In daily life one sees animations, graphics, videos etc and the reason these things are visible on a display screen for ex- a monitor of a pc is due to the graphics card in the pc.
It is a computer component that is designed to convert the visual information used to display an image into certain signals that can be fed to any display device.
It creates a wired structure which is important for the display generation on the display screen. A wired structure is basically a base structure or a skeleton of the final image made up of geometrical figures like triangles and polygons.
The CPU works simultaneously with the software application and at the same time sends information about the image to the graphics card which in turn then decides how to interpret the image on the screen.
After the information is passed on to the graphics card from the CPU, it makes a wired structure and then adds texture and all other factors required to build up an image. For a really demanding game this process has to be repeated many times in one second.
To process all the mathematical and geometrical calculations performed which is required to build a proper 3d image, a unit known as GPU (Graphics processing Unit) is present on the graphics card.
The performance of the graphics card directly influences both the frame rate and image quality of 3D programs and games.
In the graphics card, the memory bandwidth is more important than the amount of memory on the card. 3D performance is defined by the speed at which information can get to the GPU, and the memory bandwidth determines just how quickly the graphics processor can get data to and from the memory built onto the graphics card. The greater the bandwidth, the better is the image generated.
Before the information is translated into analog form which can be fed to the display screen, the graphics card and CPU enact three phases namely the transform phase, the lighting phase, and the set-up phase.
The transform and lighting phase takes information from the software program being used to assemble the screen’s pixels and create lighting effects among them. The transform and lighting phase is often performed by the computer’s CPU rather than its graphics card, although newer graphics cards are able to handle even this part.
After the above is completed, the graphics card in the set-up phase takes the pixels from the above phases and plots them to the particular points on the display screen in order to make the required image.
The Graphics cards connect to the computer through the motherboard. The motherboard supplies power to the card and lets it communicate with the CPU. Newer graphics cards often require more power than the motherboard can provide, so they also have a direct connection to the computer’s power supply.
One of the important factors on which the performance of the graphics card depends is its Frame Rate,that is the speed at which the graphics card can process the game’s image frames that makes the game render in much realistic way. Good frame rates also ensure smooth flow of the game so the gamer does does not get annoyed due to the abruptness of the game.
Following are some of the components which are mounted on the graphics card.
1. VGA connector – VGA is known as Video Graphics Array and it is the graphics display system for computers. It is used to attach the display device which is being used to the graphics card. They are usually blue in colour with 3 rows of 5 pins.
2. Socket Connectors – It used to add more memory to the graphics card. They are basically of 2 types namely, male and female. Male connectors have metallic pins coming out from a plastic base while female connectors have holes lined with a metallic surface.
3. PCB (Printed Circuit Board) – It is usually green is colour.It is the board on which all the chips ,resistors and the lines on which all the components have to be ported on the board.
4. RAMDAC – It stands for Random Acess Memory Digital to Analogue Converter. It converts and transfers the information stored on the graphics card on the display screen like monitor.
5. GPU – It stands for Graphic Processing Unit and can also be termed as the brain of the graphics card. This enables all the graphics seen on the display screen both 2d and 3d.It also manages the information transfer through out the card. The faster the GPU ,the better your graphic intense applications will perform
6. Memory – The memory of the graphics card is termed as Video memory. It is different from the computers systems memory. Video memory is used to store two types of information viz the display information (pixel information) and the texture information. There are different types of memory and the performance of the graphics card depends on what type of memory is being used. The maximum amount of the memory in the graphics card also determines the colour depth and resolution too.
7. Heat sinks or fans – It may be used on certain components on the graphics card because of the amount of the heat they generate due to the amount of the computations they perform.
8. Tracer lines – They are used to connect various components on the graphics card.
9. Bus Connector – It is the interface which influences the amount of data and speed with which the data is transferred between the graphics card and the motherboard. There are different types of slots for the bus connector to fit in to like AGP(Accelerated Graphics Port),PCI(Peripheral Component Interconnect).The type of the slot also partially gives the idea of the speed at which the data transfer between the graphics card and the motherboard.