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Graphics Card Terminology - Printable Version

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Graphics Card Terminology - MrAlex - 29-05-2009 05:50 PM

Graphics Card Terminology
Does tech talk scare you, especially about graphics cards? Then you’ve come to the right place. Here I’ll post all the info you’ll need to know, the terminology to be exact, which should help you understand graphics cards better.

Refresh Rate
Refresh rate is basically what it sounds like; it is how many times your graphics card re-draws (or ‘refreshes’) the screen. Usually, the higher the refresh rate the better, as the image is clearer and while remove any artefacts or lines. It is measured in Hertz (Hz), so a refresh rate of 75Hz, means the screen is redrawn 75 times.
FPS
FPS is an acronym for Frames Per Second, which is what it means – how many frames (pictures) displayed every second. The higher the better; for optimal frame rates, 60Fps is usually the best as it provides the smoothes possible game play for the least fps. The more properties are enabled like anti-aliasing (the smoothening of edges) and higher details, the lower the FPS because the graphics card has to process more. FPS are also used to show how powerful your graphics card is – especially for graphically intense games such as Crysis. At full settings at 2560x1600 the most powerful single card out there (ATI Radeon HD 5970) can manage a smooth framerate of 60FPS without any AF or AA.
Pixels
Your whole screen is made of pixels – tiny dots that can display up to 3 or 4 different type of colour. Pixels are short for picture element. The 3 or 4 colours are red, green, blue (RGB) or cyan, yellow, magenta and black. When we talk about screen resolution, we talk about how many pixels are shown on the screen. For example, 1280x1024 means that there are 1280 pixels from side to side (left to right or vice versa) and 1024 from top to bottom (vertically).
GDDR
Not to be confused with DDR – GDDR is the memory that graphics cards user, while DDR is what RAM uses. GDDR is the amount of memory that is processed, and usually helps in higher resolutions. There are 5 type of GDDR memory – GDDR, GDDR2, GDDR3, GDDR4 and GDDR5.
Anti-Aliasing
Anti-aliasing is the smoothening of the edges of objects. It makes objects look much better and more realistic, and the more the anti-aliasing the better it looks. One problem with this is that it adds incredible load onto the graphics card, but the most common settings are 2x and 4x.
Anisotropic Filtering
Anisotropic Filtering is a method of making textures appear crisper. When textures get deformed, usually due to distance AF helps to reduce artifacts and image tearing. Here is an image of AF in action.
Vertical Synchronisation
Vertical Synchronisation, often abreviated to VSync is a method that tends to 'lock' the FPS of an application to the Refresh Rate of a monitor. For example, most monitors have a refresh rate of 60Hz and therefore with VSync enabled FPS get locked to 60 FPS. This is usually done for higher image quality and to prevent image tearing.

I'll add more terms later on...


Re: Graphics Card Terminology - Munsta - 29-05-2009 05:53 PM

Thanks MrAlex, this is very useful.

I have stickied this now Smile


Re: Graphics Card Terminology - Nova - 05-06-2009 03:00 AM

for some reason my sims look more like that first a than the second, any settings for the sims I can do to change that?


Re: Graphics Card Terminology - Bat - 05-06-2009 04:01 AM

Increase your smooth edges setting.


Re: Graphics Card Terminology - Nova - 08-06-2009 03:33 AM

On my laptop now and the ctrl + shift + c is not working - anybody know what might be wrong?


Re: Graphics Card Terminology - MrAlex - 08-06-2009 09:29 AM

(08-06-2009 03:33 AM)Nova link Wrote:On my laptop now and the ctrl + shift + c is not working - anybody know what might be wrong?

dateline= Wrote:Press and hold both ctrl and shift ..as you hold them tap the c button..if it doesnt work ..try the other shift and ctrl on the other side of the keyboard ..there are two sets one on the right and one on the left ..if one set doesnt work the other might ....it is probably an issue with your keyboard ..hope this helps
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080127120621AAo5DX4


Re: Graphics Card Terminology - Nova - 08-06-2009 06:06 PM

tried all the different variations - didn't know if there was another way to bring it up


Re: Graphics Card Terminology - GameGirl - 17-06-2009 01:12 AM

(Post deleted)


Re: Graphics Card Terminology - MrAlex - 18-06-2009 01:21 PM

(17-06-2009 01:12 AM)GameGirl link Wrote:I went out and bought the Nvidia 9400GT 1024 DDR2 memory.
Ok, first off for $69 you can buy a Radeon HD 4670 which beats the NVIDIA 9600 GT and just imaging what it will do to a 9400 GT.

Second of all what has that post got to do with the thread?


... - 2qewl4u - 25-06-2009 04:46 PM

Thanks! This was very useful {yes}