Radeon compendium: Graphics related terms explained
Currently there are two big players on the graphics card markets. One of them is Ati with the Radeon series. PC Games Hardware explains important details and keywords that are related to the graphics cards.
As a PC user and gamer you might have acquired a lot of knowledge about the technologies of you computer already. But there always are some unknown facts or key phrases that one couldn't really explain. Therefore PC Games Hardware introduces Ati's graphics cards and explains specific entities as well as related everyday details.
First of all we have to answer the question what a graphics card actually is. Basically a graphics card is a PC component that is responsible for processing graphics and video for on-screen display. For gamers this means, to put it bluntly, that the graphics card converts the data delivered by the games into the 3D image displayed on the monitor. There are two versions of graphics cards: Integrated graphics units are usually part of the motherboard and use system memory for graphics processing while a discrete graphics card has its own board and dedicated memory.
Ati's current series of graphics cards is the Radeon series. The first Radeon was introduced in 2000 - since then the products have been constantly revised and equipped with newly developed technologies. The forthcoming family of graphics chips will once again introduce new features like support for the DirectX 11 application programming interface or the Ati Eyefinity technology.
Below we have listed and explained several important features and terms that are related to Ati's Radeon graphics cards and technologies. In addition you can find general keywords explained on the next page. On page three of this article we give an overview over all Radeon graphics cards that offer compatibility to at least DirectX 9.
Ati Avivo HD
Ati Avivo HD is a comprehensive technology package that improves image quality and HD video playback Graphic cards with Ati Avivo HD technology provide the best image quality for viewing digital photos and playing HD video entertainment. Avivo HD enables smooth video playback on low-powered PCs, and includes compatibility with many different video formats with the integrated Universal Video Decoder (UVD) technology.
AMD's configuration and control software for Ati Radeon graphic cards. Ati Catalyst improves graphic performance and image quality, and features free monthly software updates. If you want to know more about Ati Catalyst we recommend the article Catalyst Control Center in detail which explains the features of the Catalyst user interface.
Ati CrossfireX enables adding up to four GPUs in a single PC. The interconnected graphic cards boost performance by sharing graphics processing tasks. Demanding graphics operations such as processing 3D game scenes are executed more quickly. It is easy to increase graphic performance on demand in an Ati CrossfireX-compatible PC by simply installing additional graphic cards. Ati CrossfireX only works on motherboards with compatible chipsets and more than one available PCI Express graphics (PEG) card slot.
Ati Eyefinity Technology
The Ati Eyefinity Technology enables the user to arrange multiple displays in individual setups and connect them to a single graphics card. This makes it possible to provide extended screen space for work or for playing games at huge resolutions.
Ati Graphics Scout
The Ati Graphics Scout is a tool that helps users to find the graphics card that fits best to their requirements. Simply by selecting the tasks the graphics card has to deal with the Graphics Scout identifies the ideal product from the Radeon array. The Graphics Scout website also offers additional and detailed information about the Ati graphics cards and technologies.
Ati Hybrid Graphics
Ati Hybrid Graphics enable a desktop or notebook PC to use both integrated graphics (graphics embedded in the motherboard chipset) and a discrete graphic card (plug-in graphics card) at the same time. Ati Hybrid Graphics improves graphic performance and accelerates output to the PC display.
Ati PowerPlay automatically reduces power and functionality of the graphic card during idle periods or low PC utilization. This reduces power consumption and generates less heat in the PC. Notebooks with Ati PowerPlay deliver longer battery life before requiring a recharge.
The Radeon brand has been introduced in 2000 by Ati for the graphics cards that succeeded the Rage series. Since then several generations of graphics chips have been developed and released to the markets. On the third page of this article you can find a list of all Radon graphics cards that are compatible to DirectX 9 or newer versions of the API.
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