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Old 11-06-2005, 12:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What is the difference and/or significance of 128 and 256MB in a video card? Is this the amount of memory in the card or what? Also, what exactly are pipelines in a video card, their funtions, purpose, etc. 64 bit... 128 bits? Is the resolution the max resolution the monitor can handle? What is 3.0 Cinefax shading? What does it do? What is the best brand of video cards?

A lot of questions, I know. But I do not know a lot about video cards and what specifications work best when buying a video card. I bought a Nvidia 6600, I know it's not that great considering the new 7800, but I can always upgrade. Until I do, I would like to learn more about video cards.
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Old 11-06-2005, 12:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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the significance of having more memory on a video card is the games you play will run alot faster. Example: a 64MB integrated graphics card will run games way slower than a 128MB Geforce video card.

Most video cards can go up to 1600*1200 dpi total. That is the most pixels the video card can display all together. The amount of pixels your monitor displays depends on your monitor itself
Example:
15" monitors: 1024*768 max
17" monitors: 1280*1024 max
19" monitors: 1280*1024 max
21" monitors: 1600*1200 max

If you need to learn anything else about video cards, feel free to PM me
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Old 11-07-2005, 10:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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He's obviously asking the questions from a "technical standpoint".. Not from a "performance standpoint"..

For example, with respect to the memory question, it has to do with "what" your video card can do with all the extra memory.

A 1280x1024 display at 32-bit resolution requires,

1280 x1024x32 = 5 MB

So what do you need all the other memory for?.. Well, a vid card does a lot of other crap too. Anisotropic Filtering, anti-aliasing, etc. etc.

This extra stuff requires more meory. So in a sense, the vid card requires a lot of extra buffer space to these cool stuff. More memory, the higher [resolutions/bit depths] you can support as well as more "affects" you can have in your game.

That's why people say "what's the point in having a lot of video memory, if your GPU is not fast enough".. Well, it's b/c the GPU can't "do stuff" fast enough to actually need the memory - like intense AF, AA and such.
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Old 11-07-2005, 11:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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i think video memory is not that important because sometimes 128MB card can be better than 256MB, i.e 128MB nvidia 6600GT is better than 256MB 6600 (not GT)
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Old 11-07-2005, 01:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That's b/c of the GPU.. Obviously, a 6600 GT != 6600 ...... Believe they differ in the clock frequency as the primary difference.

What you "should" say is that the extra 128 MB on the 6600 (vanilla) is a waste of $$. But, if you get a 7800 series card and put 128 MB on that, that'll be a waste of the GPUs power - so more memory is better in that case..
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Old 11-07-2005, 03:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Ok so basically if the card can run at a high clock speed, then the extra memory is a neccessity because of the higher clock rate. But if a card runs on a lower clock speed, then the 256 or 512 is not neccessary because the clock speed of the card would not be able to support a higher amount of memory?
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Old 11-07-2005, 04:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well it's not really the "clock speed" by itself that determines how much information is produced by the GPU. Same goes for the Intel vs AMD debate. WHile a higher clock speed is certainly a factor, it depends on how much "work" you do with each clock tick. That makes sense?

So things with a higher clock speed are not always better - even though it is one of the factors that determine the overall work produced by a component. A higher clock speeds WITHIN some class family of components (e.g. AMD 64 Venice) usually means, it is faster. But when you try to compare outside of the family, it is not a reliable measure (AMD vs Intel).

That being said, if the GPU doesn't have enough "horsepower" to take advantage of the memory, then there is no point. If it has enough horsepower, then a lot of memory will be useful.
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Old 11-08-2005, 11:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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check out:

http://www.computerhope.com/help/video.htm
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