Thu. Nov 21st, 2019

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Graphics, Sound and Network Card

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A Graphics card

Graphics Card

A dedicated video graphics card (or video adapter) is an expansion card installed inside your system unit to translate binary data received from the CPU or GPU into the images you view on your monitor. It is an alternative to the integrated graphics chip. Modern video cards include ports allowing you to connect to different video equipment; also, they contain their own RAM, called video memory.

Video cards also come with their own processors or GPUs. Calls to the CPU for graphics processing are redirected to the processor on the video card, significantly speeding up graphics processing. Updating to a dedicated graphics card offloads work from the CPU and system RAM, so not only will graphics processing be faster, but the system’s overall performance will improve.

The video card also controls the number of colors your monitor can display. The number of bits the video card uses to represent each pixel on the monitor (referred to as the bit depth) determines the color quality of the image displayed. The more bits available, the better the color detail of the image.

A Graphics cardFigure: A Graphics card with output ports for both digital and analog video. The GPU sits under the fan (red) and heatsink.

A mid-range video cardFigure: A mid-range video card optimized for dual-GPU gaming (NVIDIA SLI)

Manufacturers: Nvidia (GeForce 4), AMD (Radeon).

Sound Card

An older sound card expansion card.Sound card module as an integrated circuit on the Z77

Figure: Left An older sound card expansion card. Right Sound card module as an integrated circuit on the Z77 motherboard. The indicator is showing the RealTek audio chip. In the bottom right you see the front panel audio connector which would be plugged into the microphone jack and headphone jack on the front of the case.

  • Sound cards attached to the motherboard and enabled your computer to record and reproduce sounds.
  • Most computers ship with a basic sound card, most often a 3D sound card. 3D sound is better than stereo sound at convincing the human ear that sound is omnidirectional, meaning that you can’t tell what direction the sound is coming from. This tends to produce a fuller, richer sound than stereo sound.
  • To set up surround sound on your computer, you need two things: a set of surround-sound speakers and a sound card that is Dolby Digital compatible. There are many formats to choose from such as Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Digital Plus, and Dolby TrueHD.

The ports on the sound card allow you to connect additional audio devices such as amplified speakers, headphones, microphones, etc.

Network Card

An older Network card expansion card.The Gigabit Ethernet Card as a integrated circuit onFigure: Left An older Network card expansion card. Right, The Gigabit Ethernet Card as an integrated circuit on the Z77 motherboard. The indicator is pointing to the Gigabit Ethernet chip, while just below it is a crystal

An Ethernet network requires that you install or attach network adapters to each computer or peripheral you want to connect to the network. Most computers come with Ethernet adapters preinstalled as network interface cards (NICs).

If your computer doesn’t have a NIC, your options are:

  • Buy one and install it, or
  • Use a USB adapter, which you plug into any open USB port on the system unit.
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This post contains the content of book Computer Hardware_ Hardware Components and Internal PC Connection

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