The video card is another important
component of your computer system, But most people know very little
other than they are associated with bringing pictures to the monitor.
Here are some terms that you should know.
AGP: (Accelerated Graphics Port)
AGP Fast Write:
A graphics card interface
developed by Intel
Is a scheme that allows data to be sent directly
that provides the graphics
from the CPU to the videocard without first
access to the PC's main memory.
placing it in main memory, this allows a small
interface has been improved
over the years
performance boost, but works only if it is supported
and is known as 2X, 4X, and 8X
by both the video card and the motherboard.
8x AGP indicates that the
a bandwidth of 2.1GB/sec, eight
than that of the original AGP
API: (Application Programming Interface)
a function performed by the
video card which
A set of protocols, subroutines, and data structures
reduces the shimmering effect
that is common
that makes it easier for a programmer to produce
when high-resolution textures
are moved from
a sophisticated program by presenting what is ready
the foreground to the
made building blocks. Microsoft's DirectX is a API
as is OpenGL.
Bilinear/ Trilinear Filtering:
Two axes and three axes
Core Clock Speed:
A bilinear filtering process
only takes into account
the speed at which the GPU, or videocard core
nearby pixels on a single mip-map
filtering considers proximate
pixels on more than
one mip-map level.
GPU: (Graphics Processing Unit)
A special chip on the graphics card that accelerates
DDR: (Double Data Rate)
mathematically intensive graphic tasks such as
Refers to the memory
technology that transfers data
applying effects and textures to 3D objects.
on both the rising and
falling edge of the clock, thereby
permitting twice the
amount of data to be transferred for
any given clock speed.
DDR memory is a common type
a graphics API developed by Microsoft for processing
of memory used in
graphics cards today.
and displaying 3D graphics. Direct 3D is supported
by practically all modern videocards.
Software that is required
for the videocard to work
properly with the
operating system. Performance and
A cross platform code base written by Microsoft that
with a videocard frequently
allows game programmers to access hardware features
can be addressed by
installing the newest drivers.
on a computer without exact knowledge as to what
kind of hardware is installed. this allows developers
DVI: (Digital Visual Interface)
to work on next generation effects years before they
An interface that
connects a monitor with a videocard
are officially supported by videocards that are ready
Most LCD displays support
the DVI interface, and
for public use.
produce better image
quality when used, a DVI connector
actually output both
digital video signals and the legacy
Floating Point Color:
analog video signals. an
adapter can be used to hook a
Allows color information to be defined more accur-
traditional VGA connector
to the DVI interface.
ately, with the use of decimal points. This is one of
the new features intoduced in DirectX.