graphics card

By Will Hazeldine

a graphics card is an expansion card which generates a feed of output images to a display (such as a computer monitor). Within the industry, video cards are sometimes called ,graphics add in boards, abbreviated as AIBs with the word "graphics" usually omitted. Some graphics cards can be linked together to allow scaling of the graphics processing across multiple cards. This is done using either the PCIe bus on the motherboard, or, more commonly, a data bridge. Generally, the cards must be of the same model to be linked, and most low power cards are not able to be linked in this way. As the processing power of video cards has increased, so has their demand for electrical power. Current high-performance video cards tend to consume a great deal of power. For example, the thermal design power (TDP) for the GeForce GTX TITAN is 250 Watts. While CPU and power supply makers have recently moved toward higher efficiency, power demands of GPUs have continued to rise, so the video card may be the biggest electricity user in a computer.

Video cards for desktop computers come in one of two size profiles, which can allow a graphics card to be added even to small form factor PCs. Some video cards are not of usual size, and are thus categorized as being low profile. Video card profiles are based on width only, with low-profile cards taking up less than the width of a PCIe slot.

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