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Game Development Dictionary

3D Accelerator Card

A type of graphics card which helps a computer to process 3D graphics very quickly.

* Computers cannot actually do 'real' 3D imagery (well, none that you can buy without three major lottery wins and a Chair of Lucasian Mathematics at Cambridge University). We haven't invented the Star Trek-style Holosuite(tm) yet, so computers have to create a fake 3D which gets shown on a monitor or TV. Unfortunately, the conversion from 3D to 2D that has to be done requires a lot of mathematics. A 3D Accelerator card has specially-designed stuff on it which does a lot of the mathematics for the computer - leaving the computer to get on with more interesting work. Most 3D Accelerator cards now also accelerate the basic 2D stuff.