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Is a graphics card or an adapter card not a video card?

I was under the impression that a video card, graphics card, and video adapter card were all the same thing, but now I think I'm wrong. On my PC, whenever I'd run software to detect what video card I had, it would say this - "ATI 3D Rage Pro AGP". It's been called a video card or a graphics card by different software I use and when listed under my device manager, it's called an adapter card. That's why I thought those were all the same thing.

However, I recently purchased software that says I don't have a video card. I checked the requirements and it said I needed a video card that was directx 9.0 compatible and could handle up to 32-bit color and a resolution of 1024x768. As far as I've been able to tell, that 3D Rage Pro meets all those requirements, but I could be wrong.

Can someone clear this up for me?

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In reply to: Is a graphics card or an adapter card not a video card?

The example that you gave are one and the same but if you just saay an adapter card, then it could mean lots of different types card.

As for the directX thing, Some of the newer graphic cards have directx chips built-in (I think). I don't think rage pro meet that requirement.

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you're right.........and wrong........sort of.

In reply to: Reply;


When refering to "graphics controllers" they can come in many flavours, onboard, PCI graphics adapters, AGP graphics adapters, and the new PCI-Express format. All of these are "graphics controllers" The difference and what is confusing you is simply terminology. A graphics "card" is an add on board that fits into pci or agp or pci-e slots that have an onboard video processing unit or "GPU" A video card or video adapter is the same thing really, just different terminology. If a software application states that you must have a directX 9.0 compliant card to play, that card you have will definitely not cut it. Your card is directX 8 compatible. This simply means the GPU chiset is not directX 9.0 compatible. Only the newer cards on the market are "truly" directX 9.0 compatible. The game may still play, but with a degredation in graphics quality. You do have a graphics card, but whether the software application will detect it is another story. Those rage 3D cards are terribly out of date, and it wouldn't much suprise me to see a directx 9.0 game not recognize it.
Do you know if the rage card is AGP or PCI?

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