How does a graphics card work?

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by BloodyFlame, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. BloodyFlame

    BloodyFlame GBAtemp Fan

    Aug 6, 2010
    United States
    Just something I wanted to know. I've heard terms like tessellation and rendering, and I want to know what it means. From the very basics to the advanced, how does a graphics card work?
  2. DiscostewSM

    DiscostewSM GBAtemp Guru

    Feb 10, 2009
    United States
    Sacramento, California
    Think of it like this. A graphics card contains it's own processors, RAM, etc that are specifically designed to handle data relative to graphics, whether that be polygon geometry, textures (images), pre/post-processing effects, etc. Whatever can be rendered (which is a term for processing a model/scene into an image that gets displayed) by the graphics card is sent to it, held in its RAM, and processed there instead of through the CPU (so long as the graphics card has the capability).

    Hardware tessellation can be defined as a process of increasing the complexity of a polygonal model without having to manually add that complexity in.
    Here's a visual representation of hardware tessellation...
  3. OSpencerO

    OSpencerO GBAtemp Regular

    Jun 28, 2005
    From Nashville, Tennessee In Knoxville, Tennessee
    In my opinion, you should start off with the basics.
    For Example...
    After you learn the basics you should have more of an idea of what you want to know & be able to search for it.
    For Example...
    It will take awhile to learn everything that it sounds like you want to know.
    If you are at the age where you are going to school I would look into taking a class like diversified technology. "Tech Class"
    I started taking it in 7th grade middle school, then again in high school & by the time I was a junior I was one of the kids hanging out in the shop for half the day. :)
    I hope that helps you.