Graphics Processing Unit

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A graphics processing unit, commonly abbreviated "GPU" is a device on a computer's motherboard who's purpose it is to accelerate the building of images that are outputted to the computer screen frame by frame. The term "GPU" was first coined by NVIDIA in 1999 with the release of the GeForce 256.


The term "graphics processing unit" often refers to the equivalent of "video cards" that are built in to the motherboard itself, whereas the term "video card" refers to their replaceable counterparts that are often installed as aftermarket parts for optimization of performance with 3D video games. Onboard GPUs, commonly referred to as "motherboard video" are usually poor for gaming and many PC games released in the past several years don't support them at all, while others run, but run very poorly. At the same time, they are suitable for viewing videos and performing other common computer tasks.