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Graphics card

A graphics card or video card is a component of a computer which is designed to display images on some sort of display medium, most often a monitor utilising a variety of display standards.

As was in the past, many graphics cards are standalone devices, attached to a motherboard via the ISA, PCI, VESA, or AGP busses. Increasingly, however, the graphics card is no longer a "card" in the strictest sense, but is an integrated section of the motherboard dedicated to the same purpose.

Since integrated-graphics-displays produce inferior performance compared with standalone graphics cards (due to using cheaper chipsets and system memory rather than dedicated memory), many still prefer non-integrated solutions. These more-advanced graphics cards, usually geared toward displaying 3D graphics for games are still card-based. Their processing engines are sometimes called GPUss (Graphics Processing Units). Conversely, sometimes 3D-graphics capibilities are not relevant to the choice of high-performance graphics card; 2D graphics and fine visual-quality fill specialised niches in areas such as medical imaging.

See also : framebuffer graphics.