Why have a video card on your computer, if not to play?

Many of the people who have computers, don't think about video cards until they think about games. But the reality is that a video card can bring a new life to your computer, even if it is an old computer, not even using it for games.

The latest video cards are not just video and 3D processing for games, many of them have powerful GPUs that make your machine take off, when programs optimized to run applications on the OpenCL library or NVidia's Cuda-based native programming, extending the data processing capacity, and freeing the bus and RAM from on-board resources for other activities.

All on-board video, integrated, either in newer processors such as Intel that comes embedded, or integrated in the chipset, consume data bus anyway and this video data is in the middle of the information that the user is using.

The DMA channel for direct access to memory imposed by the video card, gives priority to data access, so that the video continues to work, and an intensive use of RAM memory by other applications is now compromised.

Even if you are not using it for something very extreme, the RAM reserve for on-board video can be from 128 MB to up to 512 MB, and if your machine is low on memory, or has no dual-channel, this can make a big difference.

The Dual-Channel feature makes the data distributed between 2 RAM modules at the same time, doubling the transfer rate of the data bus, and as practically everything on the computer goes through the RAM, it becomes a bottleneck as well processing limiter.

Disabling the on-board video card on the motherboard is a good option, to reduce the use of DMA bandwidth, but having any video card is also useless.

Every video card has a GPU, but the fact that it can be used for other purposes or not, is the difference. Just getting rid of the DMA bus, and getting rid of 128MB to 512MB of RAM, and getting rid of the bus a little bit, and having a slower GPU than the processor itself doesn't pay.

A good video card, nowadays, for any function, even surfing the internet, and some browser games, must have at least 800 color cues (if NVidia), so that there is a performance difference between on-board and off-board, for programming purposes.

A video render is up to 45x faster using a graphics card with renders that use GPU to encode videos, and some NVidia cards convert in real time at 60 fps, all using the GPU, using a technology called framebuffer, where everything that comes out of the video, is rendered in H.264 and can be saved to a file on the computer.

Desktop and games can be saved without consuming CPU resources, as all of this work is on the GPU, and makes your computer improve performance in general, as it will have a "coprocessor", as in the days of 386 computers.

In the computers of the past, there was the main processor, for all the processing activities of the basic x86 instructions, and there was a second processor, called a coprocessor, which performed faster floating-point tasks because it had another processing structure.

Over time, the coprocessor was incorporated into the processor we know today, and currently the GPU, and GPU programming libraries, has made it a new "coprocessor" for certain activities.

A GPU cannot, so far, replace a CPU, as it does not work with x86 instructions, but low-level graphics instructions, with low complexity. While a CPU has hundreds of processing instructions, each GPU core has only a few, but these few are executed with maximum efficiency, and can be distributed in hundreds of colors.

Digital currencies, such as BitCoin, LiteCoin, Etherum, all of them to be mined and processed, depend on great computational power, that a CPU would never deliver, and use the programming of GPUs of the video cards, or specific hardware like ASIC, that elevate the power to generate hashes at speeds far above normal, that a single CPU could take years or centuries to do the same activity.

Currently, video cards have disappeared from the market, because certain cryptographic currencies, their value has grown exponentially, so video cards start to increase in price, so either it is better to run and buy yours still with the prices in mind, or wait burst the bubble and return the prices from before.

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