What is a GMA graphics card?

ramone By ramone, 16th Jul 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/jbm3ui0s/
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Technology>Graphics Cards

Most people when choosing a Computer or Graphics card to buy often come across this term. This article offers some insightful explanation into its meaning.

Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA)

The Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA), is a series of low cost integrated graphics processors solutions that was introduced in 2004 by Intel, replacing the earlier Intel Extreme Graphics series. All GMA Graphics are integrated onto the motherboard meaning that they are soldered on to the motherboards before distribution and sale, these type of graphics card have limited graphics processing power, and uses the computer's main memory (RAM) for storage instead of a dedicated video memory. They are most commonly found on netbooks, low-priced laptops and desktop computers, as well as business computers which do not need high levels of graphics capability. Ideal for the casual user.

Intel's Focal Point in (GMA) Graphics Card Development

Intel's focus appears to have been firmly on video playback not on gaming when designing these cards. With that said It goes without saying that enthusiasts and gamers gave Intel a tough time for its integrated graphics, and for the most part it's entirely justified: Intel has never produced integrated graphics worth gaming with period. However later Intel started adding HD video quality (High Definition) and Intel® High Definition Audio to these graphics cards to appease the movie enthusiasts in order to ramp up their sales. Let’s not for most part the noise reduction was a blessing for most person who hated it. Since it is an integrated graphics built into the motherboard there was no need for a separated cooling fan for the GPU (Graphic Processing Unit).

Future Developments

Around the time of the core i3, i5, i7 processors Intel came out with an improvement to the Intel GMA cards. During the time of the GMA graphics card, Intel integrated graphics were built into the motherboard's Northbridge, as part of the evolution the Northbridge was eliminated and graphics processing was moved to the central processing unit (CPU). Thus the Intel HD Graphics series was born. These are the Graphics were seeing now like the Intel HD Graphics 2000, 3000, 4000 and 5000 series. I seeing where most system with the current Intel HD graphics are now introducing switchable Graphics card. For casual user the Intel HD will run however once you switch over to Auto CAD, Gaming or video editing, the usual heavy stuff the Discrete Class Graphic card kicks in mostly AMD Radeons etc.

GMA not for High performance use such as gaming etc. Intel HD series is twice as powerful can handle most games but still not there yet.


Gma, Graphics Media Accelerator, Intel

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author avatar ramone
A versatile pro-active self-motivated person who combines their interest in customer support and Information Technology skills to assist, educate and inform the masses.

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