Building a PC - images on the screen

How do images end up on the computer screen?
13 March 2018

Interview with 

Nick Batterham - Cambridge University


Naked Scientist Katie Haylor took up the challenge of building a desktop PC with the help of Nick Batterham from Cambridge University's Department of Computer Science and Technology. Step 4 - graphics...

Nick - The trend over the last few years has been to integrate things like graphics into the processor themselves. Processors have become far more than just processors. Lots of things like memory management and graphics that were traditionally done on the motherboard have now been integrated into the processor itself. It’s what people like to call “system on chip.”

Katie - If we were going to put a graphics card in, is this what you’re holding right now?

Nick - That’s right. This is a very basic graphics card.

Katie - It’s a black rectangle with a whole load of...

Nick - This is the heat sink.

Kate - Oh, I wondered what that was a heat sink?

Nick - This is just another heat sink just like the one on the processor. Underneath that would be buried the GPU - the graphics processor unit.

Kate - The heat sink is a load of plastic, metal, a kind of grid?

Nick - Aluminium.

Kate - An aluminium grid and the GPU is hidden inside?

Nick - Yeah, underneath.

Katie - Does it need to go in?

Nick - It can.

Katie - Yeah, let’s do it.

Nick - This part is easy, it just pushes in.


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