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Table Of Contents  CertiGuide to A+ (Core Hardware)
 9  Chapter 1000:  Multimedia

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III  Video Cards

The video card in your PC is responsible for outputting the images you see displayed on your monitor.

A primary function of the video card is to take the digital information given to it by the processor and convert it into an analog signal that is sent to the monitor. Of all the other components in a PC the video card is definitely one of the hardest working as it is constantly sending a new signal to the monitor for display.

[spacer]Early Video Cards

Like many other devices in the world of PCs, video cards started as simple devices with relatively little intelligence. Older video cards simply did the video signal conversion and nothing else. This left the processor to handle all of the calculations needed to display all of the objects in a particular area of the screen. As PCs became more graphically based the load that was placed on the processor became too heavy, and video cards began evolving into the self-contained minicomputers inside of your PC that they are today.


Choosing the right video card can have a significant impact on overall system performance.

The more work the video card can take from the rest of the system, the more resources are available to handle the other tasks in the PC.

Many programs, especially games, require a high minimum amount of horsepower from the video card in order to function properly. Poorly designed video card hardware and drivers are one of the leading causes of instability in the PC.

A final factor to consider in choosing a video card is the comfort factor.

The video card along with the monitor is responsible for the quality of the image that you see. A bad video card or monitor can cause strain or fatigue for the user.

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