Video Card

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What Does Video Card Mean?

A video card is a PC component that is used to enhance the quality of images showed on a display. It is attached to the motherboard and controls and calculates an image’s appearance on the screen. The video card is an intermediate device that accelerates the video throughput.

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Videos cards are also known as graphics cards, video adapters, display cards, graphic adapters and graphic accelerators.

Techopedia Explains Video Card

In the early stages of computer graphics, video cards were not very sophisticated. They simply forwarded output data coming from processor to the display. This worked because the output was generally in text format. Consequently, color and complex graphics were not available on early operating systems.

Today, video cards are much more like co-processors. This means that video cards add some processing power rather than simply forwarding a simple signal onto the display. Video cards can make extra calculations on their end to check the quality of the output and then tailor this to take full advantage of the abilities of the display.

Today’s graphic cards contain following components:

  • GPU
  • Video-BIOS
  • Video-memory
  • DVI

Utilizing these components, the video card optimizes data from the processor to match the capabilities of the display.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.