What do you see on your computer screen? Is it a wallpaper? Is it all icons that lead to half-forgotten things somewhere on your computer? If you look closely you might be able to see tiny dots - these are called pixels. And they are created from the translated binary data taken from the CPU to the graphics card.
Acting as a middle-man between you and the CPU a graphics card lets you see a computers' output. To break down the graphics card job think of your computer as company in and of itself, and the art department of the company being the graphics card - when the company wants some visual material they would go to the art department. They decide how to produce it and put it in a physical form.
The GPU acts in the same basis as the CPU. The CPU works with programs and applications and sends it to the graphics card. It then chooses and decides how to utilize the pixels to produce the picture sending it to the monitor through a cable.
It may sound simple in that little piece of text but making 1's and 0's into an image is an arduous task. Making a 3d image involves creating a wire frame out of straight lines, then rasterizing (filling in remaining pixels) the image, adding lighting, texture, and color. For games this happens 60 times a second.
There are 4 parts of a graphics card:
- A motherboard connector receiving and sending data and power
- A processor to compute what to display on your monitor
- Memory to temporarily hold completed images and information about each pizels
- Monitor connections to connect to a monitor