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INFO 450 Video Card's, Monitor's, . Chris Adkins, Kristin Tippett, and Donnie Wood. Different types of Hardware for your computer. Adapter Cards Graphics Cards Sound Cards RAID Cards eSATA Cards I/O Cards Wired And Wireless Network Cards Capture Cards. Adapter Cards.

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INFO 450Video Card's, Monitor's, 

Chris Adkins, Kristin Tippett, and Donnie Wood

Different types of Hardware for your computer

Adapter Cards

Graphics Cards

Sound Cards

RAID Cards

eSATA Cards

I/O Cards

Wired And Wireless Network Cards

Capture Cards

Adapter Cards

  • An Adapter Card (which is also known as an expansion card) is a circuit board that's put into a expansion slot of a motherboard to give more functionality to the computer.  

    • The main focus of an Adapter card is to provide  features that are not normally offered on some motherboards

      • Graphics Cards

      • Sound Cards

      • Network Cards

Graphics Cards    

  • A graphics card (aka Video Adapter, Graphics Accelerator Card, Display Adapter, or video card)  is an expansion card that generates output images to a display monitor.

    • Added features to a graphics card

      • 3D rendering

      • video recording

      • MPEG-2/-4 decoding (compressing of videos)

      • Light pen

      • TV Output

      • Multi-Monitors


Video/Graphic Cards


 Peripheral component interconnect

 Uses bus architecture

Can be integrated circuit fitted onto the mother board or an expansion card

Coexist with other expansion buses

"Plug and Play

  • AGP

    • Accelerated Graphics Port

    • Originally created for 3-D computer graphics

    • Provides dedicated pathways between the slot and the processor

    • Point-to-Point connection allowing higher clock speeds

  • PCIe

    • Express

    • Replaced AGP and older PCI versions

    •  Uses Point-to-Point serial connection rather than shared parallel communication

    •  Not compatible in PCI slots

    • Multiple data lanes

Things to Keep in mind

  • Bigger Monitors with higher resolution (while running the same program) need better video cards

  • Make sure your Power Supply has enough power to support your Videocard

  • Making sure your output is supported

    • Blue Ray will need a video card which supports:

      • HDMI

      • HDCP (High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection)

        • Allows you to stream blue ray from your Video card to the TV)

Things to keep in mind cont.

  • Running 2 Video Cards at once

    • Depends on the chipset of your motherboard

      • Scalable Link Interface (SLI) Nividia chipset that allows you to run multiple videocards

      • Crossfire is a Intel chipset that allows multiple video cards to run

      • Need a USB 2.0 Display Adapter to run  Multi-Monitor  while using SLI/Crossfire

Overclocking and Benchmarking

  • Overclocking- Process of running the video card at a higher bits/second than it was meant for.  It's used for minimizing/maximizing performance.

  • Benchmarking- Tests a video card performance and then gives results to compare to other benchmarkers.


Multimedia Cards

Sound cards, TV tuner cards, Capture cards

Sound Cards

  • Sound Cards (aka Audio Cards) is an Adapter Card that enable's the input and output of audio signals between the itself and the computer.

    • Multiple inputs:

      • Pink- Microphone input

      • Blue- Audio input

      • Green- Audio output

        • Front speakers 

        • Headphones

      • Brown- Audio output for Right to Left Speaker

      • Black- Audio output surround sound speakers

      • Orange- Audio output for subwoofer

TV Tuner Cards

  • Computer component that allows television signals to be received by a computer

  • 4 components are required to make this happen

    • A tuner device

    • An antenna or cable connection

    • A tuning application

    • Some sort of program guide

Video Capture Cards

  • Video capture cards are designed to plug directly into expansion slots in personal computers and servers

  • All comply with one of the popular host bus standards (PCI, AGP, and/or PCIe)

  • Proper hardware and software are necessary to transport the captured video to the computer

  • Problems arise with dropped frames, problems synchronizing audio and video, and poor quality play back.

RAID Cards

  • RAID Controller Cards are pieces of hardware dedicated to controlling RAID functions.

    • RAID chips can be integrated into the Motherboard

    • RAID Controller Cards will come in the form of PCI, or PCIe

  • RAID 0 and RAID 1 can be setup either by software, or hardware.  RAID 5 is setup by hardware.

I/O Cards

  • Input/ Output (I/O) cards are cards that provide some sort of external connectivity.

    • USB, Parallel, SATA, SCSI, and NIC/WNIC cards

      • Although often times USB, Parallel, and SCSI cards are very much out of date.  Now integrated in with the Motherboard.

    • Often times I/O Cards are labeled as "Low Profile Cards" which are cards that fit in smaller computer towers.

SCIS: Small Computer Interface System

  • Pronounced "scuzzy"

  • Involve chains, IDs, and termination

  • Chains: a series of SCSI devices working together through a host adapter (the host adapter provides the interface between the SCSI chain and the PC)

  • Categorized as internal and external devices

  • IDs: range from 0-15, doesn't matter which device gets which number and numbers can be skipped but none can be the same

  • Termination: Only terminate the ends of the SCSI chain. Some devices come automatically able to terminate others need to be set. Termination is used to prevent the electrical echo.


Serial Cards

  • Replaced by USB

  •  One of the last manually configured ports

  • Serial communication: one wire to send data and another wire to receive data one bit at a time sequentially

  • The job of a serial port is to convert data moving between parallel and serial devices

  • Serial ports consist of two pieces:

    • 9-pin DB connector

    • UART chip

  • The UART chip actually does the conversion between the serial data and parallel data

  • Universal asynchronous receiver


  • Parallel Cards

    • Also known as the printer port

    • Faster alternative to serial communication

    • Parallel communication: sending several data signals simultaneously over several parallel channels

    •  IEEE 1284 is a standard that defines bi-directional parallel communications between computers and other devices

    •  Max data transfer rate: 150 kilobytes per second

    • Use up a considerable amount of CPU

    • Replaced by USB

    USB: Universal Serial Bus

    • Replaced serial and parallel ports/cards

    • Used to establish communication between devices and a host controller

    • USB host controller: integrated circuit that is usually built into the chipset and controls every USB device that connects to it

    • USB root hub: the part on the host controller that makes the physical connection to the USB ports

    • No limit to number of ports a single host adapter may use

    • Most important thing to remember is that every USB device connected to a single host adapter/root hub shares that USB bus with every other device connected to it

    • The more USB devices connected result in the bus slowing down and more power being used

    "Low Profile Cards:"eSATA Cards

    • External Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (eSATA) 

      • SATA is a computer bus port that connects Host Bus Adapters to Storage devices.

      • eSATA cards will take up a PCI or PCIe slot.

    Network Cards

    • Network Interface Controller (NIC) is a card that connects the computer to a network.  

      • Connects via a wire based network

        • Ethernet- frame-based technology

      • NIC's are an OSI Layer 1, and layer 2 device

        • Open Systems Interconnection Model (OSI) makes up seven layers.  Layer 1 is the physical layer, and layer 2 is the data link layer

      • 48-bit serial number: Media Access Control (MAC) Address

        • Stored in ROM, every card has a unique address

        • No 2 cards will have the same address.

    Wireless NIC's

    • Wireless Network Interface Controller (WNIC)

      • NIC that connects to radio-based network.

      • Works on OSI Layers 1 and 2.  

      • Uses antenna's to send signals through microwaves.

      • Connects through PCI Slots, or USB.

    Display Devices

    • Three main types:

    •  Projectors

    • CRT

    • LCD


    • Projects an image or moving images onto a surface usually a projection screen

    •   Been used throughout the 20th and 21st centuries in places such as movie theatres and classrooms


    • Stands for Cathode Ray Tube which is a vacuum consisting of one or more electron guns

    •  Color CRT tubes use three different phosphors which emit red, green and blue light

    • CRTs have been phased out, mainly because of the advance of LCD technology


    • Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)- Thin Electronic Visual Display that uses light properties of liquid crystals

      • Six levels of display

        • Polarizing filter with a vertical axis which polarizes light

        • Glass Substrate with Vertical ridges that appear whtn the monitor turns on

        • Twisted nematic, which contains elements that twist and untwist at different degrees to let light go through

        • Glass substrate with horizontal ridges to line up with the filter

        • Polarizing filter with a horizontal axis which blocks and passes light

        • Reflective screen to send light back to the user.




    Contrast Ratio and Native Resolution

    • Contrast Ratio

      • Ratio of luminous intensity of white to black that the Monitor is able to show

    • Native Resolution

      • LCD Monitors have a single fixed resolution

      • While a  CRT Monitor displays at different resolutions, an LCD needs to have a scaling of the image which is lower quality


    Connection Devices

    • VGA

    • Component/RGB

    • S-Video

    • HDMI

    • DVI 

    Types of DVI

    Settings of the Monitor

    • Refresh Rate- The Frame rate of how many times in a second that the display device fraws the data

    • Degaussing- Process of getting rid of  magnetic field

    • Multi-Monitor- use of multiple displays

      • Monitors

      • Television

      • Projectors

    "How to choose a video card"


      • Computer TV

    Works Cited














    • Michael Meyers: A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, Seventh Edition  , Mc Graw Hill.  ,February 2010



    Works Cited (cont.)

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