upgrade video card, how to upgrade graphic card, install graphic adapter, guide, tips
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How to upgrade video / graphic card / adapter?

Usually there are two reasons that you want to upgrade your graphic card. The first is that your current card has poor performance and the second is that you just want faster video performance.

If you think your current video card is performing poorly, there are several things you can do before upgrading your video card. The first thing is to tune up your computer. This involves things like running Defrag, Scandisk, virus checkers etc.

Once you are sure that your computer is working properly and your computer is still experiencing slowdowns in video intensive programs, like games or graphic design programs, then the second thing you may need to do is upgrade your computer's main system memory. Inadequate amounts of system RAM will slow down your computer's performance. At least 512 MB of system RAM is recommended.

If your computer is more than 3 years old, we would suggest that you buy a new computer. A new video card will not significantly increase the performance of the old computer systems.

Once you have decided that you need a new video card, or you just want a newer video card to improve your system's performance, you should first identify what kind of video socket type you have on your mother board. Usually there are four types. They are PCI, AGP, PCI-E, and PCI-E2. It is important to purchase the video card which can be installed on your motherboard, that is, your motherboard should have the slot for the graphic card to be bought.

The following two things that you must keep in your mind:

1. Special attention must be paid to the AGP video adapter because it has different versions and with different voltage.

2. After determining what kind of card slot and how much space you have for it, you'll need to find out the power rating on your system power supply. Today's performance video cards require lots of power, and some power supplies might not have the wattage to support a system loaded with extra drives, a fast processor, and a new power-hungry video card. If you're lucky, the power supply will have its maximum wattage listed on the back, visible from outside the case. Otherwise you'll have to open the case and look for the rating sticker on the power supply. The bare-minimum wattage you're looking for is 350W, but you'll be able to get a more powerful card with a 400W or 450W power supply, and you'll need 500W or more for a dual-card setup. Check the power supply requirements printed on the outside of the video card box to make sure your system can support the card.

After buying the video card, the following are the steps you need to do:

1. First thing you need to do is to uninstall the old drivers. Right-click My Computer, select Properties, and under the Hardware tab click on Device Manager. Double-click the name of your current graphics card, listed under Display Adapter, and under the Driver tab, click the Uninstall button. If you have related software installed, you need also to uninstall it.

2. Unplug the power of your compuer and open the case.

3. Ground yourself to protect your PC's delicate circuits from static electric charges. If you don't have a grounding strap, at least ground your body by touching a metal faucet, pipe, or even a metal part on the outside of your PC's case before touching the inside of your PC or any component.

4. Remove your current graphics card.

5: Install the new card.

6. Put everything back together. Turn ON the PC and watch the screen. If all has gone well, you will see video on your screen.

7. If your computer beeps and puts up a note about a change, press F# to continue, please follow the prompts.

8. Insert the CD that came with your video card and install the driver.

Note: If you have only the card's drivers and no installation program, you can manually install the new card by selecting Add Hardware from the Windows Control Panel. The program will walk you through the installation process and ask for the location of the driver files, which will be either on CD or on your hard drive, if you downloaded them.

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