faster data transfer).

ATI and Nvidia are the top graphic processor manufacturers in the market today. Both have introduced technologies similar to each other. Only user preference will make the difference in choosing the right video card for your PC, though Nvidia has been widely introduced and supported on most games in the market and even advertised through the games.

Aside from basic video output and 3D rendering, the graphics card also supports multiple video outputs (single to multiple monitors) depending on the setup and features available in each device. I have used this feature before to support the multi-tasking requirement in my office. I made an output of up to three different monitors, each with different simultaneous running applications.

In choosing the right video card, you must take into consideration, first, the model type. The model type carries the technology that the manufacturer has included on a particular model. Second is the core clock and memory clock speed, for some video cards with later technologies still perform better due to their higher core clock and memory. However, they lack the additional processing for near-realistic visualization (levels of smoothing, shading, rendering, anti-aliasing, etc.). Still, they can launch your favorite 3D game.

The video memory capacity is the least of your concerns. They will only be required if a certain program or application will need a recommended video memory. Most of the time, video technology and processing speed will be the basis for the proper execution of applications.

For gamers (hardcore and newbies), I recommend to visit the system requirements lab website to check if your current system will pass the minimum system requirements for a certain PC game. This is a great tool to assist you in purchasing and upgrading your current system especially your graphics card to the next level to run your applications seamlessly.

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