The video card hardware essentially contains the graphics algorithms that were learned in the DOS days and even before that. The algorithms are in the hardware and are extremely fast. Rasterization, filtering, perspective correct texture mapping, anti-aliasing, vertex shaders, pixel shaders, etc, are all done on the GPU. You could never hope to achieve the effects and quality of current games without having specialized hardware. It is possible but not practical nor feasible. Anything done in software can be done in hardware but the hardware will always be faster. So the same paradigm exists between hardware and software. Essentially anything done in hardware can be done in software albeit a bit slower.
The modern video card is probably as complex as the CPU and I would guess it processes faster or perhaps is more parallel in execution. Not to mention it does not have to service the entire computer system nor perform any interrupts, etc. So it has less to do and yet also has a bit more to do than the CPU. A pixel shader essentially means that a small program is running per pixel for all pixels of some rendered object. A vertex shaders means that a small program is running for each vertex of some rendered object. Vertex and pixel shaders are normally paired. That is a lot of instructions flying around under the hood and yet the video card barely suffers any performance hit while using shaders. It's actually quite amazing what we take for granted as the modern video card. It is northing short of amazing what it is really doing at the hardware level. We've come a long way from the old video cards.
I don't think paradigm is a word used to often in a layman vocabulary!!
Anyway I don't think that would pass too well as a laymans description.
This tries to explan it a bit but I don't know if it explains what information is sent
to the graphics card from the CPU in enough detail. But I guess I get the general idea
for a static shape, but what happens when it moves or rotates and how is lighting dealt with
I don't play graphical computer games so I don't really know what they look like.
I aso don't know how much my graphics card is used, if at all in my general computer usage.
I mean if I bought a better graphics card (mine is onboard), would I notice any difference?
Probably not I would guess.
Depends on what you're doing. For general web browsing, programming (general), office use, probably not. For games or encoding (when done on the graphics card), then yes, a big difference.
The graphics card, the GPU, is one big mean processor for crunching math, as you know. Far more efficient than the processor.
I did actualy want to get a better graphics card so I could use two monitors at the same time,
but I basicall gave up on the idea as the manufacturers of such cards seemed incapable of clearly
explaining what they were capable of doing.
I think I eventually ended up sending a rude email to ATI telling them how useless they were, don't
think they ever replied, but it made me feel better :D
Anyway AMD took them over shortly after that so I guess I was right!!
I think it was in both on their own best interests to join, and not due to ATI was useless or so.
Well if you don't think they are useless find me a sutable dual monitor card from their site.
Maybe you will change your mind!! For a sempron 3000 running windows XP. PCI or PCI-E
Feel free to fire off a rude email to them if you are having trouble!!
You're looking for something that says "dual-head". Make sure that it supports your monitor connection or that you can get a converter.
Originally Posted by esbo
Search amazon.com for "Radeon dual head".
You can't get information on how to get a dual-head card from ATI because they deal with the chips, not the cards.
Originally Posted by robwhit
Thanks robwhit, I tried that on ebay and found this
Looks like the kind of thiing I was looking for and has nice pictures of it working.
Pretty cheap but not sure if it has enough memory compared to what I have on board
Mind on board is Radeon Express 200 with 256 memory (64meg video) the ebay (im in UK)
one just says 64meg so that seems a downgrade, but does that matter.
The 256 meg ones on ebay are expensive, 6 times the price. I don't really want to
pay that price. I think I might be able to use my existing graphics card and a simple extra
card but I am really confused about the whole thing.
I'd try that ebay card though, it's only about £10.
Oh there is a £11 shiping fee...
Might give it a try anyway.
I think I might be able to do it if I just added a dirt cheap basic graphics card but I doubt
ATI would want to tell me that when the could sell me one for £400 instead :D
Make sure you don't get one that is simply equal to your onboard video.
What motherboard/chipset do you have?
I don't like ATI...
Originally Posted by robwhit
I use nVidia...
And btw, the card I have, and indeed, since my last GF4Ti, I've always had dual monitor support.
Yes, I only mentioned ATI because that's what the discussion was about, not because of favoring one or the other.
Originally Posted by robwhit
* Motherboard manufacturer's name: MSI MS-7184
* HP/Compaq name: AmethystM-GL6E
* Northbridge: ATI RS482
* Southbridge: ATI SB400
ATI Raedon Express 200 on board graphics.
" ATI Radeon technology allows dual-display management on 2 monitors and on multiple layers of desktop workspace. ATI Radeon Xpress 200 takes it one step further with unique SurroundView™ technology allowing users to add a discrete ATI Radeon graphics card to enable triple-display management for multi-tasking with multiple applications and complex spreadsheets, and specialized engineering and CAD applications – a benefit not available from any other integrated graphics technology."
However.....my motherboard only has one graphics port on it, (A VGA one) so it looks like
I am stuffed, all they needed to do was add an extra port it seems?
Some nice photographs here.
So it seems like I already have the capability just not the exta port, I am just wondering if
it is possible to add an extra port??? I guess not but I will look into it anyway.
I mean I suppose there are pins on the chipset which would connect to the exta port but they
are just not connected?
I did read that ATI were 'not very good at' dual monitor cards abd that Nvidea were better, but
ATI is meant too be more compatible with AMD processors.
The blame lies more in the motherboard. Not to say graphics cards and processors can't completely interfere with each other, but 99% of the time, they don't. If they do, it's usually the motherboard's fault.
*shrug* when I first went dual monitors, I had put a 16meg PCI card into my computer just for internet use and such so it was plenty while my onboard, which was only 64meg was my primary.