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Graphics card or video card is display adaptor or hardware component whose function is to generate output images to display.

It is also called as dedicated expansion card.

1. GPU Graphics Processing Unit :

A GPU is dedicated graphics processor optimized for floating point calculations which are fundamentals to 3D graphics rendering.

2. Video Bios :
The VIDEO BIOS or FIRMWARE contains basic programs that governs graphics card operations and provides the instructions so that computer hardware and software can interact with card. It contains information on memory timing, voltage of graphics processor and RAM, operating speed and other information. Like our motherboard BIOS, it is possible to change VIDEO BIOS of our graphics card, but it is recommended that it should be done under experts supervision, since changing VIDEO BIOS may improve your graphics cards graphics performance.


RAMDAC is Random access Memory Digital To Analog Convertor which converts digital signal to analog signal for use by computer display which uses analog input such as CRT display.

4. Motherboard Interface :
It is the connection system which connects graphics card with motherboard system. Although there are many connection system since 1974.Nowdays AGP and PCI-Express slot are most widely used connection system.

5. Cooling Devices:
Graphics card uses lot of electricity which is converted into heat. If heat isnt dissipated then card could get overheated and get damaged. Cooling devices are incorporated to transfer heat elsewhere.

6. Outputs:
These are the connection system which connects graphics card with display.
1. VGA (D-sub): Analog based standard adopted in 1980s designed for CRT displays. Also called as VGA connector. 2.. S-Video : Analog. Commonly known as S-Video, Super-video and Y/C. Usually carries SD video. Typically used in older TVs

3. DVI: Digital. Digital Visual Interface. Standard designed for flat panel screens such as plasma, LCD display, HDTV, video projectors,etc.

DisplayPort and HDMI

4. HDMI : Digital. HighDefinition Multimedia Interface. Used in TVs, Monitors etc. Carries Audio and Video.


: DisplayPort is a digital display interface

developed by the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA). The interface is primarily used to connect a video source to a display device such as a computer monitor, though it can also be used to transmit audio, USB, and other forms of data. VESA designed it to replace VGA, DVI, and FPD-Link. Backward compatibility to VGA and DVI by using active adapter dongles enables users to use DisplayPort fitted video sources without replacing existing display devices. DisplayPort ports can be made so that they are compatible with single-link DVI and HDMI 1.4. Compatibility is achieved with DisplayPort Dual-mode ports, which are marked with the ++DP logo, using attached passive adapters; powered active adapters allow signal conversion to dual-link DVI and analog VGA. For manufacturers DisplayPort has an advantage over HDMI in that it is royalty-free, while there is an annual charge and a royalty fee for HDMI.
Dual-mode DisplayPort

Instructions to install graphics card : 1. Remove your current drivers (read how to remove drivers under the drivers section). 2. Open up your case 3. Take out your old card 4. Pop in your new one(Make sure it's the correct one) 5. Lock your case back up 6. Boot up 7. Install new drivers from the video card brand website (ATI/Nvidia) the drivers on the disk provided are usually out of date. 8. Reboot after drivers are installed

2.Creating 3D models using CAD software

OpenGL: Open Graphics Library

Cross-language, Multi-platform API for rendering 2D and 3D computer graphics. The API is typically used to interact with a GPU, to achieve hardware-accelerated rendering. OpenGL was developed by Silicon Graphics Inc. and widely used in CAD, virtual reality, scientific visualization, information visualization, flight simulation, and video games. OpenGL is managed by the non-profit technology consortium Khronos Group.

Microsoft Direct3D: Direct3D is part of Microsoft's DirectX application programming interface (API). Direct3D is available for Microsoft Windows operating systems (Windows 95 and above)

OpenGL vs Direct3D sdirectx.html nGL_and_Direct3D

GPGPU General-Purpose computing on Graphics Processing Units is the utilization of a GPU (which typically handles computation only for computer graphics), to perform computation in applications traditionally handled by the CPU DirectCompute
Microsoft DirectCompute wich is a part of the Microsoft DirectX collection and is an API that supports GPGPU on Windows operating systems.


Open Computing Language Compute Unified Device Architecture

CUDA, OpenCL, Stream

CUDA: FireStream : OpenCL: nVidia AMD
Open Standard (mainly used in AMD)

Usually GPUs have many Cores unlike CPUs. CPUs has few but powerful cores (2, 4 etc) and GPUs has Hundreds of less powerful cores. This makes certain operations are more efficient in GPUs than in CPUs.
(CPUs better for Scalar operations, GPUs better for Vector operations)

Typical Core i5 CPUs has 2 or 4 cores A mid range nVidia GPU has more than 96 CUDA Cores A mid range AMD GPU has more than 400 Stream Processors +
ROP Units and Texture Units

AMD and nVidia uses different techniques nVidia uses less number of Powerful cores AMD uses huge number of less powerful cores

Hardware Acceleration
In computing, hardware acceleration is the use of computer hardware to perform some function faster than software running on the general-purpose CPU. Examples of hardware acceleration include blitting acceleration functionality in GPUs and instructions for complex operations in CPUs

DXVA: DirectX Video Acceleration

DXVA is a Microsoft API specification for the Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360 platforms that allows video decoding to be hardware accelerated Most Media Players and Codecs Support Different DXVA methods Nvidia PureVideo AMD UVD (Unified Video Decoder) ATI Avivo Intel Clear Video Intel Quick Sync

multi-GPU solutions
AMD CrossFireX nVidia SLI
(Scalable Link Interface)

GPU Vendors



(CPU Graphics)

Video Card Vendors


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