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[ The PC Guide | Introduction to the PC | Overview of Systems and Components ]

Video Cards

Your video card performs the function of displaying the screen you see on the monitor. Inside the video card is a special kind of memory called video memory, where information is stored that represents what you see on the screen. If you look closely at the screen you can see that it is made up of many dots, or pixels. Each pixel's color and brightness is stored in the video memory.

When the computer wants to display something, it calculates how it needs to change the color and brightness of the different pixels, and changes the values in the video memory. The video card then presents the new pixels to you on the monitor. In modern computers, this calculating job is shared between the processor and the video card itself. Having the video card do the calculation can often be much faster, because the video card is specialized to do these types of calculations. Also, while the video card is doing this work, the processor can go on to other things.

Next: Monitors

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