Parts of a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)

Modern graphics card or GPU can be expensive and quite intimidating to look at. Here is a brief explanation of parts of a standard high end  GPU so that you can be more comfortable handling one.

Referring to the figure above

  1. PCIE connector: along the bottom of the card is the connector for the PCIe x 16 socket on your motherboard. It must be firmly seated into the motherboard and will be held in place by a clip or slide on the socket
  2. Output ports: this port enable you to connect your monitor to the graphics card. Modern graphics cards now have in addition, the DVI and HDMI ports.
  3. Exhaust Vent: the exhaust vent helps to get some of the massive amounts of heat generated by the card out of the case. Not all graphics cards have vents but most high-end ones do.
  4. Cooling fans: if your GPU is a powerful one it must be fitted with fans in addition to the heat sink. In other words not all GPUs come fitted with fans.
  5. Cross switch connector: cross switch connector is used to connect to another GPU. Not all high-end GPUs come with this kind of connector.
  6. Power supply port: many modern graphics cards now have their own separate power connection, separate from the power that goes to the motherboard.
  7. Speed controller switch: this is the fan speed controller switch. It is used to manually control the fan speed.

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