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Relationship to Operating Systems and Applications
Another factor to consider in assessing the performance of a video card is the operating system and application that are going to be used primarily on the PC. A given card may outperform its competitor in certain areas or with certain operating systems, but do far worse with others. In particular, some cards excel at Windows acceleration while others are better with DOS programs. The differences here are mostly due to the design of the chipset and which acceleration features of the card are exploited best to improve performance.
When considering a video card make sure to examine its performance most closely in the areas that are relevant to how you are going to use your PC.
Next: Benchmarking Video Cards