A video adapter (alternate terms include graphics card, display adapter, video card, video board and almost any combination of the words in these terms) is an integrated circuit card in a computer or, in some cases, a monitor that provides digital-to-analog conversion, video RAM, and a video controller so that data can be sent to a computer's display. Today, almost all displays and video adapters adhere to a common denominator de facto standard, Video Graphics Array (VGA). VGA describes how data - essentially red, green, blue data streams - is passed between the computer and the display. It also describes the frame refresh rates in hertz. It also specifies the number and width of horizontal lines, which essentially amounts to specifying the resolution of the pixels that are created. VGA supports four different resolution settings and two related image refresh rates.
In addition to VGA, most displays today adhere to one or more standards set by the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA). VESA defines how software can determine what capabilities a display has. It also identifies resolutions setting beyond those of VGA. These resolutions include 800 by 600, 1024 by 768, 1280 by 1024, and 1600 by 1200 pixels.