"AMD RADEON HD3450 PCI-E Dual DVI" by futase_tdkr - Own work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

AMD RADEON HD3450 PCI-E Dual DVI” by futase_tdkr – Own work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

A computer is a simple machine we see and is part of our daily lives. How does it work would be the common question especially to the young individuals. Rich graphic designs which they enjoy as they play fascinate not only the kids but the adults who are still young at heart as well.

What makes these pictures come to life then? A graphic card is the one responsible for the 2D animations that each and every one of us enjoys today. Not only in the games that our children play but as well as viewing photos that come from all sorts. Graphic components are part of a computer that regulate and improve the display in the computer of the graphics which may be classified as the following:

  1. Videos
  2. Animation
  3. 3D
  4. Programs
  5. Pictures

Most often than not a graphic part is plugged in a detached card that is inserted into the main part of the computer called motherboard. This is the reason why normally a graphic component is referred by many as a graphic card. There are also instances wherein a graphic card is custom built directly into the motherboard.

Below are some of the names used for a Graphic Card

  1. Video card
  2. Display Adapter
  3. Graphic Accelerator
  4. Video Adapter

Graphic Adapters will not function without the platform that controls how the graphic component function with the rest of the computer such as the monitor, software etc. hence; the term Graphics Driver.

Similar to that of a television built with 110V, it cannot be plugged to a 220v electric current otherwise it will ruin the appliance or a television model manufactured in the 70’s will not work properly with the Play Station 2 or an Xbox that is commonly played today. Moreover, an iPhone cannot be recharged over a Samsung charger, simply put a key won’t work if it is not matching with the key hole.

The same principle applies with how a computer works. A lot of things can actually happen with the driver. It can either cause a trouble between other computer parts. A video card may be the reason for a sound card not to work properly moreover, completely stop working. There are instances where you may experience a lot of bugs which is usual to most of the software as it needs to be updated on a regular basis so you can get the best out of the device it control. Furthermore, the reason is that there are figuratively thousands of pieces of different hardware in use in just one computer. It can really be tedious and difficult for a typical user to find and locate the correct driver for the system. These are the challenges that ATI Radeon Graphic Card Drivers along with its Download Utility claim to resolve hence; the creation of the all-in-one solution device to enable your drivers to be up to date avoiding any conflicts.

These are some of the benefits you will get from ATI Radeon Graphic Card Driver Download Utility:

  1. Faster Internet Connection and Speed of up to 5 times
  2. Drivers are always up to date hence; better PC performance
  3. ATI Radeon device will surely run smoothly
*Image courtesy of koko-tewan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

*Image courtesy of koko-tewan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So you’re asking yourself this, “What are computer processors?” Okay let me explain as best as I can. The processor also known as the central processing unit interpreting carries out the basic instructions that operate a computer. Simply part is the brains of the computer and the faster this processor is the better it can communicate with the computer. It significantly impacts overall computer power and manages most of the computers operations. A basic computer only needs one processor to do a whole lot a tasks. The newer version of the processor, the faster you can perform applications without waiting; that’s basically it really.

Now when people tell you a computer has more processors, they are referring to mainframes and supercomputers that power users utilize on a daily basis. Hmm let’s see… What is a good example I can give you? Ah, remember how meteorologists use mainframes and supercomputers to accurately tell the conditions of the weather and forecasts? Yeah, something like that. Even better, what about how NASA uses these mainframes and supercomputers to communicate with astronauts effectively? Yeah, that.

Very important here, this is where I get right down to it. Processes contain a control unit and arithmetic logic unit or ALU. These works side-by-side to perform processing operations. Like I said before is much like the brain in this case when it comes to computers. Let me put it this way to you almost all devices connected to the computer has to communicate with the processor in order to perform functions effectively.

The ALU performs arithmetic, comparison, and logical operations. It is much like mathematics in the eyes of the processor, and like most cases it does not understand letters and numbers. What it understands is on and offs like the switch you see on your desktop or laptop. Most of it understands ones and zeros. Arithmetic operations like basic calculations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division a lot faster than way back in the 1940s. Comparison operations needed for database entries; you know stuff like what is graded then, equal to, or less than the other item. More important usage of this is business when the employer has to determine overtime pay. Logical operations such as and, OR, and not; again important for business operations. Software that uses these operations in full what I have experienced is Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access.

All processes have to go to a set of instructions. Okay let me explain this to you a bit to understand. Okay let’s say you want to enter a mathematic problem into the computer. All right, let’s say you want 42 x 56 and imput it into the computer. The first process is the fetch operation which is basically obtaining a program instruction or data item from memory. The next part for the control unit to do is to decode that data for it to be sent to the ALU. That part is the process of translating that instruction into signals the computer can execute. The ALU then executes this command and performs the necessary calculations needed on the day that was sent to it. Basically it was executing 42 x 56 = 2352 as the results. Now the last part is to storage of this data or storing it. It just means writing the result into memory, but don’t get confused as this is not storage medium. Besides, it was just giving you an answer of 2352. By combining all of these instructions, it is known as the machine cycle of the processor. Keep in mind that processes back in the old days perform only one instruction at a time.

You may not notice this but you should be grateful for a concept that most modern processors have; this is known as pipelining. This just means that more instructions can be processed instead of having you wait. This is why modern known processors are so powerful because there are more pipelines for you to do many instructions with. Think of it more like employees that do the same thing as their job description. The more hired hands, the more people can get done whereas only one person you have to wait until their job is done. In a logical computer sense, by the time the first instruction is in the last stage of the machine cycle, the other instructions sent to it could have finish before it. Makes more sense if you open up more than one application on your computer to put it bluntly.

Let’s talk about things like registers (yes they are also part of the processor but not the part of the memory). You may heard of things like cleaning up your registry data but you really don’t know what this is don’t you? Well, they temporarily hold data and instructions. Registers come in different varieties all with a specific function. When I talk about the machine cycle, registers store practically what happened during the process.

Very important here, the process relies on a small personal circuit which is known as the system clock. You may wonder why people talk about overclocking your processor. Well ladies and gentlemen this is the source material of it the first grasp and understand. Just like the heart in the human body has to beat in order to keep it alive. So does the functions of a system clock. It generates regular electronic process, or ticks, that set the pace of components of the system unit. The clock speed is part of the pace of the system clock which is measured by the number of ticks per second and it is measured in hertz. More processors today range in the gigahertz. The actual system clock is one of the major factors that influence the computer speed. The faster it is the more instructions it can give per second. Please note that this does not affect on other devices such as the hard drive and the printer. Remember the process is actually put on the motherboard and it is the brains of the computer.

Quite a bit of info about the processor but I hope this post clears up the information about what the actual processor is and why it is so important on the computer.

*Image courtesy of Iamnee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

*Image courtesy of Iamnee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Memory consist of electronic components that store instructions waiting to be executed by the processor, data needed by those instructions, and the results of process data. Memory usually consist of one or more chips on the motherboard or some other circuit board in the computer.

The computer memory stores three basic categories of items: the operating system and other system software that control or maintain the computer and its devices; application programs that carry out a specific task such as word processing; and the data being processed by the application programs and resulting information. The role of memory to store both data and programs is known as the store program concept.

The basic storage unit in memory is known as the byte(character). When application program instructions and data transfer into memory from storage devices, the instructions and data exist as these bytes. Each bite resides temporarily in a location in memory called an address. Okay let me give you an example; let’s say you have entered a classroom, that particular classroom has 36 seats and all of them are empty. The teacher enters his or her seat; that’s one chair down. You have entered another seat; which is another taken up. Now you have 34 seats left; also take note that each seat is numbered and labeled. Now the rest of the class comes in and fills the rest of the seats. Now you have a full classroom with all seats filled in. Now when the class session is over, all the seats have not been emptied for that day.

Now let’s put this into computer terms: an address in memory holds one single byte; both the seats and the address can be empty; the seat has an unique identifier and so does a memory address. To access all of this data in memory, the computer references the address that contain bytes of data. This is much similar to the teacher asking a student to perform a task. If a student lazes about, they get punished. Well in a computer term, if a byte is not performing its task then it goes towards another bite in the address. Storage devices hold data and instructions for future use, while most memory holds these items temporary.

The system unit contains two types of memory, volatile and nonvolatile:

Volatile memory is memory which contents are lost when the device is powered off. RAM is thia and, as a result, serves as a short-term storage location. It requires power to retain stored information which means that this is vastly more expensive per unit than its counterpart, but much quicker to access, hence its use as temporary memory. That’s WHY the bytes tend to be lower; a few GBs these days for now.

Non-volatile memory however does not lose its contents when the power is removed from the computer. ROM is this and as a result serves as long-term storage. Think of it like your brain storing information when you read a book or retaining information on what is said or what happened to you. It stays in your brain for quite a while and in some instances, the actions you take from remembering what happened comes like clockwork. Uses are typically referring to when somebody asks you about non-volatile memory, they are talking about storage devices such as the hard drive, flash disks etc. and the only way these can be removed if the user deletes the information on them. The other way which is worse happens to be magnets as they corrupt data when you put them near said storage devices.

Well this is about covers it about the memory of a computer.

*Image courtesy of koko-tewan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

*Image courtesy of koko-tewan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Graphic cards also known as video cards, graphic adapters or display cards are what you see while you use your monitor. Computers today mostly come with the video controller with the video part integrated onto the motherboard. If you are having problems with integrated graphics than today’s computers can easily install a graphic card and bypass the built on internal one but make sure that you can disable the controller on the motherboard if it gives you trouble. That is one scenario but if you need to install the graphics card ironically the integrated one was still work in helping you out by displaying what you are doing to install the graphics card. Just make sure that you have the installation files that came with your graphics card if you have bought it from a computer store.

Now take into consideration, the number of colors a video card displays is determined by its bid depth, which simply means the number of bits it uses to store information about each pixel. Let’s say for example and eight bit video card uses eight bits to start information about each pixel. At the end of it, only 256 colors can be displayed. The more bits a graphics card has the better the display. This is why so many applications that use video or graphics demand more and more bits of data coming in. If you ever wonder why people that want high definition movies and clear display crave for that experience, now you know. That’s the same with game enthusiasts wanting more and more quality experience when playing their games either off-line or online.

Now let’s look deeper into what a graphic card does when sending information to a cathode Ray tube(CRT) monitor. In another blog post I mentioned that the processor is the brain of the computer. Well, it sends that digital video data onto the graphics card. The video card digital to analog converter(DAC) converts the digital video data to an analog signal. Then it gets sent to the cable onto the monitor which separates the analog signal into red green and blue signals. Electron guns fire these three signals to the front of the monitor and then the image is displayed on the screen when the electrons hit the phosphor dots on the back of the screen. Remember, this is the explanation for CRT monitors and the basic instructions the processor use to send to a video card. Although LCD monitors also uses a processor and sometimes a video card, they work quite differently and the analog signal reverts back to digital.

Okay the way LCD works is this, first a panel of florescent tools emits light waves through a polarizing glass filter, which guides the light towards the layer of cells. Second, as the light passes true and electrical charge from a transistor causes some of the cells to twist making the light waves bend as they pass through a color filter. Third, then the light reaches the second polarizing glass filter light is allowed to pass through any cells that line up at the same angle as the first polarizing glass filter. The absence and presence up current like costly image appear on the display. I would like to state otherwise but facts is facts no matter how it is put. The processor sends a digital video data in almost the same way to the video card to LCD monitor. Laptops, smart phones, and other devices that utilizes LCD goes to the same format.

I hope this about covers it about what a graphics card in the computer is. It is complicated a bit but now you see why and I try explain as best as I could.