Graphic Card Modes

Do you know what modes your graphic card is capable of handling? First of all, it’s really interesting and useful to know what your card can handle.

By modes, I am talking about those settings you have heard about like, setting your graphic card resolution to 800×600, etc.

Knowing about your Video Graphics Adapter (technically known as VGA) and the type of graphic card you have installed helps determine which resolution is best for the applications you use, so knowing about the different graphic modes is one of the most helpful details.

For example, if you have a 17” monitor and a good graphics card, it’s recommended that you set your screen resolution to 1024×768, because by using this resolution on your TV set, you are making the best use of your screen and monitor’s space. You are also doing it with the optimal usage of your graphic card, without overloading it.

Now, if we know what mode our graphic card has been assigned by the manufacturing company, we can make the best use of it. This is especially true if you do a lot of gaming, because those experiences heavily depend on the resolutions we select in our games. You may know that different PC games require different resolutions, so we can enjoy it the most.

Suppose you have bought a world famous 3D game or a detailed graphically designed computer software program. You have installed it on your hard drive, but after the initial installation, all you can see are choppy screen pictures. So, where’s the glitch? What’s goin on? It has to do with your screen resolutions.

Each modern game allows you to select different screen resolutions, but you can only make the best use of this feature if you know what modes your PC graphic card can handle.

Before we go further into exploring the VGA modes, let’s take a look at the world of graphic cards and the world famous types which are sold across the world. Most of them are well known because of their superior performance and reliability.

I don’t know if you’re the gamer type or not, but nowadays you usually cannot find any PCs sold without a powerful 3D graphic card. The reason for this is clear though. The enhanced features of the new three dimensional graphic cards (along with their modest prices, ranging from around $45 to less than $200 for a perfect and very strong VGA) makes no room for companies still holding out to make 2D graphic cards that are only capable of limited graphic accessibilities.

If you intend to upgrade your computer or even buy a new one, please note that prebuying research is essential. For example, while buying a VGA, first look at the brand of it. Today, there are several world famous names such as NVidia GeForce, ATI RADEON , Matrox MGA and Diamond Multimedia. These cards are multi-purpose cards; meaning they are both good for gaming and heavy 3D applications. They are also excellent and in fact, more than enough for household light uses.

So, the first thing in learning about a nice VGA is its name and type. The above names I mentioned (especially the first two) are inner parts of thousands of today’s newly built PCs all over the world. They are ordered by such big names as IBM, DELL, HP and many more PC manufacturing companies. My best guess is that you too have a graphic card on your computer from among those three brands.

Graphic cards are now found on the market with memory sizes ranging from 32 MB to 512 MB of RAM. The more RAM it has means the more professional uses are required. For a perfect personal computer, a VGA with memory of around 128 MB of RAM is perfect and will be your nice graphical partner for several years to come.

The second and very important point is about the memory, RAM and the power of the graphic card (measure in MB). For example, you might have an Nvidia graphic card installed on your PC with 3D capabilities and 64 MB of RAM, but the VGA RAM is the key to smooth graphical processing tasks and PC gaming experiences. Fortunately, there are so many inexpensive, but powerful graphic cards on the market today, so you shouldn’t have any problem finding one that will fit your needs. At present, you can get a perfect graphic card for your computer for less than $100.

Graphic cards are now equipped with one, or more, fans, which help them to stay cool during heavy graphic usages. It also helps the cards to live longer for your uses. Temperatures can be harmful to your graphic card, so the cooler your VGA operates, the better graphical results you will receive. Checking of the fan’s health is recommended, because they need to be replaced by new ones every several months, depending on the hours and levels of usage.

Now, let’s take a look at the following images to learn a little more about your graphic card, its name and model, its RAM amount and the modes it is capable of handling.

First, right click on your desktop and select Properties.

Next, select the Settings tab. Now, you can see some information about your monitor’s name and model and also your graphic card name and type, but since we want to learn more our VGA, we’ll continue.

Now, click on Advanced.

Click on Adapter from the top page tabs.

By pressing the Adapter tab, you have in fact entered your graphic card realm. This page gives you nice information about the overall graphics card hardware installed on your computer.

The last step is opening the modes, so click on the List All Modes button.

The modes listed show the different resolutions your graphic card is accustomed to run in different applications that you may use.

I was not able to find a listing on VGA modes for older versions of Windows, but if you follow the same basic steps as above, you can at least view some information about your graphic card type.

~ Hamid Reza