GREETINGS TO ALL FROM MALICE-CORP. Well this brings us to the last entry in the basic computer series from Malice-Corp. The GPU (Graphics Processing Unit), here we are going to look at what a GPU is and how it helps out our student (CPU) in his studies and you getting done on your PC what it is you want to do.
We have discussed the student (CPU) works with his notebook (RAM) and the research library (HDD) to get his studies done or really let you surf the internet or play whatever game you want on your home PC or laptop. Well the last part is the GPU and that fits in to our little narrative pretty easily. The GPU is our students calculator. It can be just an integrated GPU on the mother board which would be like a simple financial calculator to a high end SLI or Cross Fire rig that would be your top of the line scientific calculator. If I am losing you that is OK I will explain more below.
The Calculator (GPU)
Our Student has every thing he needs to do basic functions of a student with his notebook and research library! But we want to speed him/her up and get the job done faster, so we are going to give him a calculator. This specific calculator is for doing graphics on your PC to take that burden of your CPU. It really isn’t needed and you will get to the answer or complete the task eventually but man does it speed up doing home work and the same goes for your PC when playing video games or doing video editing.
What you need to know
When you are deciding what PC to buy you need to decide as best as possible two things. What do you intend to do with your new PC and what can you afford to spend? Lets look at these two questions one at a time.
Question 1: What do I intend to use my new PC for?
If your answer to this question in any way involves 3D graphics (i.e. video games) or video editing you will want to allocate some of your shopping budget to a higher end video card. If you don’t have either of these in your future plans you can allocate more funds to larger hard drive capacity or maybe a webcam for video chats? Really you need to know what you want to accomplish with your PC before you buy to stop from wasting money on systems you don’t need or short changing yourself on something you really wanted and now will have to shell out more cash to get later.
Question 2: What can you afford to spend?
This question gets tricky and can be prickly with some people. It is important to set a top end dollar amount before you go PC shopping. Trust me I used to sell PCs back before I joined the Army and us PC salesmen can get pretty tricky. Especially if you don’t know exactly what you want, see question 1.
What do these questions have to do with GPU(s)?
Well like I said these articles are for people new to basic computing. These question determine how much you need to worry about spending extra cash on a GPU. But we have yet to even talk about what a GPU is – well that is really because if you are new computer user this is an optional subsystem that you may not even need. I will give some of the hard stuff in the deep dive section for people that want to know more.
Really detailed (can skip this part if you don’t want a deep dive)
I will try and keep this part short, because you can literally write reams of paper on GPUs. You are really only going to find 2 different types of video cards nowadays in a PC. Either an integrated card or secondary card. Integrated meaning it is part of the motherboard and cannot be removed. These are very common in low end PCs and laptops. Integrated video cards drive the price down for the PC but also limits you sometimes in expanded ability. Especially with laptops. Video cards are the name of the subsystem that houses the GPU just for clarity. Then there are the second type of video cards. These are referred to as daughter boards as they plug into the mother board. If you want more on GPUs just comment below with your questions and I will do my best to answer them for you.
THE POINT (Basic Personal Computer Primer, part 4)
The point here is that the Calculator (GPU) is not necessary but can really improve the performance of your student (CPU). The other three components are mandatory! The GPU though is only a must if you plan on doing some really high end math for graphics and video editing.
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Jack Malice, Contributor and founder