1.0 Personal Computer Components
Video Adaptor Card:
A Video Adaptor card is an internal circuit board
that provides signals to external display device for displaying images
and text in an orderly manner. A video card is also known as video
controller card or a video board. Sometimes, video card may be an
integral part of a motherboard, and connect directly to the video
monitor using appropriate cable. Usually, for high-end applications, a
video adapter card interface is available on most of the motherboards.
The adapter card may use any of several available interfaces including
PCI, AGP (Advanced Graphic Port), PCIe, or others. :
PCI: The PCI slot was developed prior to
inferior in performance compared to AGP. A PCI adapter card is usually
cheaper than its AGP counterpart.
AGP: The AGP slot was developed later, and offers as
much as 8X improvement over PCI in terms of performance. There are
several different versions of the AGP slot. Most AGP video cards are
designed to work only with the newer AGP 2.0 and 3.0 versions.AGP
version 1.0 is obsolete.
Express (x16): The PCI Express is more recent standard, and uses different slot
type. PCIe (x16) offers performance much faster than the AGP 8X slot.
Recently, PCs are coming with at least one PCI Express slot type. Although the
names are similar, PCI Express is separate and different from PCI. They are
physically different shapes and use different standards of data transfer. A PCI
Express video card will not fit into a PCI slot and vice-versa.
Video cards provide additional functions beside the ability to render 3D
graphics for gaming. The video card interface to monitor may include:
DVI: DVI is a higher-definition output used with some newer monitors as
well as some high-end TVs. If you are using an older monitor, you can
convert the DVI signal to VGA using a DVI-to-VGA adaptor.
S-Video and/or TV-Out: Most video cards provide the ability to send the
video signal from your PC to your TV. This feature is labeled as
"TV-Out" on the video card package. In most cases, the TV-out jack
is an "S-video" type jack designed to send a high-quality s-video
signal to TV's.
Dual Monitor Support: Dual monitor support refers to splitting your video
signal to go across two monitors instead of one. This is very useful for
designers, engineers, and others who need to view large files on their
desktop and still have other windows open.
I / O (SCSI, serial,
USB, Parallel) interface
Adapter cards are available for SCSI, Serial,
Parallel interfaces. These interfaces are discussed in detail in the
Communications Adapter cards including network and modem:
a. Network Interface Card
network interface card (also known as network card or network adapter) is an
interface card that allows communication with other computers and resources on
the network. Most widely protocols include Ethernet, and Token Ring. These days,
network interface is provided as an integral part of motherboard. You can also
insert a Network card using any adapter slot on a computer. A network card using
PCI interface slot is shown below:
home and portable computers connect to the Internet through dial-up connection.
The modem provides the connection interface to the Internet service provider.
modem card will have two RJ-11 connectors, one for the phone line input, and the
other for the phone line output. The PCI interface plugs into a PCI slot on the
Identify the names, purposes and characteristics of ports
and cables for example: USB 1.1 and 2.0, parallel, serial, IEEE 1394 /
firewire, RJ45 and RJ11, PS2 / Mini-DIN, centronics (e.g. mini, 36)
multimedia (e.g. 1 / 8 connector, MIDI Coaxial, SPDIF)
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