graphics adapter

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(n.) A specialized circuit board that provides a monitor with all the information it needs to display graphics. Some graphics adapters are built into the computer circuitry, but a third-party graphics card is more commonly inserted in an expansion slot. The peripheral component interconnect (PCI) bus is frequently used for this type of adapter. An advanced type of adapter for IBM compatibles is the Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP). The graphics adapter determines the resolution and refresh rate, or frequency, of the signal sent to the monitor.

Graphics Adapter Resolutions

Adapter Resolution Simultaneous Colors/Mode
EGA 640 x 350 16/text
720 x 350 4/text
320 x 200 16/graphics
640 x 200 16/graphics
640 x 350 16/graphics
VGA 720 x 400 16/text
360 x 400 16/text
640 x 480 16/graphics
320 x 200 256/text
Super VGA

(Macintosh)
800 x 600 16 777 216/graphics
832 x 624 16 777 216/graphics
XGA

(IBM 8514/A)
1024 x 768 16 777 216/graphics
1024 x 768 256/graphics
1152 x 864 16 777 216/graphics
Super XGA 1280 x 1024 16 777 216/graphics
Ultra XGA 1600 x 1200 16 777 216/graphics
1800 x 1440 16 777 216/graphics
1920 x 1200 16 777 216/graphics
2040 x 1664 16 777 216/graphics