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  • The Evolution of the Graphics Adaptor
  • The Evolution of the Graphics Adaptor


    Hosts: Dennis Garcia and Darren McCain
    Time: 33:57

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    Originally recorded May 2021

    Show Notes

    Graphics cards have some a long way over the years and help to pave the way for most everything we do on our computers.  Early video cards were simply designed to display text and it wasn’t until the first graphical games that we realized that improvements needed to be made.

    With computers there are always limitations.  We say thing like “CPU Bound”, “GPU Bound” and “Storage Bound” to indicate what is preventing us from getting more performance and with early computers it was the ISA bus.  These long black expansion slots were designed for early IBM computers and didn’t need much bandwidth because the CPU couldn’t deliver much.  As CPUs increased in speed the limitations of the ISA bus became clear.  This led to developments in VLB (VESA Local Bus), PCI and PCI Express as ways to ensure that our graphic adaptors had plenty of data to process the pretty graphics we see today.

     Of course, the interface is only one part of the puzzle and things like the GPU and Frame Buffer memory all play a part in making sure that the hardware performance is no longer a limiting factor in anything we want to do on our computers.  When building your own PC it is important to understand what you are assembling and where the performance gaps are to ensure that you can not only complete your project but get the performance you are expecting and if you do have problems where you can look to resolve them.

    Related Links
    Graphics Processing Unit
    VESA Local Bus
    Accelerated Graphics Port
    PCI Express
    Possible PCIe Successor GenZ Reaches Version 1 Development Stage
    GenZ Consortium Members

    Episode 124 featured music:
    Little People - Start Shootin' (http://www.littlepeoplemusic.com/)