What Is VGA And Its Functions by softappin, for this discussion, we will review the VGA Card which in this case includes understanding, history, development, type functions, how it works, weaknesses and strengths. so to better understand and understand see the full review below.
Definition of VGA Card
VGA (Video Graphics Adapter) is computer hardware that functions to translate the display to the monitor screen. VGA is also often referred to as a graphics card. VGA is used to refer to a screen resolution of 640×480, regardless of the graphics card hardware manufacturer. For the graphic design process or playing video games, a high-power graphics card is needed.
In addition, VGA can also refer to the 15-pin VGA connector which is still widely used to deliver analog video signals to monitors. The VGA standard was officially replaced by the XGA standard, but in fact, VGA was replaced by Super VGA.
History of VGA Card
On a PC there are 3 components that are very important in terms of graphics performance, these components are processor, memory, and VGA. VGA (Video Graphics Adapter) is an analog computer display standard. VGA can also be interpreted as a component whose job is to produce visuals from the computer and hardware that gives commands to the computer to display visual output that we can see.
VGA was first marketed in 1987 by International Business Machines Corporation which was shortened to IBM. IBM is a US company that manufactures or manufactures hardware and software. IBM was founded on July 15, 1911, and operated in 1888 with headquarters in Armonk, New York, and the United States.
VGA Card Development
Currently, technology is more advanced and developing, GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) developers are starting to improve their ability to produce a good VGA card. The following are some examples of VGA cards from the first to the current one:
- VGA S3 ViRGE
Stands for “ViRGE is Virtual Reality Graphics Engine”, this VGA is the first generation that has used 3D graphics technology. The S3 ViRGE has specs. 64-bit offers 4 MB of onboard memory, core and memory clock speeds up to 66 MHz and also supports features such as Bilinear and Trilinear texture filtering, MIP mapping, Alpha blending, Z-buffering, and other 3D textures.
- ATI RAGE II
ATI RAGE II has a spec. 32-bit memory bus, and only 2 MB of memory. Because of the weaknesses that exist in ATI RAGE 3D, the 2nd series song, named RAGE II, has a spec. 8 MB SDRAM, 64-bit memory bus, memory clock speeds up to 60 MHz and supports the ability to play DVD Playback.
- NVIDIA NV3
This VGA is the first made from Nvidia, this VGA is also made with Microsoft’s DirectX 5 API technology design. NVIDIA NV3 has a spec. 4 MB memory, 100 MHz core clock speeds, 1.6 GB/s bandwidth, 206 MHz RAMDAC, and supports 2x AGP.
- NVIDIA NV4
This VGA is the successor of NVIDIA NV3, but NVIDIA NV4 has no significant additions to the spec. such as maximum memory increased to 16 MB and has clock speeds at 110 MHz, but Nvidia added some capabilities to NVIDIA NV4 such as “second-pixel pipeline” technology, 32-bit true colors, and features Trilinear filtering.
- NVIDIA GEFORCE 256
This Nvidia VGA has a performance speed of 2 times faster than the previous series, this VGA has a spec. DirectX 7, 4-pixel Rendering pipeline and a feature called “cube environment mapping” which is useful for creating real-time reflection effects.
- NVIDIA GEFORCE SERIES 2
This is the first Nvidia VGA to bring a new feature, namely a pixel shader called “Nvidia Shading Rasterizer (NZR)”.
- ATI RADEON R520
This VGA presents spec. more efficient memory, better image quality, and optimal performance. In addition, this VGA has features such as the ability of High Dynamic Range (HDR) lighting.
- NVIDIA GEFORCE 9 SERIES
This VGA is the most popular output from Nvidia among the public because it includes a “High End” VGA and the most famous is the NVIDIA GEFORCE 9800 GTX which has a 128 stream processor, and a 256-bit memory bus.
- NVIDIA GEFORCE 200 SERIES
This VGA has the latest chipset output from Nvidia managed to insert 1.4 billion transistors into the GPU. This VGA is also the fastest Nvidia series and powerful capabilities. (residents, 2012).
What Is VGA And Its Functions by softappin
VGA Card Function
In simple language, the Video Graphic Adapter has the function of converting digital signals from the computer into a graphic display on the monitor screen or VGA card to translate the computer output to the monitor for drawing or graphic design or for playing games.
A graphics card, also known as a video card, is a piece of hardware installed in a computer and is responsible for rendering the image on the computer monitor display screen.
Types of VGA Cad
As for the types of VGA on a computer include:
- Onboard VGA
The onboard VGA is a processing unit that has been integrated into the motherboard, so a VGA card is no longer needed. The existence of the onboard VGA chipset is not fixed, because the onboard VGA can be set to inactive if the user wants to install the VGA card he wants.Since the IBM PC was born in 1981 almost all PCs have separate memory for the frame buffer, which is a block of memory where the image that comes out on the monitor screen is mapped. This is not a problem for systems that have character-based monochrome videos. Because the required frame buffer is only 2 KB.
But modern-based GUIs (Graphical User Interface) which require high-resolution bitmapped screens and true colors are very memory hungry. The screen resolution of 640 x 480 pixels with 8-bit color requires a frame buffer of 300 KB, while the screen with a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels with 24-bit color requires 2.25 MB of memory. The dedicated frame buffer is fixed in size.
No matter what screen mode is being used, the frame buffer must be able to accommodate the highest resolution and the best color depth it can support. The software cannot use the remaining memory from the frame buffer even though it uses a low resolution and 16 colors. This is caused by the way Video is packaged and configured in a specific graphics subsystem. Thus, Mega-mega bytes of memory is wasted. UMA (Unified Memory Architecture) unifies the frame buffer with the main memory.
- VGA Card (with VGA card)
Since the first IBM PC system, in the computer, there must be a graphics card unit, whether it’s CGA, EGA, MCGA, VGA, or something else. By using a VGA card instead of an onboard it will get better performance than a system that uses UMA (Unified Memory Architecture). If in the past an 8-bit graphics card with 512 KB of memory that could display 256 colors at a resolution of 640 X 480 was enough, now it is not. The minimum requirement for a multimedia computer is a 64-bit graphics card with 1 MB of memory.
Types of VGA Based on the Slot
- VGA type AGP
VGA AGP type, the initial AGP VGA was made, due to a significant increase in data transfer from memory, CPU to display equipment, so an AGP slot was created to install AGP VGA type. VGA AGP was launched based on the voltage value used, namely AGP 1x and 2x with a voltage of 3.3 v, while 4x and 8x 1.5 volts. here is a VGA AGP image.
- VGA type PCI
This type of VGA PCI, VGA card can be used by installing it in a PCI slot, this type of VGA is rarely used, due to limited features, its characteristics are that the slot on the front has a smudge, and the type of pin is straight vertically, more details see the following picture.
- VGA type PCI Express
PCI Express VGA type, the next development of PCI slots has extraordinary capabilities, with the name PCI Express, designed to install the latest equipment, 2 versions of the famous PCI Express slots are PCI Express 1 x and 16 x, PCI Express 16 x is used specifically to install a PCI Express type VGA, and 1x for the purpose of installing additional equipment. The physical characteristics of the PCI express VGA type are to look at its shape which has the opposite form of ordinary PCI. here are PCI Express slots and VGA.
How VGA Cards Work
When the application that is running wants to create an image, the application will ask for help from the graphics card driver. The graphics driver listens for instructions, either from the OS or from an application, then takes the necessary digital data and converts it into a format that the graphics card understands.
After that, the driver transmits the newly formatted digital data to the graphics card for rendering. The data goes to the VGA card through the slot on the motherboard (AGP/PCI-E)
After being channeled to the graphics card, the data will be sent to the graphics card memory as temporary storage. Then the GPU will take the digital data and convert it into pixels.
At this point, the pixels are not ready to be displayed on the screen. Those pixels will be sent back to Video RAM for storage. VRAM is connected directly to a digital-to-analog converter (DAC). This converter is also commonly called RAMDAC which is in charge of translating the image into an analog signal so that it can be used by the monitor. Next, RAMDAC sends the final image to the monitor via a cable.
VGA Card Components
- GPU ( Graphic Processor Unit) or VPU ( Visual Processing Unit), serves to process the image signal that will be displayed to the monitor. At first, VGA was optimized for 2D (two-dimensional graphics) but the current development is more optimized for 3D. The GPU is in the form of a chipset that is embedded in the VG board.
- Video Memory, in the form of a RAM with a certain capacity. The latest VGA has a large and fast memory capacity. The main function of video memory is to store frame buffers.
- RAMDAC (Random Access Memory Digital-to-Analog Converter), chip for converting analog signals to digital. The image information to be displayed is temporarily stored in the video memory (RAM) in digital data. To display it into an analog monitor, RAMDAC will read the contents of the video memory, convert the digital data into an analog signal, and send it via a video cable to the monitor. This component determines the refresh rate of the video card.
Weaknesses and Advantages of VGA Card
The onboard VGA card has the advantage that it is already a package with the mainboard/motherboard, so there will definitely be no problems with your computer when you use it. What’s more, the onboard VGA Card can be said to be free. Every time you buy a mainboard, you must have an onboard VGA card installed. Of course, this is very good for those of you who have a limited budget/funds in buying a computer.
While the drawback of the onboard VGA Card is that it does not have its own memory. This results in “cutting” the main memory of your CPU or laptop known as RAM “Random Access Memory” for use by VGA. If RAM is limited, of course, the overall PC performance will slow down.
As for the VGA Card add-on, the advantage is that it can do heavy rendering work and also doesn’t “eat” the main memory or RAM in the CPU “Central Processing Unit”. Processes that involve graphics will not burden the processor and your computer will process things faster.
While the drawback is that the price is a bit expensive, it can even be more expensive than a set of motherboards/mainboards plus a processor and RAM. In addition, another weakness is that it makes your computer need more electricity than usual.
If you have a power supply whose capacity is not large, then the performance of your PC/Computer will not be normal, so you are required to replace the power supply with a slightly higher one, and of course, this is not cheap or expensive.
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