A video card is an "expansion card" for your computer... If you're serious about video editing a good video card can increase the power of your video editing computer tenfold…!
Find out more below…!
You install it into your computer by using one of the expansion slots... Normally the AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port), PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) or PCI Express slot that are on the motherboard of the computer.
The components on the card itself consist of the Video BIOS (Basic Input Output System), Physical Memory (Video RAM), GPU (Graphics Processing Unit), RAMDAC (Random Access Memory Digital-to-Analog) and Video Inputs/Outputs.
Almost all PCs come with an Integrated (on-board) Video (graphics) Adapter built into the computer's motherboard.
They are usually referred to as a...
Integrated video (graphics) adapters are powerful but...a dedicated (add-on) video card has a lot more power!
Integrated video graphics adapters depend on the computer's processor and RAM to process video images making the computer slow down and work much harder.
A dedicated video (graphics) card has its own processor and RAM specifically for processing video and doesn't slow down the computer by draining its resources.
For high volume video editing you will need all the power you can get!
You'll need a dedicated video (graphics) card (or two) installed in your video editing computer.
Here are some of the basic components that you'll find on a video card...
The primary function of a computer system's main BIOS is to check for and set up the computer's hardware and load the operating system when you start (boot) your computer.
Most hardware components on a computer can wait for the System (computer's) BIOS to start them but... The graphics (video) card needs to be active very early
during the computer's boot process so that you can see on the monitor how the boot process is progressing. This requires the graphics card to be activated before the computer's operating system begins loading and this is accomplished by the graphics card onboard Video BIOS.
Modern graphics cards contain their own processor (GPU) to boost performance levels.
To support the card's processor and also put less strain on the computer's CPU and RAM the video card has it's own Video RAM built-in for the graphics cards GPU to use.
A GPU is a powerful specialized logic chip - a dedicated processor optimized for accelerating the computing of graphics data.
The GPU computing power is orders of magnitude higher than that of the computer's main CPU. It frees up the computer's CPU to execute other commands while the video cards GPU itself is handling graphics computations.
The more sophisticated and faster the graphics card's GPU is... the more realistically images are displayed on the computer's monitor.
The RAMDAC chip on the graphics card converts digital signals to analog signals for use by an analog display such as CRT monitors.
All current LCDs, Plasma displays and TVs work in the digital domain and do not require a RAMDAC. But... there are still CRT monitors and there are a few remaining legacy LCD and Plasma displays that feature analog inputs such as:
The digital displays that still feature analog inputs require a RAMDAC but... they must still reconvert the analog signal back to digital before they can display it... With... I might add... an unavoidable loss of quality stemming from this process of digital-to-analog-to-digital reconversion.
The video inputs/outputs are the connection terminals between the graphics card and the computer display.
Some of the most common connections are:
Here are some tips that you can use to make sure that your video card gives you the best performance possible...
If you are installing a new graphics card into your computer you must insure that your power supply can handle the load.
Heat will damage a graphics card if it is not properly dissipated. Three types of devices are used to cool graphics cards:
Proper computer case cooling is also helpful to keep a graphics card from getting too hot.
Just make sure you have a powerful enough power supply installed in your computer to carry the added power load.
I hope this helps you understand a little more about graphics cards..!
A good one can really increase the power of your editing computer…!
Have fun...! Dan