A graphics chipset refers to the construction of the circuit board that powers a graphics card. A graphics card is the device inside a computer that interprets graphics signals from the motherboard and sends them to the monitor, which is connected to the graphics card. On a video card, the chipset is the flat part of the circuit board that is connected to the video connectors, which send images to the computer monitor.
A graphics chipset powers the internal and external graphics cards.
Chipset build is usually identified by model number and manufacturer. Graphics chipset designs can be made to accommodate many quality demands and input plug options. Some graphics cards can output different images to multiple connected displays, while others are designed to handle three-dimensional (3D) graphics for movies and games. Manufacturers of graphics chipset sets for video cards include Intel®, nVidia® and Advanced Micro Devices® (AMD).
On systems designed to handle high-performance graphics, a graphics card can be elaborate, with a large chipset built in with its own cooling fan to keep hot air away from the graphics card. Both internal and external graphics cards need a graphics chipset to work. An external graphics card usually connects via universal serial bus (USB) or Bluetooth®, but may have a tendency to respond more slowly than integrated graphics cards. External graphics chipset designs generally require less cooling because they are not placed in the case with other hot hardware. Internal and external graphics cards require a driver designed for the correct graphics chipset to run the device.
The more advanced a graphics card, the more system resources it needs to function. To prevent a graphics card’s resource needs from overwhelming the system, some graphics cards are built with their own random access memory (RAM) cards to give the computer’s graphics functions a boost in speed and quality. On computer systems with limited upgradable RAM, a graphics chipset with built-in RAM can open up options for high-end graphics cards, even on an older system.
Some basic computer configurations include the graphics chipset as part of the motherboard. The motherboard is the main processing chip that controls the computer’s commands. It is usually the largest chipset in a computer and contains the computer’s main processing unit (CPU) that controls the commands that pass through the computer’s motherboard. Systems with graphics cards built into the motherboard often also have the computer’s audio functions included as part of the motherboard. Video cards built into the motherboard cannot be removed when replacing, but they can be disabled to install a new video card.