Graphics cards

Fill rate: This indicates the speed at which the graphics card can "paint" a scene. Each surface in a 3D scene has to have a texture applied. The pixels (or texels) per second rating indicates how many pixels of textures can be painted per second. What is a texel? It is kind of like a 3D pixel. For instance, a flat surface may be painted (textured) with a 640 by 480 image of bricks, in order to make it look like a brick wall. Each pixel in that texture is known as a texel, and each has to be processed to take into account of the distance from and angle to the viewer of the wall. Other textures, such as light maps, can then overlay the original texture.

The fill rate is a product of the clock speed of the processor and the number of pixels it can process per clock cycle. The number of pixels that can be processed per clock cycle is gleaned by the number of pipelines the graphics chipset supports.

Vertices/triangles: Where the fill rate tells you the rendering performance of the graphics chip, it does not cover the performance of the card in geometry calculations. The graphics chips cannot work on curves - they can only process flat surfaces; but if you have enough flat surfaces you can make them look like curves. In a process called tessellation, all objects in a 3D scene are broken down into a set of triangular surfaces - the more triangles, the better the curves and angles of the real world can be represented. A 3D object can be made up of hundreds or even thousands of triangles. This is what game developers are talking about when they talk about the number of polygons in a character - the number of discreet (flat) surfaces in the character model.

Unfortunately, to further confuse matters, ATI and Nvidia talk about geometry processing power using different standards. Nvidia chip specifications refer to vertices per second (that is, the points at the corners of the triangles), while ATI specifications list triangles per second. (You cannot, incidentally, just divide the Nvidia numbers by three to get triangles - triangles next to each other share vertices).

Anti-aliasing: A technique used to make scenes look better by eliminating visual artefacts such as the jagged stepping effect caused by diagonal lines and square pixels. (Open up a paint program and draw a diagonal line, and you'll see what we mean). Anti-aliasing does improve image quality, but usually causes a performance hit. There are multiple levels of anti-aliasing, and some reduce performance more than others.

RAMDAC: This stands for Random Access Memory Digital to Analogue Converter. This is the chip that takes the scene and converts it to the format that your screen uses. The graphics processor creates a final image of a scene - the RAMDAC takes the image and puts it on the VGA or DVI cable for your monitor to display it. RAMDACs have different speeds - usually 350MHz or 400MHz, and a graphics card may have more than one. A faster RAMDAC indicates that the graphics card can support higher output resolutions, and multiple RAMDACs indicates that the card can support multiple displays, possibly in a dual-head configuration.

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PC World Staff

PC World

20 Comments

Anonymous

1

can't read the who page the page is not centred
so i won't buy from u
i am looking to buy a 3d graphics card but can't read the details
and maybe a new mother board
danielle
ps i can't even read half of what i type

Anonymous

2

Graphic Cards

How much are they

Anonymous

3

Graphics card

i have a graphics card, but i needa no how to install one that isnt intel. coz intel fuks up on me. :)

therock

4

Need info before buying a graphics card

I want to buy a graphics card of 512MB for my computer. Please help me in selecting the best one for my system. My processor is AMD Athlon 3000+ and my motherboard is MSI RS482M2-IL. It has a PCI Express card slot in it. I have checked a few sites already. I am a little confused about selecting certain features of the card.
1. Some cards have a spec of DDR2 and others DDR3. My RAM slots in my motherboard are DDR. So not sure what it is for PCI-E slot.
2. Power supply required for the card. Do they required addtional power supply?

patrick

5

Palit GeForce GTX 260 Sonic

hi im curently using 8600 gt video card on windows xp and was wondering if i buy Palit GeForce GTX 260 Sonic will it work in my computer .

Anonymous

6

Graphics Card for Games

I have no idea what to do. All my games run slowly on my computer even though I have a good computer. What is the best card for an ASUS to run the Arkham Asylum game. Also what is a Graphics Driver? I was on the NVIDIA Website and I downloaded a driver and it didn't change anything.
Also where can I buy a Card that is good quality but under $100?
Thanks

Anonymous

7

Hi. If you dont know what a 'Graphics Driver' is, im pretty sure you dont know what constitutes a "Good Computer"...
You wont find a decent card to run high end games for less than $100.
Its a safe bet your PC has a PCI-Express slot that would house a graphics card. Buy an 8800GT card for around $250 and you will be fine for now.

Andy

8

Cheap 3D Graphics cards

In January 2008 I bought a $55 Digital camera it was rubish . In March that year I bought a $150 Olympus Camera and it is worth every cent ....You get what you pay for .

Anonymous

9

i bought a nvidia geforce 9600gts 512mb for 60$ on new egg. and i can run crisis smooth on all high graphics with above 33fps. and 8800gts for 250$ sounds high saying on new egg you can get a gtx 250 for 110$ and that would blow it out of the water

Anonymous

10

How do I download a ATI Card

Hi I would like vto know if you can download a ATI Video Card from the net for the game the simes 2 Bon Voyage... In the book there is a website that you can go to but the website doesn't have that much help. So I was wondering if you could please tell me if you could download one from the net.

Anonymous

11

graphics headaches

a few weeks ago i bought an asus EN9500GT graphics card for my acer aspire . . Good investment i thought until my eyes packed up. . Extreme headaches started. . Even ended up with nose bleeds ..

Anonymous

12

graphics cards are hardware not software. It is physically impossible to download hardware off the internet. You're gonna have to buy a new graphics card.

Anonymous

13

could a ATI RADEON 3100 Graphics card run call of duty 4 or 6 cause when i install it its works but it is very slow anf very laggy could that be the cause?

Anonymous

14

Reducing Gaming Lag

If your computer games run slowly its most likely due to your either your graphics card, ram or processor. Most motherboards have inbuilt graphics cards on them but they arn't very effecient for gaming. Purchase a graphics card possibly a recent radeon or geforce and plug it into your computer. If it doesn't work, the answer may lie within your computer's Ram (random access memory). Any ram below 1 giga bite (1000 mb (mega bytes) is 1 gigabyte) wont run many games efficently. You can add more ram by plugging in another ram chip onto your motherboard (most motherboards have 2 or more ram slots). Your processor should be no lower than 1.4 GHz (giga hertz). If it is, replace your existing one with a better procesor. To view your computer's graphics card type; click on contorl panel - display - settings, computer's processor and ram; control panel - system. I'm not sure the cost of things but im sure ram isn't too epensive and an average graphics card is just under $100 but a processor can get expensive. I hope this helps.

Anonymous

15

Thx for the help, I have 4gb of RAM and 2.2ghz procesor but i think my graghics cars is either 115mb or 256mb and its a laptop is it possible to replace and add stuff in laptops or is it to hard to pull a part?

Anonymous

16

Unless you have a highend laptop specifically designed with an upgradable GPU then it is not possible, almost all mainstream laptops have GPUs which are built directly into their motherboards and cannot be removed. Also the GPUs for a laptop are quite expensive. I believe the term is Workstation for laptops with upgradable GPU, no one in the gaming world has decided to make a removable GPU for laptops, These are mostly designed for designers who need highend graphics for development purposes, and they usually run for around 2-3 times as much as a gaming laptop.

sum 1

17

huh i don get it :/

kate

18

Please please help me!!! My son wants me to get a new graphics card so he can play games better. I have no idea what so ever where to begin or what to buy. His pc is a windows vista basic its a philips tower and thats about as much as i know

More information

19

I'm looking for a speaker program that I can play my songs through my netbook and also also use with an MP3 player as a docking station. I don't need to purchase computer
speakers AND an MP3 player docking station,
is there 1 speaker system that I can listen to either my cpu or perhaps my mp3 player on?
I detest having a lot of gadgets, I simply need 1 thing that does both functions.
Thanks!.

dee

20

i have a snake in my boot

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