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Lesson 4- Video card component - explains what a video card is with definitions of features

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In lesson 4 we'll explain what a video card is with definitions of features to look for when shopping for a video card and how much you can expect to pay.

Overview

The video card is responsible for creating all that you see on your computer monitor. Up until about 8 years ago, video cards were advancing in the acceleration and quality of 2 dimensional images. Since that time, video cards have reached a point where they are all equal in their ability to show 2D images and no further acceleration is possible.

Video card development now focuses on 3 dimensional acceleration and 3D image quality, 3D games and 3D modeling software, for instance.

Direct X is the system that 3D acceleration is based on. The latest version, Direct X11 which comes with Windows 7 and Windows 8 and be installed on Windows Vista, provides the best image quality and fastest 3D graphics available.  For the best 3D performance, look for Direct X 11 support in your video card.

The amount of memory a video card has plays a big role in the speed and quality of 3D graphics. The higher the resolution you run your games at and the higher the quality settings you enable in your games, the more memory the video card will need to keep the games running fast.  Look for a card with at least 1GB of memory.

Interface

The video card will attach through a PCI Express 2.0 16x or 3.0 16x slot on the motherboard . Make sure the video card you buy supports PCI Express 2.0 16x or 3.0 16x.  PCI Express 3.0 doubles the available bandwidth for sending data between the motherboard and the card compared to the older 2.0 spec and both the 2.0 and 3.0 specs are forward and backward compatible with each other. Keep in mind that even this years highest performing video cards don't use more bandwidth that the 2.0 spec provides.  3.0 will better support future video cards, but is not a necessity today.To watch all of our complete video lessons with full written instructions you will need to purchase a login for the site. Buy Now..


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