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220-1001: CompTIA A+ Certification Exam: Core 1 Certification Video Training Course

The complete solution to prepare for for your exam with 220-1001: CompTIA A+ Certification Exam: Core 1 certification video training course. The 220-1001: CompTIA A+ Certification Exam: Core 1 certification video training course contains a complete set of videos that will provide you with thorough knowledge to understand the key concepts. Top notch prep including CompTIA A+ 220-1001 exam dumps, study guide & practice test questions and answers.

109 Students Enrolled
125 Lectures
16:56:00 Hours

220-1001: CompTIA A+ Certification Exam: Core 1 Certification Video Training Course Exam Curriculum

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1

All About the CompTIA A+

2 Lectures
Time 00:11:00
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Book Chapter 1 - Safety and Professionalism

2 Lectures
Time 00:16:00
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Book Chapter 2: The Visible Computer

4 Lectures
Time 00:31:00
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Book Chapter 3 - CPUs

5 Lectures
Time 00:46:00
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Book Chapter 4 - RAM

4 Lectures
Time 00:33:00
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Book Chapter 5 - Firmware

4 Lectures
Time 00:36:00
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Book Chapter 6 - Motherboards

5 Lectures
Time 00:41:00
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Book Chapter 7 - Power Supplies

6 Lectures
Time 00:56:00
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Book Chapter 8 - Mass Storage Technologies

5 Lectures
Time 00:39:00
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Book Chapter 9 - Implementing Mass Storage

4 Lectures
Time 00:31:00
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Book Chapter 10 - Essential Peripherals

9 Lectures
Time 01:15:00
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Book Chapter 11 - Building a PC

1 Lectures
Time 00:13:00
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Book Chapter 17 - Display Technologies

6 Lectures
Time 00:43:00
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Book Chapter 18 - Essentials of Networking

7 Lectures
Time 01:01:00
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Book Chapter 19 - Local Area Networking

16 Lectures
Time 02:16:00
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Book Chapter 20 - Wireless Networking

7 Lectures
Time 00:59:00
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Book Chapter 21 - The Internet

10 Lectures
Time 01:06:00
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Book Chapter 22 - Virtualization

6 Lectures
Time 00:48:00
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Book Chapter 23 - Portable Computing

5 Lectures
Time 00:28:00
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Book Chapter 24 - Understanding Mobile Devices

5 Lectures
Time 00:40:00
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Book Chapter 25 - Care and Feeding of Mobile Devices

3 Lectures
Time 00:29:00
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Book Chapter 26 - Printers and Multifunction Devices

9 Lectures
Time 01:18:00

All About the CompTIA A+

  • 2:00
  • 9:00

Book Chapter 1 - Safety and Professionalism

  • 6:00
  • 10:00

Book Chapter 2: The Visible Computer

  • 5:00
  • 11:00
  • 8:00
  • 7:00

Book Chapter 3 - CPUs

  • 12:00
  • 7:00
  • 12:00
  • 11:00
  • 4:00

Book Chapter 4 - RAM

  • 11:00
  • 8:00
  • 7:00
  • 7:00

Book Chapter 5 - Firmware

  • 6:00
  • 9:00
  • 9:00
  • 12:00

Book Chapter 6 - Motherboards

  • 6:00
  • 5:00
  • 14:00
  • 7:00
  • 9:00

Book Chapter 7 - Power Supplies

  • 9:00
  • 5:00
  • 8:00
  • 11:00
  • 9:00
  • 14:00

Book Chapter 8 - Mass Storage Technologies

  • 13:00
  • 8:00
  • 8:00
  • 3:00
  • 7:00

Book Chapter 9 - Implementing Mass Storage

  • 5:00
  • 11:00
  • 7:00
  • 8:00

Book Chapter 10 - Essential Peripherals

  • 10:00
  • 10:00
  • 11:00
  • 7:00
  • 6:00
  • 8:00
  • 7:00
  • 8:00
  • 8:00

Book Chapter 11 - Building a PC

  • 13:00

Book Chapter 17 - Display Technologies

  • 8:00
  • 4:00
  • 13:00
  • 7:00
  • 5:00
  • 6:00

Book Chapter 18 - Essentials of Networking

  • 8:00
  • 5:00
  • 7:00
  • 9:00
  • 11:00
  • 10:00
  • 11:00

Book Chapter 19 - Local Area Networking

  • 14:00
  • 5:00
  • 9:00
  • 7:00
  • 10:00
  • 7:00
  • 12:00
  • 6:00
  • 9:00
  • 7:00
  • 8:00
  • 12:00
  • 12:00
  • 6:00
  • 7:00
  • 5:00

Book Chapter 20 - Wireless Networking

  • 11:00
  • 10:00
  • 11:00
  • 9:00
  • 4:00
  • 7:00
  • 7:00

Book Chapter 21 - The Internet

  • 3:00
  • 6:00
  • 8:00
  • 10:00
  • 6:00
  • 7:00
  • 8:00
  • 6:00
  • 8:00
  • 4:00

Book Chapter 22 - Virtualization

  • 10:00
  • 11:00
  • 10:00
  • 8:00
  • 3:00
  • 6:00

Book Chapter 23 - Portable Computing

  • 8:00
  • 5:00
  • 4:00
  • 7:00
  • 4:00

Book Chapter 24 - Understanding Mobile Devices

  • 9:00
  • 10:00
  • 10:00
  • 8:00
  • 3:00

Book Chapter 25 - Care and Feeding of Mobile Devices

  • 11:00
  • 10:00
  • 8:00

Book Chapter 26 - Printers and Multifunction Devices

  • 13:00
  • 8:00
  • 4:00
  • 4:00
  • 14:00
  • 8:00
  • 10:00
  • 10:00
  • 7:00
examvideo-11

About 220-1001: CompTIA A+ Certification Exam: Core 1 Certification Video Training Course

220-1001: CompTIA A+ Certification Exam: Core 1 certification video training course by prepaway along with practice test questions and answers, study guide and exam dumps provides the ultimate training package to help you pass.

Book Chapter 11 - Building a PC

1. The Right PC for the Job

I need a new computer. So if I'm going to get a new computer, well, I'm going to go shopping. And I'll tell you, there is nothing better than the smell of new electronics in the morning. the smell anyway. What we're going to be doing in this episode is going over the different types of computers that people need to do their jobs. As an A+ technician, it's important that you kind of understand that there's more than just one kind of PC out there and what type of internals these different types of PCs need in order to do the job that they do.

So let's go ahead and get started with what we call a "standard thick client." Now, a standard thick client is the most basic type of desktop office computer there is. So let's go ahead and do a little bit of shopping. So what we're going to need here is primarily the hardware that meets the recommended requirements for that particular operating system.

So the word is "middle of the road." So for me, this is going to be the standard thick client tool. I've got a good middle-of-the-road motherboard right here and a matching processor to go with it. I've got myself a nice SSD, and I'm going to be running Microsoft Windows on this particular system. So I'm going to be double-checking my Windows requirements to make sure I've got the right kind of hardware. Sure, we're going to need a power supply, a keyboard, a mouse, and a monitor.

But for you, I'll go ahead and let you make those choices. This has onboard video, which will be more than enough for most people. Also, we're going to be installing some desktop applications. Everybody needs to do some word processing or work on a spreadsheet. So it probably means, in the Windows world, Microsoft Office, although there are certainly alternatives. Now that's an easy one, but pretty much everything else builds on the concept of a standard thick client. Let's do this again, except let's make a standard thin client. In a lot of today's enterprise environments, we use a thin client.

The big difference between a thin client and a thick client is that a thin client rarely relies on its own internal storage to do anything. So the big clue here is going to be network connectivity. Let's build ourselves a system. So for my thin client, what I've got here, first and foremost, I wanted to make sure I had a motherboard with great network connectivity. This particular motherboard has gigabit, which is what my network needs, and it's going to be absolutely perfect. Now for the exam, CompTIA Assessments meets the minimum requirements. OK, for the exam, you can say that. But the reality is that the only difference between a thin client and a thick client is that the thin client doesn't use its own storage to keep its applications and such.

So, in my opinion, you should go above and beyond your minimum requirements simply because whoever will be sitting that machine does not want to be waiting for too long. So the minimum requirements for the exam are network connectivity and a few basic applications. On a thin-client network, you usually only install the applications that the person sitting at that computer requires. So forget your full-blown office installations. This person might be running something as simple as Microsoft Word or even specialised in-house applications.

Okay, so that's good for the basics. I think we need to start taking it up a notch. Let's take a look at a graphic station or a computer-aided design. Workstation for computer-aided manufacturing design. Computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing systems are the cornerstone of pretty much everything, from automobiles to furniture to everything that we do. And we need powerful systems that can support this type of design. So the big thing we're going to be looking for more than anything else is a big, powerful multicore processor and some good high-end video. Let's hope. Grab some of that. All right, now we're talking about a Mike Myers kind of system here. First of all, I've got a good, powerful motherboard that's designed to support a multicore CPU.

Here. I've got some intel. I nine. It's actually interesting that CompTIA uses the term "multicore processor" because all processors today are multicore. But this I9 has got a tonne of cores in it, and it's going to handle any type of CAD cam I might need. On top of that, I've got a really good high-end video card, and I've got some RAM in there as well. You know what? I need more RAM. In fact, I need maximum RAM. Okay. Yeah. Thanks. Thank you. All right, so the next system I want to talk about is something really important, which is a virtualization workstation.

It's hard to find an environment anymore that doesn't have virtualization workstations. Virtualization is here, and we need the right kind of hardware to support it. The big thing here, more than anything else, is going to be powerful systems with lots of CPU cores and lots of RAM. Let's go ahead and get that built together. Okay, so this time I've got another fairly high-end motherboard with a similarly high-end processor. To go with that, I need something that can take a lot of work, especially if I'm running lots and lots of virtual machines simultaneously. You're also going to notice I've got my operating system. A lot of operating systems are a little bit dependent on the type of virtual machines you're going to be running.

So in this case, I just threw out a copy of Windows Pro. Now, what CompTIA doesn't say, but I'm going to add, is that you need storage. Virtual machines, when they're turned off, can take a lot of space. And a lot of people today are going to throw in one SSD and make this their big C drive. And this thing gets filled up very, very quickly. So a trick I like to do is bring in some more traditional drives just to store the virtual machines when I'm not using them.

So I've got tonnes of CPU cores. I've got a good, robust system. What I need again is I need maximum RAM. Can you please not throw it at me this time? Thank you. Okay, now the next device I want to talk about is a network attached storage, better known as a NAS. A network attached storage, or NAS, device is a box that sits on your network. Now, this is usually what we call a headless system. And once it's up and running, you usually don't have a keyboard, a mouse, or a monitor with it. It just sits there and does one job really well. It shares files. And that's what its job is all about.

So it might be sharing traditional files and folders using things like NTFS permissions, or it might be doing media streaming. The bottom line is that, whether it's sharing Word documents or audio files, it's still just sharing files. So the big thing we're going to be worried about here more than anything else is, number one, having a good high-speed network card in there. In my opinion, gigabit would be the absolute minimum. That, of course, assumes that the rest of your network is also gigabit, and that you have something in place to protect all of our data. So that means one thing: a raider.

Let's build this system up. So here are some of the core pieces I'm going to be using in my NAS. I've got a good midrange motherboard with a good midrange CPU. NASA's do not put a strain on your CPU. What they are going to be taxing is the network. And that's why this one has a built-in gigabit Ethernet network card in it so that I can connect to this guy.

You have to be careful when you first set up your computer; you'll have a keyboard, a mouse, and a monitor, and you'll get everything set up and working. Once the Nas is up and running, you unplug the keyboard, the mouse, and the monitor and set them in a rack somewhere, then connect to them via the network because that's the only way we need to connect to the Nas. In fact, with a lot of NASA solutions, once it's initially set up, on occasion, you do have to connect to it.

You connect to it through the network and get to a control panel to do things like replace drives and stuff like that. So that's what we mean by "headless." The other big thing we're going to be dealing with a NAS is that it's storing files, so we need lots of data. So in this particular case, I'm going to install a minimum of four drives, and I'm going to be setting up a good, robust Raid array. Okay, those are fun. But if you really want to talk about how hard you can push technology, there's only one thing to talk about, and that is a gaming PC.

Are you ready to have some fun? There is nothing that taxes your system more than a gaming PC. Games make our computers work really hard. So you're talking top-of-the-line equipment when you really want a game, right? So let's start off with, first of all, a good multicore processor. I think a Ryzen Seven won't be a bad place to start. And if I'm going to have something like that, well, I had better have a motherboard to support it. It's nothing like this with a big chipset to support a powerful processor.

Now, this is going to take a lot of juice, so we're going to need the proper kind of electricity for this guy. nice high-end power supply. What else do we need here? You know what? With all this, we're going to probably be cooking this system. Let's get some nice high-end cooling liquid for the win. Now we've got all this power in here, but the next thing we really need to be talking about is graphics. So how about a graphics card? You know what? How about two graphics cards?

Because if I'm going to be playing high-end gaming, I can take advantage of features like SLI, which allows two video cards to push one monitor for super high resolution. But that's never good enough. What else can we put in there? How about some sound? A nice high-end sound system can often push the sound a lot better than the built-in sound that comes with most motherboards. So this is looking pretty good, but I'm going to need one more thing. Oh, yeah, that's right. How about some storage?

So for me, I'm going to be using very large SSDs. I might even be putting in a couple of rotating media drives simply for storing my games. So when it comes to the ultimate test of understanding what kind of hardware you need to run games, this is, in my opinion—it's not going to say the minimum—but this is the kind of stuff that you're going to be seeing. I always laugh when people say, "Oh, I'm going to get a new computer, so I'm going to give my old computer to the kids." I was like, "No, no, give the kids the new computer because they need the power." Okay, now the last thing I want to talk about is that I want to get back into business a little bit, so let's talk a little bit about audio and video editing workstations.

My crew and I do a lot of videos, as you might imagine. So when it comes to audio and video editing workstations, there are certain criteria that absolutely have to be met. First of all, I need a good, powerful system. I need a good, powerful video card. Specialized audio cards are always a good idea. super-fast hard drives, and heck, even better, dual monitors. But you know what? I've got to be honest with you. If you really want to make your life a lot easier when it comes to these types of workstations, just get a Mac.

Book Chapter 17 - Display Technologies

1. Monitor Technologies

Look at me; I'm inside a monitor. It's funny; we never really think about our monitors that much, but they are the primary device by which your computer provides output. So we understand what our computer is doing. I mean, everybody's got a monitor, but how do they work? Well, the secret to monitors is understanding that this image is actually created by hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of these little, tiny elements called pixels. Now, if you want to see a pixel, well, I'm going to show you one right now. But in order to do that, we're going to have to zoom in.

I'm talking about weighing in. I mean, like, you've got to zoom in like crazy here, and I'm going to show you the world's largest pixel. So what I'm holding in front of me is a pixel, or what we call a picture element. A picture element consists of three individual pieces that emit red, green, and blue light. So let's talk about this for a second. Each one of these individual elements is actually a liquid crystal display, or LCD. The colours are just film put on top of them. So let's wipe the colour away for a minute. And now, if we look at any of these individual LCD elements, when we apply electricity to one of them, it becomes clear and light can pass through it.

If we take the electricity away, it becomes completely opaque, and light cannot go through it. So that works for all three of these. In fact, if we want to, we can even adjust the amount of light so it kind of dims or brightens, which allows us to have different colours of light. This is where the famous RGB values of light come from. So what I'd like to do now is go ahead and put our covers back on. So we're back to our red, green, and blue. So the first thing you need to be aware of with LCD is that it doesn't glow right. The only thing that happens is that the LCD can either let light pass or block light. So all LCD monitors have to have some kind of backlighting to them.

Now, on the first generation of LCDs, we used a cold cathode fluorescent lamp, or CCFL. Although in today's systems, good old light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, are used. So you always want to separate the imaging, which is LCD, from the back light, which could be CCFL or LED on the vast majority of LED panels today. Now, if I want to generate the colour green, say, what I'm going to be doing is making sure that there's absolutely no charge on the blue and that there's no charge on the red. As a result, light will be blocked. And then I'm going to put a big charge on the green, which will clear it, and my backlight will come right through, and it'll be nice and pretty and green.

By putting different combinations of red, green, and blue values in, I can make just about any colour in the rainbow that you might want. Now, the other thing that comes into play with these types of panels is that there are a lot of different types of LCD technologies out there. They have names like TN, which stands for what is that? Somebody write it down for me. There you go. That's a TN panel or IPS. These different panels have different benefits. For example, right now TN is very inexpensive and has a pretty good speed, whereas IPS is very popular because it has a very wide range of views, which a lot of people really appreciate.

Now, when we're talking about these panels, a few things come into play. One of the big things is resolution. Now keep in mind that these pixels are fixed. So the mosaic of pixels that we have is going to have a number of pixels across and a number of pixels down. So we could see numbers like, "Oh, there are so many different resolutions," and we'll cover that in another episode. But one might be 1280 across by 1024 down, or we could have 1920 by 180, for example. There are a lot of different resolutions out there. The other big thing that we worry about with our panels is the brightness.

So when we talk about brightness, we use a value called knits. So a knit is a measure of light. And for panels these days, we're looking at anywhere from 200 to 500 knits for a really good LCD panel. The other big issue is response time. You've got to keep in mind that, especially when you have motion going on your screen, the panel has to, in essence, be able to reset itself so that we have that persistence of vision that allows us human beings to detect motion.

Now, back in the old days, we used to use a term called "refresh rate," and that's kind of passé. These days, a response time is basically how long it takes for one of these pixels to go from all black to all white and back to black again. And it's a better measure. Today's better monitors will have response times that range from as fast as one millisecond up to four milliseconds, which is absolutely fantastic. OK, now that's all absolutely wonderful. But there are a couple of things you need to be careful about. For example, one of the things that you'll hear a lot of people say is, "Oh, I'm selling an LED monitor." No, they're not.

They're selling an LCD monitor that has an LED backlight. LCD is very much king when it comes to monitors these days. However, there are other technologies out there. Keep in mind we have things like smart devices now, and we also have projectors, so we can watch our movies. So there are two other technologies I want to mention. The first one, well, let's look back at our RGB one more time. So imagine I've got an RGB where each of these is like a light bulb: a red light bulb, a green light bulb, and a blue light bulb. That's what we call organic LED, or OLED. OLED has some real benefits.

First of all, you can make really thin monitors with it. In fact, that's why so many smart devices have OLED screens. mainly because it's so thin. It's absolutely incredible. Also, we haven't seen it yet. Really? I mean, I've seen it, but I'm not talking about at my local electronics store, where I could have flexible monitors. I just can't wait for that day. I can roll my monitor up and put it in my back pocket, then just go everywhere I want. Now, there is one other technology I want to mention, and that is DLP. DLP is a fascinating technology that focuses on the idea of having, instead of individual pixels in the classic sense, imagine a grid of zillions of tiny, tiny, and I mean really tiny mirrors. And these mirrors are set up in a grid that defines the resolution.

And what you end up doing is taking a light source, and there are other ways to use that light source. This is one way to do DLP. You have a light source that is going through a colour wheel that's spinning out RGB color. And so this light is turning on and off very quickly, and it's hitting this big grid of mirrors and then reflecting out, giving you all the different colors. We don't see DLP on monitors very much, although it is still quite popular with projectors. All right, so the big takeaway from this episode is that you have a good, rough concept of the different types of technologies that are out there. I think the next step is to rip a monitor open.

2. LCD Breakdown

So this, my friends, is what I have in front of me: an actual LCD monitor. I just took off the case because in this episode I want to talk about some of the parts that are really, really important to us on the inside of LCD monitors. So let me go ahead, and let's start with the positive be.The most important part is right here. And this is the big guy right here; this is the actual LCD screen itself.

Now if we take a look, let me zoom in on this. There are millions of tiny little wires coming into this LCD screen, with a few controller functions right here. So this incredibly fragile piece contains gazillions—over a million—of these little picture elements in here. Now, because there's no power, theoretically, you can't see through an LCD when there's no power. However, no LCD is perfect. So you can probably see me a little bit. I can see the camera a little bit. All right, so this is the working part of any monitor. So let me just set this off to the side for a moment because there's more.

So let's look down here at this very bright, very white piece right here. What you're actually looking at is a little bit taken down, so it's tricky to see. But underneath here and also way down at the bottom are these big, long fluorescent tubes. They're CCFLs. All of this white is essentially a reflector because we want the light to be as even as possible across the monitor to avoid dark and bright spots. So those are the places where the CCFLs live. Now what's interesting, if I can do this without losing a finger, is underneath here. Actually, you know, let's flip the whole thing over first. Here's the power connection.

This is where the monitor gets its electricity. And over here are inputs that are going to come from video cards on my system itself. Okay, now let's go back into this guy a little bit. So first of all, here's the power over here. So what you have here is a standard AC to DC power supply, similar to what you'd find in a desktop system, but much, much smaller. This is designed to give us the DCpower that our circuitry needs to run. However, there's a problem. And the problem is especially with the old-school CCFLs; these CCFLs are fluorescent lights, and fluorescent lights need AC power. So what you would do is take your DC power and then have to convert it back into AC through what are known as inverters.

Now, with these LED panels we see today, we don't see the inverters anymore. You're only going to have inverters if you have CCFLs. Okay, now coming back over here, this is the actual input from our video card itself. And these are different types of technologies for connectors. We cover those in other episodes. We have some logic circuitry here. And this guy right here is the primary connection to the LCD panel itself.

So when you're working with an LCD panel, there are a couple of things I want to make sure you understand. Number one, you're going to have a panel, of course. Number two, you're going to have a separate backlight unit if you're using CCFLs, and there are plenty of monitors that still do. Inverters will be used to convert the recently converted AC power to DC power. Yes, it was. and turns it back into AC to run the CCFLs. On top of that, we're going to have our connectors, our inputs from our data connection, and of course, a big power connection as well.

3. Graphics Cards and Connections

You can have the prettiest, highest-resolution monitor in the world, but without the right graphics card to push it, you're not going to get anything on your screen. So what I want to talk about in this episode is just what a graphics card is and what we should expect.

Now, I've got an older graphics card right here in front of me. And you know what? There's a massive heat sink here. Don't try this at home, kids. Ah, I just ripped a heat sink off. It's okay. He's a trained professional. So what I want you to look at here, first of all, is this fella right here. This is the GPU, or the graphics processing unit. Back in the old days, in order to make something appear on a screen, you had to use some kind of RAM that kept track of what was in every single pixel electronically.

And then you would push that out to the monitor itself. And now that works, and it's known as frame buffering. However, in today's world, we have these very smart processors on our video cards. So, instead of talking to our video card and saying, "This pixel is red, this pixel is read, this pill is read, this pixel is blue," we say it a million times. What we do instead is go to our GPU and say, "Put a circle right here." Or here's an icon that I'm using a lot. Keep that in another part of your memory because GPUs also have their own memory. Take a look right here. So on this particular one, I've got these four. These are, in fact, DDR. Two RAM chips And they do nothing more than actually store what's on the monitor at any given moment.

So if I had some super-duper magneticability to read these chips, I could actually see my image being stored on them. What will happen now will happen many, many times per second. Hopefully at least 60 times per second, though it can go much faster. We have a little scanner, and this thing is just scanning back and forth. And every time it has one of these cycles, it shoots new data out to the monitor, and the monitor resets all the pixels forever to the new image. So you might be just moving an icon across your desktop, but your computer is setting that image up a minimum of 60 times a second. All right, so we're going to have a certain type of GPU, and we're going to have a certain type of RAM.

People become very interested in the various types of GPUs and frequently have more difficulty selecting their video card because of the GPU than they do the CPU on their computer. Right now, we have two big competitors. We have Nvidia Corporation, and then we have AATI, which is now part of AMD. There's actually a third person. We don't talk about them very much, but they're very popular, and they're called "intel." Intel sells a lot of GPUs that are really designed to work on the motherboard itself. So we've got all of these cards, but I want to show you something else really quick. What we have here is a type of video connection called HDMI. We'll talk about him in a second. But what's important is that this is soldered into the motherboard itself. And that's because the vast majority of CPUs these days have built-in GPUs.

In fact, AMD, Intel's big competitor, will sell you a CPU, but if they sell you a CPU with a built-in GPU, they call it an APU. Got all those letters together, kids? Don't worry; I didn't either, and it's not on the test. What is important is that there has to be this extra chip there that has the brains to take commands from the CPU. And then the CPU doesn't have to sit here and address every little pixel. He just talks to the GPU, and the GPU handles all that individual addressing. We've been that way for a long, long time, and we're going to continue to go that way going forward. All right, so we've got the GPU, and we have some type of RAM that's actually on the card itself. Oh, by the way, on today's systems, it's not uncommon to see 8 GB of RAM on the board itself. And that's not only to resolve the screen; a lot of times it will be resolving the next screen, getting it ready to go.

They'll save some memory, like all of the pixels or icons. Instead of having to redraw them through logic, they'll keep a copy of it in hidden parts of their memory. And then, when it's time to draw that icon again, they just go "boom," and it's automatically there. So there's a lot of cool stuff like that. But you can have the greatest graphics card in the world and the greatest monitor, but you've got to connect them at some point. And that's where our different types of connections come into play. So the first thing I want to show you is right here. This is the granddaddy of all connectors. This is called VGA. VGA stands for video graphics array. And it's been around since the 1980s, and you still see it out there a little bit.

It's distinct in that it's going to have 15 pins on three rows. And although there are some exceptions, it's almost always a blue connector. That's not a law or standard. It's just a common thing that we see done all the time. The problem with VGA, if you want to call it a problem, is that it's an analogue signal. So what would happen is if I had a VGA LCD, which, remember, needs a digital signal, it would come through VGA into the monitor. The monitor would then have to convert that signal into digital and then update all the individual pixels, and it worked fine. But it seemed to be kind of a wasted step. So what we began to see many, many years ago—and we're still enjoying that today—are digital signals.

And we're going to start with the first popular digital signal, DVI. So this particular card has two DVI connectors on it. Because DVI was the first digital connector available, there was some difficulty because many people still used analogue LCD panels. So they didn't want to leave these folks in the dust. So what they did was actually very clever. And I need you to look right here, on the far right hand of each one of those. So you can see how it looks across with four little dots in it. What you're looking at is an analogue signal. It's basically a VGA signal, but they kind of cut down on the pins a little bit. The whole idea behind this is that if you've got an old VGA monitor, you can still use one of these video cards.

However, you're going to have to use some kind of adapter. Look at this adapter right here. So on one end, it's DVI, but on the other end, it's VGA. So you think, "Oh, here's a DVI to VGA connector." That means I can take any DVI signal and make it VGA. Well, you can't. What you also have is something that looks like this. Now take a look at this DVI connector right here. You'll notice a small dash on the far right hand side. There's no cross with the four little dots here. Let me see if I can put another one there for comparison's sake. So what you're looking at here is that these white ones are what we call DVI. That means they can do both digital and analog. This one we see here is called Dvid. It is just digital. Nothing will happen if you plug that DVI to VGA connector into that DVI-D one all week. In fact, it won't plug in.

That's what the cross and the minus are for. It will prevent you from actually plugging in the connector. So the other nice part about DVI is that it came out in two versions, single link and dual link. The original idea behind duallink was that you could take one DVI connector out of your card and run two monitors. However, over time, monitor resolutions kept getting bigger and bigger. And we see that dual-link is now designed to handle large, high-resolution monitors. to show you all of them. Let me just put this up on the screen real quick. So here we've got the single link, which is distinct. They've got that little space. And then we have the dual link, where we have all of those pins. And then you can tell the DVI from the DVI, whether it's just a little minus sign or a cross with the four pins in it.

DVI was a pretty amazing interface and had long been the most popular video interface we saw running between our graphics cards and our monitors. Now, there was one problem with DVI, and that was that you still had to go through configuration to make it work. People are doing a lot more consumer electronics at this point in the game. People want DVRs that can be plugged into their televisions and used to watch movies. And there was a lot of controversy about digital rights management, with people basically wanting to protect their movies and music and such. And the industry created HDMI, which stands for high-definition multimedia interface. Now, HDMI is still extremely popular. Let me see, I should have an HDMI connection right here. HDMI is pretty impressive. HDMI is actually more than just for video.

It also does sound, and it can do some pretty interesting things with digital rights management as well. HDMI has been around for a while. At this point, I just want to make sure we're comfortable with connectors. So here's an HDMI connector right here. So this is what we call "regular HDMI." And right next to it, I'm going to put a mini HDMI. I have one of these on my tablet that I still use today. HDMI was and still is incredibly popular, and it's got some real benefits. For example, with HDMI, you can plug your video card into the monitor, and let's say that monitor has speakers. It will automatically start playing out to those speakers if you want it to.

So when it comes to automatic configuration, especially for home theatre stuff, HDMI is still very, very popular. Now, there's nothing wrong with HDMI, but for some people, they want a dedicated connector for their video. And that's where DisplayPort comes in. So I've got some high-end video cards here. And if we take a look at this, you're going to see I've got some pretty serious connections. So we're still using DVI. Forget him. And on the far right, you'll actually see that's an HDMI connection. Forget him. Do you see these three connectors right here? That, my friends, is DisplayPort. DisplayPort is extremely popular and often considered a competitor to HDMI. Now, there are a couple of different types of DisplayPort. The two I want you to be aware of are right here.

So this is regular DisplayPort, and there on the right is Mini DisplayPort. I use a Microsoft Surface laptop, and this cable is precious to me. Now, we're starting to see with a lot of cards where they'll put a variety of connectors in here. Let's take a look at this fancy card one more time. And I want you to wrap your head around the idea that we have so many different ports on here. So I've got a DVI, I've got one HDMI, and I have three display ports. So why do we do that? Well, multiple monitors is one thing, and we cover that in other episodes. But the other thing that comes into play is flexibility. So for a lot of people, they might buy a monitor that only has HDMI. This card works. Or they could have done something that, well, heaven forbid. It's an old one that only has DVI. This card will work.

The only thing you have to be careful about with these cards is that they often have a default port. So you plug this in, you get it running, and you plug it in, and all of a sudden, nothing's coming out. There may not be anything wrong with the card. By default, it expects to exit through a single port. Later, when we talk about video cards, I'll show you how to deal with stuff like that. That is our video card, also known as our graphic card in colloquial terms. These are the guys that push our monitors and make those beautiful screens. So make sure you're comfortable with the connections. Make sure you can tell the difference between HDMI and VGA from all of these different guys. And remember the GPU and RAM; they're always going to be on the video card because he really needs them.

4. Installing a Graphics Card

Let's quit talking about all this monitor stuff and let's start installing some things. So what I'm going to do in this episode is install this beautiful, high-end graphics card into this system. Now there's a couple of things I want to talk about. So first of all, let's take a look at the business end of this card itself. Now you'll notice I've got a lot of different connectors on here. There are a lot of these cards that will only use one connector by default. So you want to always try to use that one first. And every card is different. You want to do a little research on that or read the manual. So what I'm going to do is stamp the card. So notice that as long as I'm holding the outside of the card and staying away from metal parts, I don't have to worry about anti-static. I never use anti-static when I'm snapping in a card. So let's take a look inside before we start snapping. You're going to see I've got 316-lane PCI connectors in here. So they're actually numbered it's.PCIe One, PCIe Two, and PCIe Three That will be important in a moment. So what I'm going to do is go ahead and drop in this card.

You can see I've already popped off a couple of spacers. These higher-end cards, in particular, are so large and unwieldy that you must take your time dropping them in. OK, perfect. They're so big that I have to actually look underneath to make sure I'm hitting the PCI spot. Now the other thing you've got to really be careful about is that you really get tempted with these cards not to put in both screws, especially if you're going to put it on its side. Do not make that mistake. What a ray of sunshine! Okay, now the other thing we need to deal with with these cards is take a look right over here on the end, and you're going to see we've got PCIe power here. Now this is a big card, and it actually needs dual eight-pin PCIe power. A lot of these PCIe cards will break out like that for six. Those are fairly rare anymore.

So I'm going to have to plug these guys in. All right, so this part is pretty much ready to go. All I'm going to need to do at this point is go ahead and plug them in. So what I'm going to do now is plug this guy in, fire him up, and meet me at Sea Moss. I've got something I want to show you over there. Here is one setting I want to make sure you're aware of. You can actually pick which video card you want to boot from. Now this particular system has an on-board graphics card, so right now it's set to the first PCIe card, which is where I'm plugged in. But if I hit the options, you'll see I've got some more options here. So the IGFX stands for the internal graphics card. So if I wanted to boot from there, I could primarily use that. Or if I had multiple graphics cards, I could pick any of these other PCIe slots numbered one through three. There are a lot of reasons why you might have more than one graphics card on a system today.

One example is using multiple monitors. However, if you're into bitcoin or something similar, a lot of people will use these for data mining. So that's why, if you take a look at this particular case, you'll notice I've got two slots that are going sideways like that. A riser is what those are for. So this is a riser I've got in my hand right here. I want you guys to take a look at this. As you can see, one side has a PCIe 16-lane card and the other has a PCIe 1-lane card. Now the system is already running, so I don't want to plug this in, but I can take this guy and drop it in sideways like this. And now I can put in yet another graphics card. So it might be a little too big for my current setup, but I can put multiple cards in there. And that's why riser cards are used more than anything else today. Generically, a riser card is anything that plugs into your main expansion bus and gives you an extra slot. Okay, so my system is up and running pretty happily.

I went ahead and checked my CMOS. Everybody's happy there. So I'm going to go ahead and do my initial boot. Now. Once we've booted up today's computer, the world is really pretty easy when it comes to graphics cards. So I can tell just by looking how pretty the monitor is. It's probably in good shape, but let's go ahead and check in the device manager, and I'll take a quick peek. I don't have any exclamation points or anything here, so I know I'm in good order. Now you need to make sure that you have a graphics card that matches the native resolution of your monitor. All monitors have a fixed resolution. This particular monitor I have is a 4K monitor, so I know that this graphics card can push it that hard. So I'm in good shape. The only other thing I want to check right now is to make sure I'm running in my native resolution. Right there, I see 38, 40 by 21, 60. That's my native resolution, and I'm in good shape.

Now, one other thing while I'm in here is that, especially with these big 4K monitors, if you leave the text at its default size, wow, that's really small. Okay, let's make it a little bit bigger. So Windows recommends 150% for this particular one, but Mike Myers likes it a little bit bigger. So you always want to make sure that you adjust your scale for your text, apps, and other items to something that matches what you want to see.

Monitors are generally pretty easy to deal with within the Windows world. The only other step I would recommend at this point is to go ahead and update your drivers. Surprisingly, Windows Update now does a good job of updating video drivers. However, a lot of people just like to go to the individual websites, pull down the latest driver, and make sure that they're looking good last. Pretty much all video manufacturers will have some kind of little utility that's running that allows you to make a lot of adjustments, and one of those is checking for updates. And many people enjoy those because they are simple. Stop. Check that you have the correct driver update.

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