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Definition: graphics engine


(1) Hardware that performs graphics processing tasks independently of the computer's CPU. Today's graphics engine is known as a graphics processing unit (GPU). See GPU, graphics accelerator and graphics coprocessor.

(2) Programming interfaces (APIs) that accept commands from an application and the OS to build images and text that are directed to the graphics driver and hardware. The Mac's Quartz and Windows' GDI and DirectX are examples. See Quartz, GDI and DirectX.