2D vs 3D Graphics: Graphics display technology has come to be split into two areas 2D and 3D. 2D (two dimensional) has to do with handling blocks of information on a screen -- drawing lines, filling areas, moving regions, clipping windows, etc. 3D (three dimensional) has to do with handling objects on a screen -- ensuring that features in front of or on the front of an object are visible and that features behind or on the back of an object aren't, shading, texturing, shadowing, etc.

The algorithms and techniques for the two technologies are different. Video cards tend to be good at one or the other, not both. 2D performance is important to handling drawings (autocad), typical business uses, and photo manipulations. 3D performance is important to games and other dynamic picture rendering applications. Routine business work -- word processing, spreadsheets, etc is undemanding. Routine 2D work and is generally done adequately by any video card.

The commonly used specification for 3D is OpenGL

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