Although the integrated graphics engines of most motherboards can sustain the average user, those interested in hard-core gaming or graphic design capabilities need more "umph" from their computer system. Regardless of your needs, upgrading the video on your computer system is quite an easy task to accomplish, once you know what you're doing.
- Video Card Type - First, you will need to know what kind of video card you need. If your computer was built since 2003, there is a chance it was designed with PCI-Express capabilities. Since it could possibly be AGP, you'll want to look up your motherboard serial number to make sure.
- Power Capacities - If you are upgrading to a top-of-the-line PCI-E video card, you'll want to make sure your computer can handle the power load required. You'll also want to make sure your power supply has the correct power connector for the PCI-E video card. These could be in a variety of types, but most common connectors for power in a PCI-E video card is the 4-pin and a 6-pin molex. If you plan on upgrading your video card, you have to make sure the power supply is compatible. Otherwise, the card will either not work or will give you errors the moment you try to use 3D graphics of any kind. As for output, the wattage needed may vary, but you can't go wrong with an 850+ watt PSU with around 30 amps or so on the 12-volt rail.
- Installation - Any time you're performing upgrades on your computer, turn off the power switch in the back and unplug the power cord from the computer. Some power supplies won't have a switch to flip, but it is ok. Even if the computer is off, you can still create a short when installing hardware that could turn the computer on and cause damage to the motherboard.
- Unfasten the side panel in order to get into the computer.
- Find the PCI-E or AGP slot on your motherboard.
- Gently plug your new video card into the slot, but firmly ensure it fastens tight.
- If your case has screws to fasten the back-plate to the chassis, screw them in. Some won't as in tool-less cases.
- If your new video card requires power input, plug it in. The power connector for the video card is usually on the far right side of the card itself and will usually have four or six holes, depending on what kind of molex for power it requires.
- Fasten the side panel back onto the computer case.
- Plug your power cable back into the back of the computer and turn the switch on, if it has one.
- BIOS - Many motherboards will automatically detect that a PCI-E video card has been installed and will adjust the video output themselves. However, you may have to go into your BIOS and set your computer to use the PCI-E as the primary video. As every manufacturer is different, accessing BIOS and finding the video control depends on the computer.
- Correct Port - Once your card is installed and the BIOS settings are corrected, unplug the monitors cable from the integrated video and into your new PCI-E video card. If you need to use an adapter, make sure it's on the cable's end.
- Software - Once you log into Windows, use your driver software that came with the video card and follow the directions to install it.
Adding a strong video output to your computer can open all kinds of opportunities for visual effects. Game enhancements you never saw before can become vivid and crystal clear with the right video card. It doesn't take much to increase the power of your computer and adding a stronger video processor can make a world of difference.
Author Bio Nancy Parker is a professional www.enannysource.com and she loves to write about wide range of subjects like health, Parenting, Child Care, Babysitting, nanny background check tips etc. You can reach her @ nancy.parker015 @ gmail.com