A video card is also a graphics accelerator, a computer component responsible for outputting images and generating graphics, for example, in games. The video card is necessary for the computer to work, otherwise it just won’t start, and the picture doesn’t appear. At the moment, there are various types of accelerators, for home systems (desktop), mobile (laptops, communicators and even telephones), for semi-professional and professional use. There are also differences in “acceleration goals”, there are two-dimensional graphics accelerators (2D) and three-dimensional graphics accelerators (3D). 2D accelerators do not always work with 3D graphics, but they are more likely to be semi-professional and professional accelerators; they serve mainly for working, for example, with photography (for example, in magazines that print). But do not think that 3D accelerators do not work with 2D graphics, they work! just focus on 3D. Video cards for home computers are all 3D accelerators.
The main parameters of video cards can be called: graphics processor, type and amount of memory, cooling system, frequencies and memory bus, outputs.
The graphics processor is the core of the video card, in fact the same as the central processor, only it specializes in computing graphics. For household computers, now, there are two ATI manufacturers on the market with Radeon graphics cards, and NVIDIA with GeForce graphics cards. I specified, because these manufacturers have other video cards, but they are not for home use. Due to the fact that the performance itself, as well as the GPUs themselves, could be discussed for a very long time, I would recommend using other sites such as www.ixbt.com, www.thg.ru, www.ferra.ru, www. 3dnews.ru, moreover, on these sites you can find test results. Although an example of names still give. ATI Radeon HD5870, in this case the numbers are 5870 and there is a model: 5 – this is the main line, the higher the higher the video card; 8 – we can say that this is a secondary ruler, again, the higher, the newer; 70 is a class of video card, ATI company mainly produces three cards at once 30, 50, 70, sometimes there are 90, these numbers show different types of models, for example 30 is the cheapest and weakest in the line, and 50 is average, 70 is powerful, and 90 is probably very powerful. GeForce GTX 480, here, as with the previous example, 4 – the main line, 80 model. In general, it is better to consult with a consultant or watch tests for a more accurate understanding of performance.
Type and amount of memory – there are various types of memory for video cards, in functionality they are similar to RAM, but unlike RAM, it can not be replaced. In general, information about the type and amount of memory is mostly a marketing move, i.e. ATI and NVIDIA models of the same level, competitors, the difference in their performance is not large, as a rule. It is worth noting that the basic models are created balanced, the type and amount of memory on them corresponds to the GPU. There are models with an increased memory capacity, but an increase in memory does not always give a big performance boost.
The cooling system is an important element in the video card! During operation, the GPU, like the memory, is very hot, and if they are not cooled, the built-in protection will simply turn off the device. Good cooling guarantees a long and uninterrupted high-quality operation. Of course, on the basic models they put the appropriate cooling system, although due to dust and dirt it can cease to cope over time, but this is unlikely. Usually, a conventional radiator and fan are used for cooling, but now models with radiators based on heat pipes are more and more common, they have better heat dissipation.
Frequencies and memory bus – frequencies are shown in MHz, actually determining the speed, they are often written in models in which the frequencies are higher than the base ones, “overclocked”, this slightly improves performance, but also increases heat transfer. The memory bus is written, for example, 256bit. In fact, this is a purely technical parameter and it should be indifferent to the end user.
Outputs – often in the description of the video card you can see DVI, HDMI, S-Video, DisplayPort, etc. These are the ports to which you can connect for example a monitor, or a TV. Consider the recording of video cards from the price list:
PCI-E Sapphire ATI Radeon HD5870 1024MB Vapor-X 256bit DDR5 DVI HDMI DisplayPort
PCI-E – slot for installation
Sapphire – graphics card manufacturer
ATI Radeon – the manufacturer of the graphics core, and the name of the line
HD5870 – Model
1024MB – memory size
Vapor-X – an indication of the modernization of the basic version, in this case an improved cooling system
256bit DDR5 – memory bus and memory type
DVI HDMI DisplayPort – outputs for TV, panels and monitors
PCI-E MSI GeForce GTX 570 1280MB 320bit GDDR5 [N570GTX-M2D12D5] DVI miniHDMI
PCI-E – slot for installation
MSI – graphics card manufacturer
GeForce – graphics core manufacturer
GTX 570 – Model
1280MB – memory size
320bit GDDR5 – memory bus and memory type