display adapter


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display adapter

[di′splā ə‚dap·tər]
(computer science)

display adapter

A plug-in card in a desktop computer that performs graphics processing. Also commonly called a "graphics card" or "video card," modern display adapters use the PCI Express interface, while earlier cards used PCI and AGP. The display adapter determines the maximum resolution, refresh rate and number of colors that can be displayed, which the monitor must also be able to support. On many PC motherboards, the graphics circuits are built into the chipset, and a separate plug-in card is not required.

1 - The Graphics Pipeline
The modern display adapter performs two operations. The first is the graphics rendering, which moves the graphics data through a pipeline that creates the image frames and adds texture and shading, all functions previously done by the CPU in the first PCs. A high-end display adapter is a sophisticated parallel processing computer. See GPU and graphics pipeline.

2 - Analog and Digital Outputs
The second and more elementary purpose is to continuously convert the graphic patterns (bitmaps) that have been rendered in the memory frame buffers into signals for the monitor's screen.

The first PC display adapters (CGA, EGA, PGA) output digital signals, and the monitor converted them to analog for the CRT. Starting with VGA in 1987, adapters sent analog signals to the monitor; however, modern adapters output digital DVI or DisplayPort. Flat panel monitors use DVI but also include a VGA socket to accommodate older machines. On laptops, the display circuitry has been digital from end to end. See shared video memory and how to select a PC monitor.

Call It What?


Take your pick... display adapter, display card, video adapter, video card, graphics adapter, graphics card, graphics controller, VGA adapter and VGA card have all been terms for the card that creates the screen images. For a detailed list of display adapter resolutions, see screen resolution.


The World's Largest
Visitors used to explore this ceiling-high combination display adapter and sound card at The Computer Museum in Boston. (Image by FAYFOTO/Keith Quenzel; courtesy of The Computer History Museum, www.computerhistory.org.)







More Down to Earth
Although display circuitry is built into many motherboards, plugging in a high-quality adapter such as this one, based on NVIDIA chips, is still required for the fastest rendering of animation and full-motion video. (Image courtesy of NVIDIA Corporation.)
References in periodicals archive ?
This daughter card snaps onto the display adapter without requiring another slot.
-- The HP Kayak XU800 PC Workstation, with an Intel Pentium III 800Mhz processor, dual-processing capabilities, 256MB RDRAM PC800, 9.1GB 10,000 rpm SCSI hard-disk drive, Digital Video Disk (DVD), HP LAN, 2/3-D Synergy II display adapter, running Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 and optimized for Windows 2000, has an estimated U.S.
Right click on the Windows Start button > Device Manager > Display adapters.
Direct benefits include higher performance capability, the availability of display adapters for legacy display types, and the ability to connect multiple displays to a single video output.
DisplayLink's technology increases productivity and ease-of-use in the multi-display workspace and is deployed to millions of users through globally branded PC products including universal docking stations, monitors, projectors, zero client systems and display adapters.
DisplayLink's technology increases productivity and ease-of-use in the multi-display workspace and is deployed to users through globally branded PC products including universal docking stations, monitors, projectors, zero client systems and display adapters.
It supports 4x AGP to ensure compatibility with the latest high performance video display adapters, while the Ultra ATA/66 disk I/O supports the fastest hard drives available.
The new version also adds a new media kit for specifying complex series of operations performed on streaming media, expanded hardware support for devices such as soundcards, display adapters, network interface cards and video capture boards, and performance improved by up to 30%, according to Be.
Diamond Multimedia is making their BVU product line faster and more affordable with the newest additions to a thriving line of USB external video display adapters, the BVU165 and BVU165LT.
Go to the Device Manager by Start Screen -> Type "device manager" -> Enter -> Click the small arrow beside "Display Adapters" to show "Intel HD Graphics Family" -> Right click Intel hardware -> Select "Update..."
Contract notice: Supply for all ONERA centers, PCs, workstations and servers x86-64 architecture and peripherals including monitors, keyboards, mice, docking stations, display adapters, to except for printing devices
The EVO HX7 series also features NVIDIA Optimus technology, which increases battery life by toggling between display adapters while maintaining the seamless computing experience expected of CYBERPOWERPC notebooks.