Glossary of Terms

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(Some content supplied by Wikipedia)

  • +/- RW These letters specify the formats to which a DVD burner can write. Four formats exist: +R, -R, +RW, and –RW. Check the specifications of the drive you have selected to match with the kind of blank DVD discs you buy.
  • 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet : Mbps stands for “megabits per second” and refers to the speed of data transmission across a network. 10/100/1000 refers to the amount of megabits per second that a card is capable of transmitting: either 10, 100, or 1000 megabits per second, allowing for maximum compatibility with all networks. 1000 Mbps = 1Gbps (Gigabits per second), which is why the technology is referred to as “Gigabit Ethernet.”
  • AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port): Older standard interface a video card uses to connect to the motherboard. The number in front of the letters denotes increased speed; for example, “8x AGP” means the video card supports AGP speeds up to eight times its original specification. the AGP specification is rarely used for video adapters in today's systems as modern GPUs most commonly utilize the PCI-E specification.
  • AGP Fast Writes : Technology that lets a program directly access a video card’s memory, resulting in faster performance.
  • AI NOS : The ASUS Non-delay Overclocking System (NOS) is a patented ASUS motherboard technology that auto-detects the CPU loading and dynamically overclocks the CPU speed when needed.
  • Aliasing : The tendency of a straight, diagonal line to form jagged “edges” on a computer monitor.
  • Alpha Bending : Graphics technique that simulates transparency, such as in smoke or fog.
  • Anisotropic Filtering : Filtering technique that automatically blends and corrects perspective. Preferable over, but slower than, bilinear or trilinear filtering.
  • Anti-aliasing : Technology that reduces or eliminates the jagged appearance of straight lines on a computer monitor, resulting in smoother images.
  • API (Application Programming Interface): A set of pre-defined instructions that allows programmers quick access to routine tasks. Since APIs automate certain functions, they become attractive to game programmers who have to program the same tasks to occur repeatedly.
  • Artifact : Distorted or otherwise undesirable video output such as tearing (gaps between textures), ghosting (blurring of images), erroneous pixels, or image flickering.
  • ATA (PATA) (Advanced Technology Attachment): Interface that allows hard drives to connect to the motherboard. Revisions of ATA include ATA/66, ATA/100, and ATA/133, all offering increased speeds. Also known as Parallel ATA or IDE, this interface is almost phased out with the introduction of SATA hard drives. Optical drives currently still commonly require an IDE interface.
  • Athlon 64 and 64-bit processing (for AMD systems): While 32-bit processors can only handle 4 gigabytes (billions of bytes) of data, 64-bit processors can address 16 exabytes of information – that’s 3 orders of magnitude beyond one trillion. While that is a futuristic amount of information, 64-bit processors are still attached to modern-day memory and system bus architectures. However, 64-bit processors will not fully realize their potential until the introduction of a true 64-bit operating system and 64-bit software. At present the key to 64-bit processors is not speed, which has been the traditional measure of a processor’s power, but its ability to handle large amounts of data more efficiently than a 32-bit processor.
  • Bilinear Filtering : Filtering technique that blends adjacent textures. Provides less visual quality than trilinear or anisotropic filtering, albeit with more speed.
  • Blu-ray Disc (aka BD): An optical disc storage media format. Its main uses are high-definition video and data storage. The disc has the same dimensions as a standard DVD or CD.
  • Bump-Map : A 3D texture with “feel.” Imagine a cobblestone street: a regular texture would have 2D stones drawn onto a flat surface and shaded to give the impression of depth, but a bump-mapped texture would give a more realistic appearance of stones sticking out of the ground.
  • Cable Card : This hardware device is a special card that allows you to watch digital cable TV on a Digital Cable Compatible Windows Vista based PC. Your local cable system operator supplies the card.
  • Cache : Similar to the cache on processors, a hard drive's cache stores frequently-used information for quick access. The larger a drive's cache, the more information it can store inside.
  • CAS Level (aka CL): The CAS level refers to your memory’s latency, the time it takes for your memory to respond when given instructions. Lower numbers are better; CL2 is faster memory than CL2.5, which is in turn faster than memory rated at CL3.
  • Core Clock/ Core Fequency : The speed of a video card’s GPU or VPU, measured in megahertz (MHz).
  • CPU (Processor): The processor is the brain of your system. The processor executes instructions, transforming computer code into real-time action. The processor is the single most important factor in determining the speed of a system.
    The faster the processor the faster it can handle information and the faster the system will run overall. In recent years, CPU makers Intel and AMD have introduced many new features to their processor lines.
  • Crossfire : is a brand name for ATI Technologies' multi-GPU solution, which competes with the Scalable Link Interface (SLI) from NVIDIA. The technology allows up to four graphics cards to be used in a single computer to improve graphics performance.
  • DCT (Digital Cable Tuner): an integrated PC component or USB device that enables you to watch and record, encrypted digital cable channels, as well as other digital cable channels that are not encrypted (sometimes referred to as "ClearQAM"), and over-the-air high definition TV (sometimes referred to as ATSC), and standard TV.
  • DDR (Double Data Rate): A type of memory that transfers data twice each clock cycle. DDR-II/DDR2 and DDR3 are versions which are modified to run at higher clock speeds than standard DDR.
  • Defragmentation : The process that reduces the amount of fragmentation in hard disk file systems. It does this by physically reorganizing the data contents of the disk to store the pieces of each file close together and contiguously. It also attempts to create larger regions of free space using compaction to impede the return of fragmentation.
  • Die : Refers to the size of a chip. Die size is measured in square millimeters (mm2); a smaller die size means that more chips can fit on a sheet of silicon while consuming less power. Circuit size, measured in microns, is key to reducing the die size of a chip.
  • Direct3D : Microsoft’s API for rendering 3D graphics.
  • DVD (Digital Versatile/Video Disc): A popular optical disc storage media format. Its main uses are video and data storage. Most DVDs are of the same dimensions as compact discs (CDs) but store more than six times as much data.
  • DVD Dual Burner : the DVD Burner is compatible with DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R and DVD+RW format media. Generally, DVD Dual Burners provides users with comfort regarding incompatibility concerns. Consumers may purchase either DVD+ or DVD- media for their recording sessions.
  • DVD Multi Burner : A DVD Multi Burner is manufactured based upon the DVD-RAM and DVD-R/RW specifications. It amends the "For PC purposes" design to "For both computer and consumer devices".
  • DVD-Audio : A format for delivering high-fidelity audio content on a DVD. It offers many channel configuration options (from mono to 5.1 surround sound) at various sampling frequencies (up to 24-bits/192 kHz versus CDDAs 16-bits/44.1 kHz). Compared with the CD format, the much higher capacity DVD format enables the inclusion of considerably more music (with respect to total running time and quantity of songs) and/or far higher audio quality (reflected by higher sampling rates and greater bit-depth, and/or additional channels for spatial sound reproduction).
  • DVD-Video : A standard for storing video content on DVD media. Though many resolutions and formats are supported, most consumer DVD-Video discs use either 4:3 or anamorphic 16:9 aspect ratio MPEG-2 video, stored at a resolution of 720×480 (NTSC) or 720×576 (PAL) at 29.97 or 25 FPS. Audio is commonly stored using the Dolby Digital (AC-3) or Digital Theater System (DTS) formats, ranging from 16-bits/48 kHz to 24-bits/96 kHz format with monaural to 7.1 channel "Surround Sound" presentation, and/or MPEG-1 Layer 2. Although the specifications for video and audio requirements vary by global region and television system, many DVD players support all possible formats. DVD-Video also supports features like menus, selectable subtitles, multiple camera angles, and multiple audio tracks.
  • DVI (Digital Visual Interface): A video interface standard designed to maximize the visual quality of digital display devices such as flat panel LCD computer displays and digital projectors. It was developed by an industry consortium, the Digital Display Working Group (DDWG). It is designed for carrying uncompressed digital video data to a display. It is partially compatible with the High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) standard in digital mode (DVI-D).
  • Ethernet Adapter (aka Network Adapter, Network Interface Card, NIC): allow your system to connect to broadband Internet through a router, or to a local area network (LAN).
  • Floating Point : A number described with a decimal point (e.g., 5.76) to allow for more precise 3D images.
  • Frame Rate : The rate or speed at which 3D frames are rendered and displayed. The frame rate is measured in frames per second (fps). This number serves as an all-important benchmark for gamers who want their games to respond and play as quickly as possible, with 60fps being generally accepted as the most desired frame rate. The frame rate is closely tied to many options inside a game; enabling options that enhance image quality (such as anti-aliasing) will typically lower the frame rate because the video card has to work harder to display the same image.
  • FSAA (Full-screen anti-aliasing): Applying the anti-aliasing process to the entire screen. Measured in “x” amounts: for example, 8x FSAA removes more aliasing than 4x FSAA.
  • FSB (Front-Side Bus): the speed of which measures how fast the motherboard can communicate with its RAM and its chipset. FSB speed is measured in megahertz (MHz).
  • GB (Gigabytes): A measure of a hard drive’s capacity to store data. 1 GB equals roughly 1,000 Megabytes.
  • GHz (Gigahertz): The standard measurement of processor speed. 1GHz = 1,000 Megahertz (MHz). AMD’s processors do not use this rating; instead, they go by a numbering scheme that roughly corresponds with certain GHz speeds.
  • GPU (Graphics Processing Unit): The main chip attached to a 3D video card that performs most of the calculations required to display 3D images.
  • HD DVD (High-Definition Digital Versatile/Video Disc): a high-density optical disc format designed for the storage of data and high-definition video. HD DVD was designed principally by Toshiba, and was envisaged to be the successor to the standard DVD format. However, in February, 2008, Toshiba abandoned the format, announcing it would no longer develop or manufacture HD DVD players
    HD DVD is derived from the same underlying technologies as DVD. Since all variants except the 3x DVD employed a blue laser with a shorter wavelength, it can store about 3¼ times as much data per layer as its predecessor (maximum capacity: 15 GB per layer instead of 4.7 GB per layer).
  • HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection): HDCP is a type of digital copy protection developed by Intel Corporation to protect digital audio and video content as it travels across DisplayPort, Digital Visual Interface (DVI), High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI), Gigabit Video Interface (GVIF), or Unified Display Interface (UDI) connections. The specification is proprietary, and implementing HDCP requires a license.
  • HDD (Hard Disk Drive): Hard drives (also called hard disks) store data permanently. The amount of information you can store on your hard drive depends on its size, which is currently measured in gigabytes (GB). Though this seems like a lot of space, programs and data can quickly occupy large amounts of storage. Investing in a large hard drive will serve you well during the life of your system.
  • HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface): A licensable compact audio/video connector interface for transmitting uncompressed digital streams. It represents the DRM alternative to consumer analog standards such as RF (coaxial cable), composite video, S-Video, SCART, component video and VGA, and digital standards such as DVI (DVI-D and DVI-I).
  • Heat Spreader : A piece of hardware that attaches to a memory module, helping to dissipate heat.
  • IEEE 1394 (FireWire, iLink): FireWire, Apple's implementation of the IEEE 1394 standard, is an extremely fast way to connect peripherals to your system. FireWire ports are traditionally used in transferring digital video from a camcorder to a system. iLink is Sony's implementation of the IEEE 1394 standard.
  • JumperFree Configuration : An ASUS BIOS configuration utility (tab) that offers users access to overclocking options including AI Overclocking, CPU Ratio, FSB Frequency, PCIe Frequency, DRAM Frequency, DRAM Timing Control, and other options.
  • L2 or L3 Cache : A collection of chips on the processor that speeds up commonly-used functions. Level 3 is greater than L2. The more cache a processor has, the quicker it can perform certain functions.
  • LightScribe : LightScribe is an optical disc recording technology that utilizes specially coated recordable CD and DVD media to produce laser-etched labels text or graphics, as opposed to stick-on labels and printable discs.
    The LightScribe method uses the laser similar to the way that data is burned to the disc; a greyscale image of the label is etched to the top side of the disc. The discs come in many colors: monotone (the original), red, green, blue, yellow, and orange backgrounds.
    The purpose of LightScribe is to allow users to create direct-to-disc labels (as opposed to stick-on labels), using their optical disc writer. Special discs and a compatible disc writer are required. After burning data to the read-side of the disc, the user simply turns the medium over and inserts it with the label side down. The drive's laser then etches into the label side in such a way that an image is produced.
  • LLR : Lag and Latency Reduction technology enables optimization of online game network communications to improve game responsiveness.
  • Memory : The term “memory” used by itself is synonymous with Random Access Memory (RAM). RAM acts as temporary storage for information. The processor can grab information from RAM extremely quickly. This technology allows you to multi-task, or run several programs on your system at the same time. A spreadsheet, for example, is held in RAM until you save it to the hard drive. While the spreadsheet is open you can do other things like burn CDs, play games, or browse the Internet. Your system’s ability to efficiently handle large amounts of information (whether in a single program or between many programs) is directly influenced by the amount and speed of RAM it contains.
    Velocity Micro systems use DDR2 RAM, the second generation of Double Data Rate (DDR) RAM, a technology which improves upon Single Data Rate (SDR) RAM by processing twice as many instructions.
    RAM is volatile, meaning it is erased when the system is turned off. More RAM means that you can handle larger files and open more applications at the same time.
  • Mip-Mapping : The process of placing low-quality textures in the background of a 3D scene and moving high-quality textures to the front. As the player’s viewpoint shifts, these textures are shuffled in order to bring the highest-quality images to the front. Without filtering, mip-mapping can degrade image quality because of the seams that develop between the different quality textures.
  • Modem : Taken from modulator-demodulator, a device that modulates an analog carrier signal to encode digital information, and also demodulates such a carrier signal to decode the transmitted information. The goal is to produce a signal that can be transmitted easily and decoded to reproduce the original digital data. Modems can be used over any means of transmitting analog signals, from driven diodes to radio.
  • Motherboard : A motherboard was originally so-called for it's design which allowed daughter expansion boards to attach to it, allowing further expansion through add-in cards. It is less commonly called a mainboard, baseboard, system board, planar board, or logic board, and the common slang for motherboard is "mobo".
    A motherboard is a large piece of printed circuit board (PCB) that attaches to the inside of your system’s case. Motherboards feature attachments for different computer devices: processors, hard drives, CD and DVD drives, add-on cards, and USB ports. All of these devices connect to the motherboard directly, as in the case of video cards, or indirectly via cables, as in the case of hard drives and optical drives.
    You can think of the motherboard as a hub, a central station through which all information must pass. The front-side bus (FSB) speed of your motherboard measures how quickly it can pass information along to different PC devices. Faster FSB speeds mean increased system performance.
    When a feature is advertised as “onboard,” this means it is integrated directly onto the motherboard. For example, “onboard sound” means that the motherboard has a chip on it which produces sound. The disadvantage in this situation is that sound processing uses system memory (RAM) instead of the specially dedicated memory found on a sound card. The same holds true for onboard graphics and Ethernet. Users concerned with high performance may want to reduce the number of onboard feature to their system by adding cards for certain applications.
    Motherboards are custom-built to support a certain range of processors. You cannot, for example, place an AMD Athlon processor on a motherboard designed to support an Intel Pentium 4 processor. Additionally, a motherboard will only support certain types of each kind of processor.
  • Multi-Sampling : Anti-aliasing technique that fills in the extra pixels required to make a line appear straight.
  • Northbridge : Also known as the memory controller hub (MCH) in Intel systems (AMD, VIA, SiS and others usually use 'northbridge'), is traditionally one of the two chips in the core logic chipset on a PC motherboard the other being the southbridge. Separating the chipset into northbridge and southbridge is common, although there are rare instances where these two chips have been combined onto one die when design complexity and fabrication processes permit it.
  • NVIDIA : The US based multinational NVIDIA Corporation (pronounced en-vih'-dee-uh) specializes in the manufacture of graphics-processor technologies for workstations, desktop computers, and handheld devices. Based in Santa Clara, California, NVIDIA has become a major supplier of integrated circuits (ICs) used for personal-computer motherboard chipsets, graphics processing units (GPUs), and game-consoles. Product lines include the GeForce series for gaming and the Quadro series for graphics processing on professional workstations, as well as the nForce series of integrated motherboard-chipsets.
  • OCUR (OpenCable Unidirectional Receiver): a TV tuner device that uses a CableCARD™ to get conditional access protected broadcast digital content from a cable television provider, and send it out to a Digital Cable Compatible PC. (Example: the ATI TV Wonder Digital Cable Tuner)
  • OpenGL : Another 3D API that competes with Direct3D. OpenGL differs from Direct3D in that OpenGL is not maintained by a corporation (as Direct3D is maintained by Microsoft) and, as such, updates and revisions to its code tend to come quicker. All 3D video cards made today support both OpenGL and Direct3D.
  • Optical Drive : Optical drives are so named because they use lasers to write and read data off discs. Types of optical drives include CD-ROM, CD-R/W, DVD-ROM, DVD +/- R/W, HD-DVD, BD-ROM, and drives that are combinations of these technologies.
  • PCI-E (PCI Express): A high-speed port that connects video cards and other peripherals to a motherboard. PCI-E nearly doubles the performance potential of its predecessor, AGP.
  • PCxxxx : The internal speed of your RAM. PC4200 memory runs at 533Mhz, PC4000 memory runs at 500Mhz, PC 3700 memory runs at 466MHz, PC3500 memory runs at 433mhz, and PC3200 memory runs at 400Mhz. You will notice that these MHz speeds correspond with the DDR number listed: for example, our 400 MHz memory is listed as "PC3200 DDR400."
  • Pixel Shader : Unit of GPU responsible for the appearance of individual pixels. Pixel shaders are used in bump-mapping and reflective surfaces.
  • POST (Power-On Self-Test): A POST is a pre-boot sequence that all computers go through and his controlled/handled by the system's BIOS. The PC will attempt a POST sequence every time the CPU is reset. The main duties of the POST sequence are to: Verify the integrity of the BIOS itself, Initialize peripheral devices, mainly video, Discover and verify the size of main memory (RAM), Identify, organize and select which devices are available to boot from, and Provide a specific user interface for the system's configuration.
  • POST BEEPS : In an effort to easily identify if a system POSTed correctly or incorrectly, BIOS vendors developed a sequence of beeps from the motherboard-attached speaker to signal error codes:
    BEEP SEQUENCE DEFINITION/MEANING
    1 Short Beep Normal Post, system is OK
    2 Short Beeps POST error - error code shown on screen(if available)
    1 Long, 1 Short Beep Motherboard Issue
    1 Long, 2 Short Beeps Display adapter, Video card Issue
    1 Long, 3 Short Beeps Memory Issues
    Continuous Beeps Power Supply, Motherboard, or Keyboard Issues
    Repeating Short Beeps Power Supply, Motherboard, or Keyboard Issues
    Repeating Long Beeps Memory is Unseated
    No Beep Power supply, Motherboard Issue, disconnected CPU, or disconnected speaker
    NOTE:Recent Intel Motherboards will signal no beeps when POSTing correctly.
  • PPU (Physics Processing Unit): A dedicated processor designed to handle the calculations of physics, especially in the physics engine of video games. Examples of calculations involving a PPU might include rigid body dynamics, soft body dynamics, collision detection, fluid dynamics, hair and clothing simulation, finite element analysis, and fracturing of objects. The idea is that specialized processors offload time consuming tasks from the CPU, much like how a GPU performs graphics operations in the main CPU's place.
  • Processor (CPU): The processor is the brain of your system. The processor executes instructions, transforming computer code into real-time action. The processor is the single most important factor in determining the speed of a system.
    The faster the processor the faster it can handle information and the faster the system will run overall. In recent years, CPU makers Intel and AMD have introduced many new features to their processor lines.
  • RAID (Redundant Array of Independent/Inexpensive Disks/Drives): Technology that allows two or more hard drives to be combined providing a variety of benefits. Most motherboards today provide for RAID, eliminating the need for a separate controller.
  • RAID 1 (Mirrored Array) : creates an exact copy (or mirror) of a set of data on two or more disks. Useful when read performance and reliability are more important than storage capacity.
  • RAID 0 (Striped Array): splits data evenly across two or more disks with no parity information for redundancy. Normally used to increase performance.
  • RAID Concatenation (JBOD or SPAN): Concatenation or Spanning of disks is a method of combining multiple physical disk drives into a single virtual disk. No performance increase comes as a result of this nor redundancy of data. JBOD stands for Just a Bunch of Disks.
  • RAM (Random Access Memory): RAM acts as temporary storage for information. The processor can grab information from RAM extremely quickly. This technology allows you to multi-task, or run several programs on your system at the same time. A spreadsheet, for example, is held in RAM until you save it to the hard drive. While the spreadsheet is open you can do other things like burn CDs, play games, or browse the Internet. Your system’s ability to efficiently handle large amounts of information (whether in a single program or between many programs) is directly influenced by the amount and speed of RAM it contains.
    Velocity Micro systems use DDR2 RAM, the second generation of Double Data Rate (DDR) RAM, a technology which improves upon Single Data Rate (SDR) RAM by processing twice as many instructions.
    RAM is volatile, meaning it is erased when the system is turned off. More RAM means that you can handle larger files and open more applications at the same time.
  • RAMDAC (Random Access Memory Digital to Analog Converter): Chips on a video card that convert digital information (received from the GPU) to analog, which can then be displayed on a monitor.
  • Render : The process of creating a 3D image.
  • Resolution : The number of pixels displayed onscreen at any one point. For example, a resolution of 640x480 displays 307,200 pixels onscreen while a resolution of 1600x1200 displays 1,920,000 pixels onscreen. Increasing a game’s resolution will raise the image quality but tend to lower the frame rate because the video card has to work harder to display the same image.
  • ROM (Read Only Memory): Drives with a “-ROM” suffix can only read data from discs. These drives cannot burn CDs or DVDs.
  • RPM (Revolutions Per Minute): Hard drives contain a spindle which rotates the magnetic platters. The spindle speed of the hard drive is measured in RPM. Traditional speeds include 5400RPM and 7200RPM. Serial ATA offers speeds up to 10,000RPM.
  • SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment): High-speed interface for connecting hard drives to the motherboard. SATA replaces ATA by offering increased data transfer speeds (up to 300 Mbps), and cables that are easier to manage inside a system's case. Today's motherboards can support Serial ATA drives in a RAID configuration.
  • SLI (Scalable Link Interface): Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology: A technology integrated into Hard drives designed to provide forewarnings of drive performance testing and so mitigate data loss. More info here: http://www.seagate.com/support/kb/disc/smart.html
  • SMART Technology (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology):
  • SSD (Solid State Drive): A data storage device that uses solid-state memory to store persistent data. An SSD emulates a hard disk drive, thus easily replacing it in any application. An SSD using SRAM or DRAM (instead of flash memory) is often called RAM-drive.
  • Sound Card (aka Audio Card): a PCI audio adapter card that facilitates the input and output of audio signals to/from a computer under control of computer programs. Typical uses of sound cards include providing the audio component for multimedia applications such as music composition, editing video or audio, presentation/education, and entertainment (games).
  • Southbridge : Also known as the I/O Controller Hub (ICH) in Intel systems (AMD, VIA, SiS and others usually use 'southbridge'), is a chip that implements the "slower" capabilities of the motherboard in a northbridge/southbridge chipset computer architecture. The southbridge can usually be distinguished from the northbridge by not being directly connected to the CPU. Rather, the northbridge ties the southbridge to the CPU.
  • Speakers : 5.1 vs 6.1 vs 7.1 - Refers to the amount of speakers in a surround-sound system. The “.1” refers to the presence of a subwoofer; so a 6.1 system contains 6 speakers placed around the room and a subwoofer to reproduce bass frequencies. Many of our systems support a 7.1 setup.
    Note: USB speakers utilize their own audio controller independent of that on your system
  • SSE (Streaming SIMD Extensions): a processor technology that enables single instruction multiple data. On older processors only a single data element could be processed per instruction. However, SSE enables the instructions to handle multiple data elements. SSE (SIMD technology) is used in intensive applications, like 3D graphics, making processing much faster. SSE technology was designed to replace MMX technology.
  • Super-sampling : Anti-aliasing technique that first renders a screen in high resolution and then scales the image down to the desired size. A very effective technique, but one that requires a lot of processing power.
  • T & L (Transform & Lighting): The process of offloading transform (displaying 3D images on a 2D monitor) and lighting (providing multiple dynamic light sources) onto the GPU, leaving the CPU free to perform other game-related functions.
  • Texture : A “skin” applied over a 3D image to give it a distinct look.
  • Texture Compression : The process of reducing the amount of memory a single texture occupies.
  • Texture Filtering : The process of improving the image quality of textures.
  • Trilinear Filtering : Filtering technique that compensates for the loss of quality during mip-mapping by blending the pixels on adjacent mip-maps. Intermediate visual quality between bilinear and anisotropic filtering.
  • UDI (Unified Display Interface): A digital video interface specification based on Digital Visual Interface. It is intended to be a lower-cost implementation while providing compatibility with existing High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) and DVI displays. Unlike HDMI, which is aimed at high-definition multimedia consumer electronics devices such as television monitors and DVD players, UDI is specifically targeted towards the needs of computer monitor and video card manufacturers.
  • USB (Universal Serial Bus): USB is a technology that allows all sorts of peripherals, from printers and scanners to mice and sound cards, to connect to your system. USB 2.0 ports improve data transfer rate over the original USB. USB devices are considered hot-swappable, meaning can be plugged and unplugged while the system is on.
  • Video Adapter : A video adapter, also referred to as a video card, is responsible for displaying images on the monitor. Older video adapters using earlier architectures like PCI and AGP taxed the system processor (CPU) for calculations relating to video. Modern video cards stress 3D imaging and include a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) or Visual Processing Unit (VPU) to handle special graphics-related tasks. This design frees up the processor to handle other data. Additionally, modern video cards come with increasingly higher amounts of dedicated (onboard) RAM. The RAM onboard the video card ensures that system RAM remains free for other tasks.
    Modern video cards generate a lot of heat when they are being used for performance applications such as 3D games. Velocity Micro offers a fan system that ensures your video card does not overheat. Maintaining a moderate temperature is an important factor in system stability.
    Faster video cards with more RAM mean quicker games and increased image quality. Gaming enthusiasts may want to consider adding high-end video cards to their systems. 3D games utilize many features on video cards.
  • VPU (Visual Processing Unit): An advanced, fully-programmable kind of GPU.
  • Vsync (Vertical Sync): An option in some 3D games that synchronizes the game’s frame rate with the monitor’s refresh rate, providing maximum stability. Turning Vsync off will result in a higher frame rate but might cause artifacts to appear.
  • Z-Buffer : The area of a video card’s memory used to store information about an object’s 3rd dimension (depth, or distance from the camera).