A graphics card (also called a video card, display card, graphics adapter, GPU, VGA card/VGA, video adapter, or display adapter) is an expansion card which generates a feed of output images to a display device, such as a computer monitor. Graphics cards are sometimes called discrete or dedicated graphics cards to emphasize their distinction to integrated graphics. A graphics processing unit that performs the necessary computations is the main component of a graphics card, but the acronym "GPU" is sometimes also used to refer to the graphics card as a whole.
Most graphics cards are not limited to simple display output. The graphics processing unit can be used for additional processing, which reduces the load from the central processing unit. Additionally, computing platforms such as OpenCL and CUDA allows using graphics cards for general-purpose computing. Applications of general-purpose computing on graphics cards include AI training, cryptocurrency mining, and molecular simulation.Usually, a graphics card comes in the form of a printed circuit board (expansion board) which are to be inserted into an expansion slot. Others may have dedicated enclosures, and they are connected to the computer via a docking station or a cable. These are known as external GPUs (eGPUs).
Graphics cards are often preferred over integrated graphics for increased performance.
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