Buyer's Guide Beaver Dam WI
Beaver Dam, WI
Posted by : Marty Beaudet
It's no secret that the gaming market fuels the demand for souped-up PCs more than any other factor. The clearest example of this is the 3D graphics card market, where innovations are of marginal use in business applications but can really boost virtual-gaming experiences. But, while workers have little use for the added torque, these cards are standard equipment on many new desktops these days. (An F-16 is faster than a Honda Accord--but is it really what you need for your daily commute?) While you may not have much need for a 3D card at work, your home PC could sure use one, especially if youngsters are on the prowl.
And some professionals do need the speed that 3D cards produce--and then some. Content creators (those doing modeling, animation, and CAD/CAM) also depend on fast 3D, but require higher-end-and much more expensive-accelerators.
Enter the Third Dimension
Both two- and three-dimensional graphics involve turning numbers into pictures. Just as a surveyor uses triangulation to calculate heights, angles, and distances, a graphics processor uses geometry to construct, or render, a scene from numerical data. Triangles are assembled into complex polygons, resulting in a wireframe representation of an object. Lighting and color information are then combined to fill in the wireframe model.
Unlike simple GIF animations, 3D graphics involve a constantly shifting perspective as you move about in virtual space. Real-time rendering of newperspe...