Video Cards and Related Technologies

The Chips

The chip is the heart of the video card. It is where all the processing is done. It also makes 3D acceleration possible. The chip is to the video card, what the processor is to the computer. Of the two major chip manufacturers, ATI and NVIDIA, the former is well known for high quality and great technology.


The information must travel through tunnels called ‘pipes’, before it can be converted. On one end it starts as raw data and ends up at the opposite end in a format that is compatible with the monitor. On its way, the data undergoes the conversion process. The greater the number of pipes, the more data that can be converted simultaneously.

The amount of data that a pipe can hold is called its Memory Interface. A pipe with a 128 bit interface can process more data than one with a 64 bit interface.


The memory is used to store temporary or transient information. Video information, being very data heavy, needs more memory. The two main types of memory are SDRAM and DDR RAM. DDR is superior as it can transmit information faster.

ATI Technology

An ATI card will offer many technologies that will significantly enhance your video experience. ATI’s cards are fully compatible with all the latest 3D technologies and do not rely on your computer’s CPU to process information, as do some of the entry-level cards.


This technology will unleash a new generation of visual effects on your computer. Realistic graphics with breathtaking 3D effects are possible with SmartShader™. DVD movies can be viewed to better effect with it too.


SmartVision® has the effect of removing jagged edges, improving the image, bringing its finer details to light.


This is the latest technology [] in video processing, which is particularly for the Internet and video playback processing. It greatly improves the quality and performance of streaming video.

Touch Screen Monitor

The benefits of such technology are obvious. Rather than lugging along extra input devices such as a mouse or a keyboard, the user need only his finger to manipulate the chosen device. But it’s not just mobile devices that benefit from this type of input. All kinds of devices can be equipped, including TV and computer monitors, LCD screens, and the older CRT computer monitors. As a result, a bartender can press on a screen to ring up drinks on a busy night rather than type in a price, a nurse can input patient information with one hand. Truly, the possibilities with touch screen monitors are endless.

Touch screen monitors usually come in three varieties that enable it to recognize a person’s touch. These are resistive, capacitive and surface acoustic wave. The resistive type works by having two panels with a thin space between them. When the user presses the screen, the two panels touch at that point, and the exact coordinates are then registered with the computer.

A capacitive system runs a small electrical charge throughout the touch screen. When the user touches the chosen area, some of the electrical charge is distributed to the finger, lessening the charge at that location. The coordinates are again recorded and sent to the computer. This type of touch screen produces a clearer picture because it transmits more light and doesn’t require two panels.

Finally, the surface acoustic wave system is the best, and results in the clearest picture. Transducers are used to send electrical signals across the screen, and if a user touches the screen, they can determine where based on how the electrical signal is received from one transducer to the other.

Since the capacitive system must have a finger to absorb electricity, most non-living objects won’t register as a touch. Resistive and surface acoustic wave systems on the other hand react to just about any form of pressure. Each has its different advantages as a result, and manufacturers will only find new ways to make use of them.

Finally, although touch screens provide a natural interface for computer novices, they are unsatisfactory for most applications because the finger is such a relatively large object. It is impossible to point accurately to small areas of the screen. In addition, most users find touch screens tiring to the arms after long use.