PC Hardware

Tutorial Summary: The Display System Monitors and Adapters

The following points summarize the key concepts in this tutorial:


  • The CRT (cathode-ray tube) is the main component of a monitor. The slender end of the cylinder contains an electron gun, and the larger end is the display screen.

  • Resolution is a measurement of the detail of images produced by the monitor. It is measured in dots per inch.

  • The monitor is the primary consumer of power in a computer system.

  • A monitor can be dangerous and should never be worked on without being discharged first.

Video Cards

  • The video card is the interface between the expansion bus and the monitor.

  • The PGA, VGA, and SVGA monitors each use a 15-pin, three-row, female DB connector.

  • Coprocessors are used to speed up graphics-intensive displays.

Video Memory

  • The amount of video memory on a display card determines the maximum resolution/color depth that the video card can provide.

  • Several types of DRAM are used for video memory; VRAM and WRAM are used for high-performance displays.


  1. Describe the three elements that make up one dot of color.

  2. What is the advantage of interlacing? Is it worth doing?

  3. Should a monitor be turned on and off, or left on all day?

  4. What is the "standard" type of video card used with today's computers?

  5. What is the formula for calculating the required memory for a monitor/video card combination?

  6. What does CRT stand for?

  7. What are HRR and VRR?

  8. Define resolution.

  9. What is bandwidth?

  10. Why is it dangerous to open the monitor's cover?

  11. Name four common sources of video problems.

  12. Explain one similarity and one difference between VRAM and WRAM.

  13. What is a raster?

  14. What type of connector is used for an SVGA monitor?