The term is usually used to refer to a separate, dedicated expansion card that is plugged into a slot on the computer's motherboard, as opposed to a graphics controller integrated into the motherboard chipset. An integrated graphics controller may be referred to as an "integrated graphics processor" (IGP).
Some video cards offer added functions, such as video capture, TV tuner adapter, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 decoding or even FireWire, mouse, light pen, joystick connectors, or even the ability to connect multiple monitors.
A common misconception regarding video cards is that they are strictly used for Video games; a misconception that companies take advantage of in order to sell their products by advertising their products as if they were in fact video consoles. Video cards instead have a much broader range of capability. Being specialized for video output Video Cards improve what a computer monitor displays. As well, they play a very important role for Graphic Designers and 3D Animators, who tend to require optimum displays for their work as well as faster rendering in order to efficiently tone up their work.
The Geforce 9800 GTX Video Card