Tech Insight: What is a Graphics card and Why you may need it.

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The images visible on the computer screen are made of tiny dots known as “pixels”. At most common resolution settings, a screen displays more than 2 million pixels, and the computer has to decide what to be done with each pixel in order to create an image. To do that, it needs a translator, something to take binary information from the CPU and flip it into an image you can see. This translator is known as a graphics processor, or GPU.

The role of Graphics Card.

Most entry-stage newly built consumer laptops and computer systems now often come with a secondary GPU built into their fundamental processor, known as integrated graphics. Pro-stage or custom machines, but, will often also have an area for a committed Graphics card. The advantage of a Graphics card is that it is able to usually render greater and complicated visuals at a faster rate than an included chip.

Working of Graphics Card.

A graphics card works along the same principles. The CPU, working in conjunction with software applications, sends information of the image to the graphics card. The graphics card decides how to use the pixels on the screen to create the image. It then sends that information to the monitor through a cable.

Creating an image out of binary data is a tough and hectic process. To make a 3-D image, the graphics card first creates a wire frame out of straight lines. Then, it rasterizes the image (fills in the remaining pixels) and also adds lighting, texture and color. For fast-paced and high-end games, the computer has to go through this process about 60 to 120 times per second. Without a graphics card to perform the necessary calculations, the workload would increase for the computer and a lag in the performance would be experienced.

Need of Graphics Card.

For gamers, streamers, and content creators, a graphics card is one of the most important parts of the PC. The graphics card, also popular by the name “GPU”, is responsible for generating the information and images that you see on your computer’s display. The more powerful the GPU, the faster that information can be displayed, and the better your visual experience will be overall.

As with every PC component, the first question to ask yourself when choosing a graphics card is: how will you be using it? If you’re building a PC to play games, then the GPU will be your most important purchase. Other components can affect performance, like the CPU and RAM, but getting a GPU that’s too weak for your chosen games is guaranteed to result in disappointment. Some games won’t even run without the specified requirements.

Graphics only for Games?

There are different kinds of games in the market, though, and not all of them demand the most powerful GPU in the market. That’s why it’s important to understand a game’s required and recommended specifications to make sure that you get a suitable GPU. Buying the best GPU you can afford is a good way to future-proof your build, and can keep it ready to play popular games that have yet to be released.

If you’re not a PC gamer, there are still many reasons you might need a powerful graphics card. Some examples include video editing and computer-aided design and manufacturing applications like AutoCAD, which can use the GPU for significantly better performance.

In fact, there’s a class of GPUs aimed specifically at these professional users. These workstation GPUs are optimized for these applications, and their drivers are certified to be stable and reliable. They’re not always the best at powering games, because they’re designed with those workstation applications in mind.

Graphic Cards for Games.

When you’re shopping for a GPU, you’ll be choosing between two manufacturers: Nvidia and AMD. Historically, these two companies have battled for leadership in the GPU market, and Nvidia was strongly in the lead until the last few years.

Nvidia still holds a strong position in the market, but AMD’s newest graphics cards have made the landscape more competitive. One of the phrases you’ll hear a lot these days when GPU shopping is “Real-Time Ray-Tracing,” which is a visual technology that enables more realistic lighting, shadows, and reflection effects.

There’s some debate about how this tech is necessary to advancing game visuals, but as of right now it’s only something you’ll get on the Nvidia side of the GPU world.

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