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Computer science and engineering science fair project:
Compare the gaming performance of six different graphic cards




Science Fair Project Information
Title: Compare the gaming performance of six different graphics cards.
Subject: Computer Science & Engineering
Grade level: High School - Grades 10-12
Academic Level: Ordinary
Project Type: Experimental
Cost: High
Awards: 1st place, Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair (2006)
Affiliation: Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair (VSF)
Year: 2006
Description: In this experiment are tested six different graphic cards (3 NVIDIA and 3 ATI Radeon) and is created a system thatís suitable for an HDR and a Tri-volumetric lighting effect in PC computer games.
Link: http://www.virtualsciencefair.org/2006/krut6d2/
Short Background

A video card, also known as a graphics accelerator card, display adapter, or graphics card, is a hardware component whose function is to generate and output images to a display. It operates on similar principles as a sound card or other peripheral devices.

The term is usually used to refer to a separate, dedicated expansion card that is plugged into a slot on the computer's motherboard, as opposed to a graphics controller integrated into the motherboard chipset. An integrated graphics controller may be referred to as an "integrated graphics processor" (IGP).

Some video cards offer added functions, such as video capture, TV tuner adapter, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 decoding, FireWire, mouse, light pen, and joystick connectors, or even the ability to connect multiple monitors.

A common misconception regarding video cards is that they are strictly used for video games; a misconception that companies take advantage of in order to sell their products by advertising their products as if they were in fact video consoles. Video cards instead have a much broader range of capability. Being specialized for video, output video cards improve what a computer monitor displays. As well, they play a very important role for graphic designers and 3D animators, who tend to require optimum displays for their work as well as faster rendering in order to efficiently tone up their work.

Video cards are not used exclusively in IBM type PCs; they have been used in devices such as Commodore Amiga (connected by the slots Zorro II and Zorro III), Apple II, Apple Macintosh, Atari Mega ST/TT (attached to the MegaBus or VME interface), Spectravideo SVI-328, MSX, and in video game consoles.

ATI Radeon is a brand of graphics processing units (GPU) that since 2000 has been manufactured by ATI Technologies and subsequently AMD and is the successor to their Rage line. There are four different groups, which can be differentiated by the DirectX generation they support. More specific distinctions can also be followed, such as the HyperZ version, the number of pixel pipelines, and of course, the memory and processor clock speeds.

The multinational NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA) specializes in the manufacture of graphics-processor technologies for workstations, desktop computers, and mobile devices. Based in Santa Clara, California, the company has become a major supplier of integrated circuits (ICs) used for personal-computer motherboard chipsets, graphics processing units (GPUs), and video-game consoles.

Notable product lines include the GeForce series for gaming and the Quadro series for graphics processing on workstations, as well as the nForce series of integrated motherboard-chipsets.

For More Information: Graphics Cards

Source: Wikipedia (All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License)

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