How to Install an AGP or PCI-e Discrete Video Card
Many motherboards have a built in video to output a video signal to your display monitor, even branded desktop computer manufacturer such as HP, Dell and Acer computer may have a built-in video card on there motherboard. They are called onboard or built-in because they are integrated to the motherboard itself and they cannot be removed or replaced when they are damaged. Doing encoding or typing , browsing the internet, watching movies and playing a none power hungry computer games, the built-in video is more than enough to do the job and you don’t have to upgrade your built-in video. If you think your built-in video is not enough for your needs and want a more decent and better quality video rendering card so that you can play your favorite games smoothly or you really need a fast video card then it’s time for you to upgrade your system with a discrete or dedicated video card.
Installing your video card is easy you just need some basic knowledge on computer components and some basic safety procedure. Follow on through the step by step procedure to successfully install your video card.
How to install video card
Before buying a video card make sure that the video card you’re going to buy and your current motherboard are compatible with each other. There are different types of graphics expansion slot such as the old PCI or PCI 2.0 the newer Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) and the latest Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe), check your motherboard manual for more info on motherboard graphics port. If the available video graphics port on your motherboard is a PCI express slot then you should buy a video card that has a PCI express bus, check out more about video card.
- If your computer has already discrete video card installed then uninstall its drivers and software first at your windows control panel. If you don’t have an old graphics card installed then you can skip this step.
- Power off your computer and unplug the power cable on your computer power supply also unplug your computer at the wall outlet.
- Open your PC case, there are usually two screws at the back of your pc unscrew it and set aside the screw. Some pc case don’t have screws, to remove the cover you just have to slide the cover to open, refer to your pc case manual on how to remove the cover of your pc.
- Before touching any component inside your pc, you have to discharge yourself from static charge by using an anti-static wrist strap and grounding it to the metal part of your computer casing, if you don’t have this anti-static device you can touch any metallic part on your pc casing for a few second but not on the painted part of the pc case. Touching the computer case non painted metalic part will discharge any static charge from your body. If you use anti-static wrist strap don’t forget to remove the anti-static device before powering your pc.
- If you have an older video card installed, unscrew it from its card bracket, to remove your old video card you have to push the lock downward for an AGP port and for a PCI express port you have to slide the lever to the left and pull your video card. If you don’t have an old video card installed then you can skip this step instead you have to locate the AGP port or PCI express port on your motherboard, check video card for more information.
- Install your new video card by aligning the guide notches with the graphics card slot and pressing the card gently till it sit firmly on the graphics port, you’ll know if the graphics card is sited well if you can’t see the pins of the graphics card when sited on the motherboard graphics slot.
- Secure the card by using a single screw and screwing the card bracket firmly to the computer casing, for double width video card you have to use two screws to secure it.
- Inspect the graphics card if it moves, a well sited graphics card should not move when you try to move it. A not properly sited card may damage the card or even the motherboard when you power on your computer.
- Plug in the power cord to the power supply and power on your computer.
- Wait for windows to load, a “new device detected” message by windows should appear and it will install the necessary driver, now is the time to install your video graphics card device driver. Insert the device driver CD/DVD rom that came along with the video card when you bought the card and run setup follow on through the setup process the computer may need to restart after the driver is installed. For better video performance download the latest driver of your video card on the manufacturer website.
- Check device manager if the graphics driver is installed properly, click on start >> right click Computer and click on Manage >> on Computer Management window on the left pane click on Device Management >> on the right pane double click on Display Adapter there you’ll see the installed video card, you should see no yellow exclamation on the display adapter section.
- If everything works out right then you can now turn off your computer and close your computer casing and return the screw at the back of your pc.