Graphic Card vs. Video Card: What Is the Difference Between Graphic Card and Video Card?

Graphic cards and video cards are frequently confused. They are similar pieces of hardware, but serve different purposes. A full explanation of their differences can be found here.
Graphic Card vs. Video Card: 6 Key Differences, Pros & Cons, Similarities

Graphic cards and video cards both are important elements of multimedia. Professionals often use both of these cards to produce an image on the display device. Today, both of these terms are used mutually because of their technical similarities. So, most people have this question: “Are graphics cards and video cards the same?”. Well, these are not. The main difference between the video card and graphics card is that the video card is made up of GPU and other parts of motherboards. While the graphic card is made of GPU and RAM.

Let’s take a closer look at Graphic card vs. Video card

TerminologyIn technical terms, both the graphic and video card are the same
UsageGraphic cards are used for gaming purposes, while video cards are for editing.
SpeedSpeed of graphic card is faster as compared to the video card
CostGraphic cards are more expensive than video cards

Table of Contents

What is a Graphic Card?

What is a Graphic Card? The Graphics card was invented in the 1990s and used as a plug-in adapter. It is basically made up of GPU and RAM, which are used to instantly process the graphics on the screen. Graphics cards are also used in gaming Pcs to improve the image and video quality of the games. The Graphics card doesn't contain installation itself but has a printed circuit board with other components of the motherboard. These components include video memory, display port, USBs, and D-Sub. A Graphics card is an amazing processor that can also increase a computer's performance in graphic production applications.

The Graphics card was invented in the 1990s and used as a plug-in adapter. It is basically made up of GPU and RAM, which are used to instantly process the graphics on the screen. Graphics cards are also used in gaming Pcs to improve the image and video quality of the games. The Graphics card doesn’t contain installation itself but has a printed circuit board with other components of the motherboard. These components include video memory, display port, USBs, and D-Sub. A Graphics card is an amazing processor that can also increase a computer’s performance in graphic production applications.

What is a Video Card?

What is a Video Card? The first video cards were invented in 1981, and after that, they became very popular and started being used for multipurpose activities like editing, controlling speed, and display settings of monitors and computers. A video card is basically a part of a computer that transmits the image data to the screen according to the instructions present on the card. Unlike other cards, the video card is present within a computer's motherboard and is primarily used to control and improve the image and video content on screen. It is also considered a graphic card, but it doesn't have RAM, so it is referred to as a video card.

The first video cards were invented in 1981, and after that, they became very popular and started being used for multipurpose activities like editing, controlling speed, and display settings of monitors and computers. A video card is basically a part of a computer that transmits the image data to the screen according to the instructions present on the card. Unlike other cards, the video card is present within a computer’s motherboard and is primarily used to control and improve the image and video content on screen. It is also considered a graphic card, but it doesn’t have RAM, so it is referred to as a video card. 

6 Key Differences Between Graphic Card and Video Card

ComponentsGraphics CardVideo Card
MeaningA graphics card is basically computer hardware that improves the quality of images, videos, and gaming.A video card is hardware present within a computer that helps to connect the motherboard with the computer system. 
TypesPCI-Express, AGP, and IntegratedG-DDR3, G-DDR5, SDRAM, VRAM, WRAM and G-DDR4-SDRAM
RAMThe Graphics card has RAM, which improves its performanceThe video card doesn’t have a RAM system
SupportedGraphic cards don’t have an installation of a computer with themA video card is very important for the display setting and comes with the computer
PurposeGraphic card is mostly used for the gaming purposeThe video card can be used for multipurpose like editing, controlling speed, display, and editing
RAMGraphic cards consist of a cooling system and RAM, which makes them capable of performing better.Video cards don’t have their own RAM; therefore, they reduce the RAM memory of the system.

Is gpu and Video Card the Same?

GPU, graphics card and video card all terms are used interchangeably. But there are few differences between them. If we talk about GPU vs video card, the GPU is the main chip present on the graphic card, and the video card is a piece of hardware that increases the video-related process. and in video Vs. Graphics card, the video card is used for multipurpose like editing, display, and controlling, while the graphics card is used only for gaming purposes.

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Graphic Card vs. Video Card Similarities

  • Graphics card and video can be used interchangeably as these both are technically the same.
  • Both cards work as expansion cards to generate the image and display the device.
  • Both are also known as Graphical Processing Units, GPU

Graphics Card vs. Video Card Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons of Graphics Card

Pros and Cons of Graphics Card

Pros of Graphics Card

  • Graphics increase the performance of the system, which works for graphic processing.
  • By using a graphic card, the user can enjoy playing games with the high-resolution result and without any problem of lagging.
  • Besides gaming, the graphic card can also increase the video quality, especially the result of HD and Blu-ray movies.
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Cons of Graphics Card

  • Graphics cards are expensive, and if you want better performance, you have to pay a lot. Because the higher the price, the greater the performance.
  • The text and icons can appear smaller when there is any high resolution and colors. Because the system has to deal with more information.

Pros and Cons of Video Card

Pros and Cons of Video Card

Pros of Video Card

  • The video card can help computers in completing their work quickly and displaying videos more smoothly.
  • Video cards are not only used for good video quality but can also help in editing, controlling speed, and displaying images.

Cons of Video Card

  • Video cards use a large amount of electricity, even higher than the CPU, which can increase the electricity bills.
  • Video cards are not supported by all of the programs. Even some programs don’t work properly with multiple video cards.

Comparison Chart

Graphic cards and video cards are frequently confused. They are similar pieces of hardware, but serve different purposes. A full explanation of their differences can be found here.

Comparison Video

What is Video Card or Graphic Card | Types of Graphics Cards | GPU Computer Graphics

Graphic Card vs. Video Card FAQs

Is Video Card and Graphic Card the Same?

No, the main difference between these two cards is that the video card doesn’t have RAM while graphics cards consist of RAM.

Do I Need A Graphics Card and A Video Card?

Video cards are an essential part of the computer as it connects the motherboard with the operating system, but every computer doesn’t need a graphics card, especially when not used for gaming purposes.

Does A Gaming PC Need A Video Card?

No, the video card is not essential for games, but if you want to play games with the latest versions and good quality, the graphic card is necessary.

Is It Better to Have a Faster Processor or A Better Graphics Card?

Today, most games need a good graphic card even more than a CPU. The faster your graphic card works the more quality you can get of your game.

Conclusion

When we talk about video cards Vs. graphic cards, both have a lot of similarities. Both are essential elements of multimedia and make a computer a multimedia computer. These similarities raise the question: is the video card the same as a graphics card? But it’s not. Whether both of these elements play an essential role in multimedia, but their part is different. The main difference between video card and  graphics card is that the video card is responsible for transmitting the graphics to the display unit. A graphics card is a printed circuit that enhances a computer’s graphical capability.

Alex Stantor

Author & Researcher @ Difference 101 Master in Philosophy & Data Analysis, Sorbonne Université (Graduated 2011) Lived in New York City

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