What Are the Functions of a Video Card in a Computer?

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A good video card efficiently decodes complex video files and allows you to connect multiple monitors at a time.
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To meet the specifications of the graphic design and video programs necessary for the production of an effective corporate marketing campaign, your computer must first have an appropriate video card installed. This piece of hardware provides additional memory and data allowances for image viewing on your computer system. Computers that do not have dedicated video cards spend more time and system resources producing these images because they draw from the system's main RAM, limiting the available processing power required for other programs.


Power and Data

Power and data from the computer's motherboard and central processing unit are supplied to the video card's graphical processing unit. The GPU performs complex mathematical operations to determine how pixels of an image should appear on the monitor. Contemporary video cards mainly process calculations related to 3-D computer graphics, but they also manage basic 2-D images and tell the computer how to buffer frames of video.

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Graphic Design

Graphic design and video-editing software takes a good deal more memory than typical office software like word processors and spreadsheet programs, so a system with no video card running graphics-intensive programs would get bogged down and lag. Video cards provide a significant amount of video-only memory that clears CPU resources, so the system runs more efficiently when you're trying to work with large files.


Videos, Flash and Games

A video card allows the monitor to produce fast action sequences, ideal for high definition video needs or the vivid colors and sharp lines of computerized flash apps and games. The more frames per second -- a high definition video requires about 60 frames per second -- the smoother motion appears. Technology advances in gaming mean graphics are becoming more and more realistic; a high-quality video card makes the action smooth and the images brilliant.



Updating the Driver

Regardless of what graphics card you have installed, maintaining the latest drivers allows you to maximize its features and prevent errors. Updating your video-card driver can often fix choppy or stuttering video, poor display performance or error codes in video programs. Use your operating system's automatic updating feature to check for updates, or visit the video-card manufacturer's website to find out if any are available.



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