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Considering Video Card Features

When you decide to buy a new video card, you need to make sure that the video card fits your motherboard and has the chipsets that you want. Also look for these video card features and specifications while you shop:

  • Onboard random access memory (RAM): Today’s video cards typically have anywhere from 64MB to 512MB of memory.

    Buy a card with as much onboard RAM as possible. More RAM equals higher resolutions with more colors on-screen.

  • Driver and standards support: Any PC video card should fully support the Microsoft DirectX video standards.

    Gamers will also appreciate robust OpenGL support (an open video standard used in 3D action games).

  • Maximum resolution: The higher the resolution a card can produce, the more your monitor can display.

  • Video capture and TV output: A card with these features can create digital video footage from an analog TV signal and transfer the image you see on your monitor to a TV, VCR, or camcorder.

  • TV tuner: A card with a built-in TV tuner can turn your PC into a TV set. You can use a traditional antenna or connect the card to your cable or satellite system.

  • Multiple monitor support: Many new video cards allow you to connect two monitors to one card. You can either see two separate desktops or make the two monitors into a seamless desktop.

  • MPEG hardware support: A video card with built-in encoding and decoding features can really speed things up when you’re working with MPEG files.

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