Graphics cards


Other features

Much like washing powder companies, graphics chip vendors are rather inclined to throw technobabble at users about new and unique technologies in their products. CineFX, SmoothVision, HyperZ and a host of other graphics technologies are detailed by Nvidia and ATI in their marketing materials. Some of these technologies do have a significant impact on the performance or visual quality of the display, or on the ability of the card to compress video streams, but others may be just marketing fluff.


Other components

TV-out - you may want the ability, via either a composite (RCA) or S-Video connector to display the output of the graphics cards on a TV screen. TV-output can be a bit iffy, especially on older cards, because of its low resolution, interlaced scan and poor pixel precision. Therefore, you should only use the TV-Out port if you want to watch video from your PC on a TV screen. For more on TV-out, we recommend taking a look at our Media Centre PC Buyer's Guide. ^link^

DVI - a graphics card with DVI has a connector for DVI monitors. This is handy as there is a large range of LCD screens that support DVI. DVI is a type of monitor connector that offers better image quality than the standard VGA connector. Graphics cards that have DVI connectors usually ship with a DVI to VGA adapter that allows you to plug in an analogue monitor cable.

Dual-head- now sported by many graphics cards, dual-head is the ability to use two monitors, usually side by side. Your desktop stretches across both monitors. Cards with more than one output often support dual-head, although the heads may not be symmetrical. For example, an ATI card might have both a VGA connector and a DVI connector. You can use them in a dual head configuration if you want to run two monitors side by side.

Two cards working in SLI

SLI - this stands for Scalable Link Interface. Currently only supported by Nvidia in some of its GeForce 6600 and 6800 chips, SLI allows you to run two graphics cards side by side in your PC. When processing geometry and rendering a scene, each card takes half the scene, theoretically doubling the performance of the graphics subsystem.

SLI only works on PCIe motherboards, and the motherboard must have at least two 16x PCIe slots. You also obviously need to buy two SLI-supporting graphics cards, and both cards must be identical.

Motherboards that support SLI are also a great investment if you want to use more than two monitors on the same computer. Because you have two graphics card slots, you are free to install any two PCIe graphics cards in these slots (they don't have to be identical or even have the same chipset) to take advantage of up to four monitors, assuming the cards you install have both VGA and DVI connectors (dual-head).


Power Usage

Whilst older graphics cards are capable of drawing all necessary power through the AGP or PCIe slot they sit in, many modern cards have powerful fans and GPUs that actually require a separate power connection. If you are purchasing a high powered video card such as Nvidia's 6800 range, be sure to check the power requirements beforehand. You will need a spare power connector to plug into the card, and a power supply strong enough to cope with the extra wattage.

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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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