LIS 505 - Graphics Cards

In order to translate the screen images to the monitor the computer uses a video adaptor (video card, graphics card).

Both the maximum resolution and the performance depend on how many bits it processes at once (32, 64 or 128 bits) and how much memory is on the video adapter (2, 4, 8, 16 or even 32 MB and up).

Memory needs for different color depths and resolutions
Number of colors 16 256 65,536 16.7 million
Bytes per pixel .5 1 2 3
Resolution:
640x480 (VGA) 153 KBytes307 KBytes614 KBytes921 KBytes
800x600 240 KBytes 480 KBytes 960 KBytes 1.4 MBytes
1024x768 393 KBytes 786 KBytes 1.5 MBytes 2.3 MBytes
1280x1024 655 KBytes 1.3 MBytes 2.6 MBytes 3.9 MBytes
1600x1200 960 KBytes 1.9 MBytes 3.8 MBytes 5.7 MBytes

Note also that adjusting hardware acceleration to less than its full setting can reduce the amount of video memory available.


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Last updated October 29, 2002.
This page maintained by Prof. Tim Craven
E-mail (text/plain only): craven@uwo.ca
Faculty of Information and Media Studies
University of Western Ontario,
London, Ontario
Canada, N6A 5B7