graphics accelerator : Computer Hardware Buyers’ Glossary


graphics accelerator
First read the definition of a video card. A graphics accelerator is a just a very fast graphics adapter card. In an old fashioned graphics adapter card, the computer must change each pixel individually to change the image on the screen. In constrast, in video cards, a GPU takes over much of this work from the computer using high speed specialised video handling circuitry. The computer can say draw an A rather than specifying the colours of each dot of the A and its background. Similarly the computer can say draw a green circle 7.62 cm (3 in) in diameter and the accelerator card will change all the individual pixels inside the perimeter to green. Without the accelerator, the computer would have to individually change each pixel inside the circle. Graphics accelerator cards are now cheap enough that there are almost no situations left where it makes sense to buy a non-accelerated graphics adapter. I can’t in good conscience recommend any adapter. The best of a bad lot are a pair of Canadian companies ATI now bought out by AMD (Advanced Micro Devices), and Matrox. ATI (Array Technology Inc) driver software has always been buggy. One ATI card died and in the process fried the monitor. Matrox cards are a beast to install. Take your pick. I have used a Creative Labs, and it has always had quirks in the driver software.NVID IA cards seem to have various minor bugs in the drivers causing strange artificts especially when browsing, that can be cleared by a repaint.

AGP provides a faster connection to the CPU (Central Processing Unit) that an ordinary PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) slot. You must be careful to buy the right voltage of AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) card to match your motherboard.

HDTV cables and connectors

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