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John Curl, Joe Hetherington, Brad Lewis, and Michael Hsing Wu. Understanding Video Cards & Monitors. Agenda. History of Video Cards ATI vs. Nvidia How Video Cards Work Outputs and Inputs Dual Graphics Card HD Graphics Cards Monitors Review Questions. Video Cards.

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Understanding Video Cards & Monitors


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    1. John Curl, Joe Hetherington, Brad Lewis, and Michael Hsing Wu Understanding Video Cards & Monitors

    2. Agenda • History of Video Cards • ATI vs. Nvidia • How Video Cards Work • Outputs and Inputs • Dual Graphics Card • HD Graphics Cards • Monitors • Review Questions

    3. Video Cards • To generate a graphic and video interface. • Transmits Images to a Display • Video cards connect to the motherboard usually through PCI or PCI Express interface. • They output the signals through composite video, S-video, VGA, and DVI.

    4. Brad Lewis History of Video Cards

    5. History of Video Cards • The first video card was the MDA(Monochrome Display Adapter) released in 1981 by IBM. • Could only show 80 columns and 25 lines of text in one color. • Had 4KB of memory.

    6. History of Video Cards • MDA(Monochrome Display Adapter • Did not have any graphics mode • Only displayed monochrome text mode • Used a printer port output

    7. History of Video Cards • VGA(Video Graphics Array) • Released in 1987 • Improved resolution and colors used by many corporations • Memory improved from 4KB(MDA) to 256KB(MDA)

    8. History of Video Cards • VGA led to the SVGA(Super VGA) • Developed in 1989 • Reached 2MB of memory and resolution of 1024X768 at 256 color mode • Set the tone for 2D/3D cards

    9. History of Video Cards • 2D/3D cards • In 1997 3dfx introduced the Voodoo graphics card which had new 3D effects such as • Mip mapping-pre-calculated collection of images that increase speed • Z-buffering-the management of image depth coordinates • Anti-aliasing-the technique of minimizing the distortion artifacts known as aliasing when representing a high-resolution signal at a lower resolution • Voodoo 2 followed from 3dfx, and TNT and TNT2 from NVIDIA

    10. Michael Wu ATI vs. Nvidia

    11. ATI • ATI Technologies Inc. founded in 1985 • Acquired by AMD in 2006 and renamed AMD Graphics Product Group • ATI brand still on graphics cards • Developed the first integrated graphics chip with TV tuner card • First combination of 2D and 3D accelerator known as 3D Rage

    12. ATI Main Product • Radeon started up in 2000 • Successor to Rage • Brand for their consumer 3D accelerator add-in cards

    13. Nvidia • Founded in 1993 • Company of the Year for 2007 by Forbes • Developed the RSX ‘Reality Synthesizer’ GPU used for Playstation 3

    14. Nvidia Main Product • GeForce first produced in 1999 • As of 2009, there are 11 iterations of the design • Intended for PC gaming market

    15. Joe Hetherington How Video Cards Work

    16. How Video Cards Work • This setup only works with Analog Video Cards and Monitors

    17. How Video Cards Work • The images you see on your monitor are made up of tiny dots called pixels. Most screens will display over 1 million pixels, so the computer needs to decide what to do with every one of them • This is where a translator comes in- something that takes binary data from the CPU and turns it into the images you see.

    18. How Video Cards Work • Think of a computer as a company with an art department. • The company wants a piece of artwork • The art department decides of to create the picture and then puts it on paper • The end result is an idea turns into a viewable picture

    19. How Video Cards Work • Creating an image out of binary data is a complicated process. To make a 3-D image, the graphics card first creates a wire frame out of straight lines. Then, it restripes the image (fills in the remaining pixels). It also adds lighting, texture and color. For fast-paced games, the computer has to go through this process about sixty times per second. Without a graphics card to perform the necessary calculations, the workload would be too much for the computer to handle. • The graphics card accomplishes this task using four main components: • A motherboard connection for data and power • A processor to decide what to do with each pixel on the screen • Memory to hold information about each pixel and to temporarily store completed pictures • A monitor connection so you can see the final result

    20. How Video Cards Work

    21. Types of Output • DVI • VGA • S-Video • Composite • HDMI

    22. Types of Input • PCI • AGP(Accelerated Graphics Port) • PCI-X • PCI-Express

    23. AGP vs. PCI Video Cards http://www.ehow.com/video_5112695_difference-agp-pci-video-cards_.html

    24. Graphics Processor Unit • Similar to CPU • Requires most cooling • Most specifications refer to GPU

    25. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLLI0vKYM4o Graphics Processor Unit

    26. Video Memory • Memory chips (2-4) • Close proximity to GPU for better performance • Commonly use 128, 256, 512 MB locally • DDR2 + GDDR3

    27. Video Memory • Image from GPU sent to memory (frame buffer) – bit map • More video memory = less burden on computer RAM • Memory bus – typically 128-256 bit wide • Determines how much data can be transferred per cycle

    28. Cooling Devices • Applied to GPU/GPU + memory • Passive vs. Active Cooling • Passive • Heatsinks • Heat pipes

    29. Cooling Devices - Active • Fans • Single-slot vs. Dual-slot Coolers • Expansion slots in case • Cover both GPU + memory • Dual – designed to push hot air out of the back of the case

    30. Michael Wu Dual Graphics Cards

    31. Dual Video Cards • Increases performance • Performance increase of 30-50% • Primarily for 3D applications • Generally used when running 2 or more monitors • Splits the graphic load between the two cards • Improves frame rates

    32. Dual Video Cards • Shared duties will cause • Improved rendering 3D images • Higher frame rates • Higher resolutions • Additional filters • Improve quality of the graphics

    33. Disadvantages • Running dual video cards is costly • Not all applications benefit from multiple graphics cards • Some applications may show a slight decrease in performance • Low end processor can only throttle the amount of data the system can provide to the graphics cards • Dual video cards is recommended for higher end systems

    34. Dual Video Cards • For average consumer, dual video cards are not necessary • Costs are too high for: • Capable motherboard • video cards • Core hardware

    35. Installing Dual Video Cards • Ensure all parts are SLI (Scalable Link Interface) or Crossfire capable • ATI’s graphic solution is CrossFire • NVIDIA graphic solution is SLI • Ensure that motherboard has appropriate chipset. • 2 PCIe x16 slots allow users to install 2 video cards

    36. Installing Dual Video Cards • Install updated video card drivers • User may need to enable in BIOS

    37. Michael Wu HD Video Cards

    38. HD Video Card • With the introduction of Aero and DirectX 10, a new generation of video cards have been developed • Higher end graphics cards support onboard decoding of the H.264 spec • Required to display high def DVDs • Some video cards have HDCP • High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection • Required to display Blu-ray DVD playback

    39. HD Video Cards • Allows for video display in 720p, 1080p, or 1080i • Higher quality video display • When used to display on a HDTV, the HDMI cable will carry over audio and video at the same time

    40. John Curl Monitors

    41. Monitors • Also called the Visual Display Unit • Displays information from the computer to the user • Two main types are CRT(Cathode Ray Tube) and TFT-LCD(Thin Film Transitory Liquid Crystal Display)

    42. CRT Monitors • Vacuum tube with an electron gun • Three electron guns(Red, Green, and Blue) • A florescent screen • Internal ways to reflect or deflect the electron beams in order to create a picture.

    43. CRT Monitors

    44. CRT Monitors http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gnl1vuwjHto

    45. LCD Monitors • Holds millions of pixels • Each pixel is a layer of molecules between two electrodes. • Electricity is applied and the liquid crystals twist to let more or less light out.

    46. LCD Monitors http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAZKICHWGnA&feature=fvw

    47. CRT vs. LCD • CRT • Pros: • High dynamic range (up to around 15,000:1 [1],) excellent color, wide gamut and low black level. • Can display natively in almost any resolution and refresh rate • No input lag • Sub-millisecond response times • Near zero color, saturation, contrast or brightness distortion. Excellent viewing angle. • Cons: • Large size and weight, especially for bigger screens (a 20" unit weighs about 50lbs or 22kg) • High power consumption • Geometric distortion in non-flat CRTs • Older CRTs are prone to screen burn-in • Produces noticeable flicker at low refresh rates

    48. CRT vs. LCD • LCD • Pros: • Very compact and light • Low power consumption • No geometric distortion • Rugged • Little or no flicker depending on backlight technology • Cons: • Limited viewing angle, causing color, saturation, contrast and brightness to vary, even within the intended viewing angle, by variations in posture. • Bleeding and uneven backlighting in some monitors, causing brightness distortion, especially toward the edges. • Slow response times, which cause smearing and ghosting artifacts. Modern LCDs have response times of 8ms or less. • Only one native resolution. Displaying other resolutions requires a video scaler, which degrades image quality at lower resolutions. • Fixed bit depth, many cheaper LCDs are incapable of true color. • Input lag • Dead pixels are possible during manufacturing

    49. John Curl & Brad Lewis Questions

    50. You switch on your PC and get no display. You are sure the monitor is ok. Which order would you follow for troubleshooting this problem? • Replace the video card, replace the monitor, replace the power supply, replace the system board, try a different monitor. • Check that PC and monitor are plugged in, check that monitor brightness is turned up, check that PC fan is running. • Check PC supply voltages, replace video card, replace CPU. • Check that everything is plugged in, replace system board.