How do graphics cards work?



How do graphics cards work?

In: Technology

* GFX cards take date from the computer about what should be on the screen and use it to generate the proper electrical signals to send to the display device to create the images you see.
* That electrical signal specifies what color literally every pixel of the display device should be.
* The computer will say things like, “Put a rectangle there, put a triangle here, put a circle way over there”.
* The GFX card translates that into a signal that says “make the next dot dark green, make the next dot red, make the next dot light blue”.
* For the nerds: this was very dumbed down to make it ELI5.

I’ll add that graphics cards exist as a separate part of the computer dedicated to graphics because they’re really really good at doing a ton of the same calculation at the same time. CPUs are fast but typically can do maybe 16 operations at once, while a GPU can do maybe 1600. This is great for graphics, where you often need to do the same calculation many times. It’s less good for general computer operations, where every operation might be different.