Installing a New Video Card

Whether you're a die-hard gamer or a casual web user, upgrading the video card in your computer can be one of the most cost-effective methods of increasing the performance of your computer. Because everything from Youtube videos on the Internet to Windows Aero make direct use of your video card, ensuring that it is up to date can guarantee the highest level of effectiveness from your PC.

Installing a new video card is a relatively simple process. However, having it professionally installed can cost quite a bit of money. With that in mind, we have created a step-by-step guide so that you can install it entirely on your own.

  1. Turn off your computer, and unplug it from its surge protector or from the wall.
  2. Remove any devices connected to your computer, such as your monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
  3. Place your computer case on a non-carpeted and steady surface such as a table.
  4. Before opening the case, discharge any static electricity you may have built up by touching a metal surface.
  5. Open the side panel of your computer case.
  6. Determine if there is already a video card installed on your computer, or if your computer makes use of an onboard video solution. If a video card is present, unscrew the mounting screw, and gently pull up on the card until completely detached from your computer, placing it on the table.
  7. Locate the type of peripheral slot that your new video card will make use of, either AGP or PCI, and insert the new video card into the correct slot. Consult with both the user's manual for your computer and your new video card to determine which slot to use. Once firmly seated into the motherboard, secure the video card with the included bracket screw.
  8. Replace the side panel of your computer case.
  9. Attach your monitor cable, keyboard, and mouse to your computer.
  10. Attach the power cable to your computer, and power it up.
  11. After Windows starts, insert the installation disc that came with your video card into your computer. Once the software is running, follow the onscreen directions.
  12. Once the driver software for your video card has been installed, reboot your computer.
  13. If the resolution of your desktop appears to be normal (the size of your icons, the Start button, etc.), then your video card has been installed correctly.
  14. Run the driver software again to fully customize your video card's performance. Consult with the manual included with your video card for instructions.

Note: If your computer makes use of an onboard video solution, then you will need to consult with your original user's manual to determine how to disable the onboard video before installing a new video card.