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VGA: n.: Short for "Video Graphics Array." It is a graphics display system for PC's created by IBM. In text mode, VGA systems provide a resolution of 720 by 400 pixels. In graphics mode, the resolution is either 640 by 480 (with 16 colors) or 320 by 200 (with 256 colors). The total palette of colors is 262,144. Since its introduction in 1987, several other standards have been developed that offer greater resolution and more colors (see SVGA and XGA), but VGA remains the lowest common denominator. All PCs made today support VGA, and possibly some other more advanced standard.


Video Card: n.: A card in your computer which processes all your computer's video processes. It changes all the info that your computer gives it into an image, which it then sends it to a monitor or, if your lucky, a TV. It also helps render 3D images (rendering the polygons and textures), unless your computer is set to render the images using software. There are two types: a video card, and a video accelerator. A video card uses your computer's RAM to process the images. A video accellerator has it's own RAM to render with, leaving your system RAM free to do different processes. This is where the Mb on a video accellerator card specs comes in. A 32Mb video card has 32Mb RAM on the card, used specifically for rendering. While a 128Mb card has 128Mb RAM to render with, thus enabling more complex graphics, faster.


Virtual Memory: n.: An area of imaginary memory that some operating systems support. Virtual memory expands the available RAM by commandeering hard-disk space and making it work as pseudo RAM. The more RAM you have, the more applications you can open at the same time. True RAM works many times faster than virtual memory. Once your computer starts using hard-drive space for RAM, it slows down considerably.