A video card, also known as a graphics accelerator card, display adapter, or graphics card, is an expansion card whose function is to generate and output images to a display. Some video cards offer added functions, such as video capture, TV tuner adapter, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 decoding, FireWire, light pen, TV output, or the ability to connect multiple monitors.
A misconception regarding high end video cards is that they are strictly used for video games. High end video cards have a much broader range of capability; for example, they play a very important role for graphic designers and 3D animators, who tend to require optimum displays as well as faster rendering.
Video cards are not used exclusively in IBM type PCs; they have been used in devices such as Commodore Amiga (connected by the slots Zorro II and Zorro III), Apple II, Apple Macintosh, Atari Mega ST/TT (attached to the MegaBus or VME interface), Spectravideo SVI-328, MSX, and in video game consoles.
Video hardware can be integrated on the mainboard, as it often happened with early computers; in this configuration it was sometimes referred to as a video controller or graphics controller.
Edited by Murray S., 31 May 2009 - 05:32 PM.