With care your computer could easily outlast the video card that came with it. New technology is constantly coming out with better and clearer graphics for games and movies. This upgrade in technology also means that your video card will probably need to be upgraded at least once during the life of your computer. Thankfully replacing the video card is not a difficult process. Getting the right video card to install could be the more difficult problem.
When you go to the store or look online for a new graphics card there are some things you will need to know about your computer. What motherboard you have installed is one of these things, if you are using an older computer, your motherboard may not have the connections for the newer video cards.
While it would be nice to just order the newest card that everyone is talking about on the game you play online, if it doesn’t have a place to connect it to the motherboard it isn’t going to do you much good. A good rule of thumb is to find out what kind of video card you presently have installed and then try to find one with more built in memory, or better speed, or both.
You can find out what video card you have installed by clicking on My Computer, Properties, and then Device Manager, this should bring up a list of the hardware on your computer. Write down the information about your video card and then go shopping. When you have the new video card, repeat the above steps and at Device Manager go on to Display Adapters, you will need to select your video card from the list and Remove it. Now you are ready to shut down the computer and install the new video card.
Unplug all power sources from your computer and open up the case. You may have to unplug the peripherals from the back of the case if you need to move it so that you have room to work on it. When you have the case open, find your video card, there will probably be one screw holding it in place that you will have to remove, as well as a cable or connector. Remove the old card, and attached the cable to your new card. Carefully insert the new card into the slot.
It can sometimes be a bit difficult to get the new video card in, make sure that it is aligned with the notches in the mounting slot, and then press it gently in place. Be very careful with this as trying to force the card into the slot can damage the connections and result in having to buy another new card. When the card is installed and the holding screw is back in place, close up your case. Reattach the peripherals that you had to disconnect and power up your computer. You will need to load the drivers from the disc that came with the new video card. Then you should be ready to play!