Understanding Video Cards and Monitors Andrew Guyther Skyler Dahlgren Kenneth Dickinson Luciano Giorgilli
Video Cards: The Basics • A video card, more commonly referred to as a graphics card, acts a translator that turns binary data from your CPU into images that you can make out on your monitor. • Graphics cards require the following components to perform their job: • Motherboard - without a motherboard you don’t have a computer • CPU - makes decisions on what to do with each pixel displayed on the screen by your monitor • Memory - contains and holds information about each pixel. Typically a video card will have its own memory separate from the memory that your computer uses. • Monitor - the results of a graphics card translating data from the CPU is displayed on your monitor in the form of pictures videos, and the graphic interface you use to operate your PC
Video Cards: The Details What is actually happening when a graphics card puts together images on a computer? • To form a 3D image on your monitor, your graphics card first creates a wireframe out of straight lines. • From there is rasterizes the image which means that the remaining pixels are filled in. • From there it adds lighting, color, and textures. • When playing video games, the graphics card must complete this process in real time, many times every second. For fast-paced video games this process typically occurs around 60 times per second.
Video Cards: The Options • The market for video cards is expansive and diverse. People use them gaming, rendering video, and mining cryptocurrency among other applications. • There are also different kinds of video cards. There are dedicated and integrated graphics cards • Dedicated cards are a physical card that its affixed to the proper expansion slot on your motherboard. • Integrated cards are soldered to the motherboard, use system memory and usually designed for low power consumption and for use in laptops. This allows for a smaller form factor with less noise and better battery life. • Two brands, NVIDIA and AMD design graphics cards which are then adapted and built by companies like MSI, EVGA, ASUS and many more. • Space and expansion slots permitting it is possible to run more than one graphics card at the same time. This allows the workload to be split and divided by both cards.
Video Cards: The Options Cont. This is an NVIDIA GTX 1080, made by PNY. This is a higher end card used for graphically intensive applications such as gaming. This is an AMD Radeon RX 480, a competing card. This is an integrated graphics card made by NVIDIA
A Short Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IR0e9hdSkI0
Monitors: The Basics • The display for a computer is called the monitor. • Allows the user to interact with the computer visually. • Monitors have three basic specifications: • Size- monitor sizes typically range from 19” to 32”. • Resolution- refers to the number of pixels that are displayed on the screen. • Input Lag- the amount of time that it takes for the monitor to display the information that it is receiving. • These three factors need to be considered when you are purchasing a monitor for your computer. For lower level basic computing, a fancy monitor is unnecessary. High end monitors become more important when you are using it for gaming or high quality HD video streaming. Having a good graphics card is rendered useless if your monitor can not handle the video that it’s outputting.
Size • The size of a monitor is measured in two ways. • Inches diagonally- the number of inches a monitor is in length from the top left corner to the bottom right corner. • Typically range from 19” - 36” • Most common size is 22 ” -24” • Aspect ratio- how wide a display is compared to its height. • Most common ratio is 16:9 • Old monitors were generally 4:3 • Wider screen monitors are typically 21:9 • Preferred monitor size is generally based on personal preference, but can also be determined by what a computer is being used for.
Resolution The display resolution or display modes of a digital television, computer monitor or display device is the number of distinct pixels in each dimension that can be displayed. It can be an ambiguous term especially as the displayed resolution is controlled by different factors in cathode ray tube (CRT) displays, flat-panel displays (including liquid-crystal displays) and projection displays using fixed picture-element (pixel) arrays.
Resolution: Pt 2 When high-definition TVs became the norm, manufacturers developed a shorthand to explain their display resolution. The most common numbers you will see are 720p, 1080p and 2160p or 4K. As we’ve seen, the "p" and "i" tell you whether it’s a progressive-scan or interlaced-scan display. And these shorthand numbers are sometimes used to describe computer monitors as well, even though in general a monitor is capable of a higher-definition display than a TV. The number always refers to the number of horizontal lines on the display.
Resolution: Pt 3 Aspect Ratio The aspect ratio of a computer display is the proportional relationship between its width and its height. It is expressed as two numbers separated by a colon (x:y). Current common aspect ratios for displays are 5:4, 4:3, 16:10 and 16:9. Computer displays with aspect ratio wider than 4:3 are also called widescreen. Widescreen computer displays are typically of the 16:9 or 16:10 aspect ratio. In 2008, the computer industry started to move over from 4:3 and 16:10 to 16:9. Many 16:9 computer displays can be found in resolutions of 1024×576, 1152×648, 1280×720, 1600×900, 1920×1080, 2560×1440 and 3840×2160, while 1366×768 is an approximate ratio to 16:9 with its true ratio of 683:384.
Refresh Rate Refresh rates are very important, because it allows the screen to keep up with the rapid movements. The faster the refresh rate, the more times the image can change and the smoother the image will look FREESYNC- AMD GSYNC- Nvidia Typical refresh rates : 60 Hz, 120Hz, 144Hz, max 240 Hz
Monitors: The Options Asus ROG Swift $1200- 34” curved 1440p 100Hz with Gsync Acer Predator $600- 24” 1080p 144Hz with Gsync Dell - S2318HN $120- 23” 1080p 60Hz
Input Lag • Refers to the amount of time it takes for the monitor to display the information that it is receiving from the computer. • This is most important for gaming use in a computer. • Allows the user to have a faster reaction time. • There is no delay in the display compared to a monitor with a larger input lag. • Doesn’t really affect things like computing or streaming videos.
A Short Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVCwfVgJ8yY
Question 1: What does it mean when a graphics card rasterize’s an image?
Answer 1: Rasterize means to convert an image stored or generated as an outline (wireframes) into pixels that can be displayed on a screen or printed.
Question 2: What are some benefits of using a dedicated graphics card over an integrated graphics card.
Answer 2: • Better performance • The ability to upgrade • Dedicated graphics cards do not use system memory
Question 3: Does “4K”refer to the amount of vertical pixels or the amount of horizontal pixels a display has?
Answer 3 A “4K” resolution monitor has around 4000 horizontal pixels.
Question 4: Which one of these is not a dimension for aspect ratios? • 21:9 • 4:3 • 16:9 • 5:4
Answer 4 Answer: d.) 5:4
Question 5 What do p and i stand for when referring to resolutions?
Answer 5 Answer: p stands for progressive-scan, i stands for interlaced-scan
Question 6 What use for a computer does input lag most affect? • Streaming • Bitcoin mining • Gaming • Rendering
Question 6 C. Gaming
Question 7 Name one kind of display
Answer 7 cathode ray tube (CRT) displays, flat-panel displays including liquid-crystal displays, fixed picture-element (pixel) arrays.
Question 8 What two companies are the main producers of GPUs? (pick two) • AMD • Intel • NVIDIA • HP
Answer 8 • AMD and C. NVIDIA
Question 9 Do laptops typically use dedicated or integrated graphics cards?
Answer 9 Laptops typically have integrated graphics cards
Question 10 What is the resolution of a 1080p Monitor
Answer 10 1920x1080