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How to Choose a Video Card and Monitor

Diane writes in with a hardware question

Question:
What makes a video card better (especially one with 2 ports for 2 monitors)? Also what is the difference between or better, high definition, flat panel, & LCD monitor?

Answer: The video card quality will depend on a number of features. They can have different amounts of RAM and different types of RAM such as DDR2 and DDR3. The chipset can be different such as Nvidia or ATI. Most games require a chipset such as Nvidia or ATI.

If you have dual outputs you can run dual monitors to increase your usable screen area. Most cards use VGA (analog) or the newer DVI (digital). Your monitor has to have a DVI input to use this connection but you can get an adapter if your video card only has DVI and your monitor doesn't. It wont help the quality compared to just going from VGA to VGA. Some cards and monitors also support HDMI outputs and inputs.

CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) monitors are the older style which creates a picture out of many rows or lines of tiny colored dots. You can get them with the curved screen or with a flatscreen. LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) monitors use liquid crystals that flow like liquid and bend light. They are smaller and lighter than CRT monitors. You will get varying options on which one gives the better picture.

 



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