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Video Cards and Monitors

Video Cards are better than embedded video devices...

Buy cheap, get cheap I always say, so chose wisely ...An add on Video card

If you can't see, you can't use it. Simple. It is made up of two components; the video device (or device if embedded) and the monitor. Both work in unison, your monitor has to be able to display what the video device is putting out and the video device must not over drive the monitor.

Video cards come with different specifications: color, resolution, and speed are the main considerations.

Monitors also have different specifications: color and resolution are the main considerations.

So what do these Video devices and Monitors specifications mean?Monitor - NEC-90GX2B

Resolution: basically resolution is how well your two devices interact to display your graphics. Have you seen a fuzzy photo of some thing? It was out of focus, if you don't have a "focus" for your graphics display you have poor resolution. You can set your display to say 1024 x 786 but every thing looks "grainy" but at 800 x 600 it looks sharp.

It is just bigger. This is resolution.

Color is also a factor in resolution, the higher the numbers of colors your card can generate the higher and smoother the resolution.

The last factor in resolution is the "pixel" or "dot pitch" count your display has, a pixel is a spot on the monitor that is extremely small, this number is horizontal by vertical, such as 1024 x 786. That is 1024 horizontal pixels by 786 pixels, to add to the equation is the color factor of each pixel. The higher the horizontal by vertical number the higher the resolution.

Speed comes from..... you guessed it RAM. Although the newer video cards have their own processor, the more RAM you have the less drag on your CPU because after the CPU processes the commands and acts on the data it sends it to the Video card to be displayed.

Update 02/15/14 Newer display adapters and embedded video devices have faster RAM called VRAM and the latest memory is almost twice as fast as normal PC RAM, the memory is GDDR5, this memory at  the time of this update is still expensive.

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This data has to be stored until it can be sent to the monitor. So where does the lag come in? Two places: the monitor and the CPU. The CPU can't send any more data to be displayed until all of the previous data has been sent to the monitor. This is most noticeable in Games or when you have three or four spreadsheets, three or four word documents and email open at the same time.

Your motherboard may or may not have an embedded video device, the video on the motherboard is a chip set. The motherboard manufacture adds the video chip set as part of the design. Some of these video chip sets have fairly high resolution and speed.

Memory for embedded video devices may share the System memory, this may cause a drag on performance when the physical memory is low. If your memory is less than 2 GB and the video is sharing that memory when you open a program that has high resolution and a lot of graphics you will see a drop in performance. One way to keep this from happening is to add more physical ram. Another way is to upgrade the video with an add on card and disable the embedded video device in the BIOS.

Update 02/15/20 Over the last year my Wonderful Misses has been very generous with our extra money, it started when her iPad from around 2012 first ran out of memory (8 GB I believe) and then out of storage 8 GB, and then Apple would not update the Operating System because the processor was too old. So now she has the latest and greatest iPad and iPhone... [That may have made her feel a little guilty...] So for Christmas of 2018 I was able to find and buy a new laptop, a ASUS K550VX, i7 mobile processor, 16 GB of RAM, Intelâ„¢ embedded Video, NVidia GTX 950M video, 480 GB SSD (my personal upgrade). This system uses shared memory for the Intelâ„¢ HD 530 graphics however the NVidia graphis card has 2 GB GDDR5. The Intelâ„¢ video when I play a game I like (has extensive HD graphics) causes the CPU and the Intelâ„¢ graphics to overheat to a point where the game will drop out, not crash, it will close out to the desktop, I know that the game is ok because when I start it up it doesn't go into "safe or recovery mode". Part of the problem is the shared memory, the Intelâ„¢ graphics card is set to 512 MB in the BIOS, the normal shared memory (I can see the increase in the Task Manager when I use something that takes more memory) up to 1.5 GB, this means under extreme stress the Intelâ„¢ graphics is using 2 GB of physical RAM thus the CPU only gets 14 GB of ram to work with, this maybe part of the overheat problem and part of the dropping out of the game because when I chose the NVidia graphics the computer doesn't overheat as much and it seldom drops out of the game. Shared memory for the video graphics chip sets has been around for some time, however additional video chip sets is fairly new, the first one I saw was in a Leveno laptop about three years ago, also the additional video chips sets like the GTX 950M uses GDDR4 or better ram that isn't part of the normal computer memory.

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