KarbosGuide.com. Module 7

  • About the video system
  • About video cards
  • About sound cards
  • About digital sound and music.

    The contents on this and following pages:

  • Introduction
  • Concepts and terminology
  • Screen resolution, screen size etc.
  • About colors, color depth, RGB etc.
  • About refresh rates
  • TCO standards
  • LCD displays

    The video system (of which the monitor is a part) is one of the most important components in the PC. It affects directly your pleasure of working, and actually also your health. At the same time, the video system shows the biggest variation between different PCs. Read my coverage of this subject here in this module, which is subdivided into several pages.

  • Next page
  • Previous page

  • Introduction

    All computers are connected to some type of display, which usually is called the monitor. Monitors are available in many different types and sizes. The size generally goes from 12 to 21 inches diagonal.

    The monitor is a part of the computer video system. To understand how to obtain a good screen image, we need to look at the complete video system. It includes these three elements:

  • The graphics card (also called the video card or video adapter). It is an expansion card, which generates electric signals to the monitor.

  • The monitor itself, which is connected by a cable to the video card using some kind of interface.

  • A device driver which Windows uses to control the video card, to make it send the correct signals to the monitor.

    These three elements must be fitted and matched to achieve quality images. Even the finest and most expensive monitor will only render mediocre images if it is connected through a low quality video card. All video cards depend on the right driver and proper settings to function properly otherwise the card will not perform well:

    In these pages, I will review the complete video system. First you can read about the video image construction, pixels. resolution, and refresh rate. Those are very central subjects. Later, we will look at different monitor and video card types. Finally, we put it all together in Windows .

    Fast development

    The video system has developed as explosively as the rest of the PC since the 1980s. These improvements have occurred in different areas:

  • The monitors both the tubes and the electronics continue to improve, and the flat panel monitors has come along. The newer monitors render better images - sharper, with better resolution and better colors. Big plasma screens is a new and interesting technology.

  • The video cards are getting faster. They can deliver better images, which the new monitors are capable of producing. The user gets more tuning options. New RAM types and buses will increase speed, and new features are added.

  • Video presentation, DVD, and 3D games are other areas of development, which will change the video card standards.

    The video system is a sub system in the PC, with its own technological development. At the same time, monitors and video cards are areas, where manufacturers and dealers often cut corners. As an ordinary user, you can improve your screen images significantly with careful planning. That holds true when you buy your PC - you must select your video system carefully.

    It also holds true for existing video systems, where better drivers and software optimizing can help produce the optimal screen image. We will look at that in these pages.

  • Next page
  • Previous page

    Learn more

    Read about video cards in Module 7b .

    Read about sound cards in Module 7c .

    Read about digital sound and music in Module 7d .

    [Main page]
    [Karbo's Dictionary]
    [The Software Guides]

    Copyright (c) 1996-2005 by Michael B. Karbo. www.karbosguide.com.