Modern video cards let you add a second display to your computer.
Avid gamers, video editors and graphic designers reap the most benefits of an upgraded video card. Video cards are rated by GPU (graphics processing unit) speed and the amount of video RAM contained on the card. A fast GPU combined with a large amount of video RAM ensures that high bit-rate video displays without any lag, which is very important for editing video or playing fast-paced games such as first-person shooters. For daily or casual computer use, a high-end video card is not necessary, as reading email and surfing the web does not require the high-speed video rendering needed for gaming. Because computer stores charge for installation services, installing your own VGA graphics adapter saves you time and money.
1. Uninstall the drivers of your current video card from the Device Manager. To access the device manager, right-click on “Computer” or “My Computer” depending on your version of Windows, and select “Device Manager” from either the left side bar or from the tab labeled “Hardware.” Once in the Device Manager, locate and double-click the “Display Adapters” entry to display all display adapters installed on the computer. Right-click on your current display adapter and click “Uninstall” or “Remove.” Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the removal, but do not restart your computer.
2. Shut down your computer, then remove all cables from the computer, including the power cable.
3. Remove the access panel of the computer case to access the computer’s internal components. Many computers have a screw on the back of the case that can be loosened by either using a screwdriver or your fingers. Other computers, such as Dell computers, have a lever on the top of the case that can be pushed or pulled (depending on model) to release the case. Often, only one side of the case can be removed. Once loose, slide the cover toward the back of the case and lift up on the cover to remove.
4. Remove the currently installed VGA card from the VGA slot located near the white PCI slots. Often, the VGA slot is brown in color, and the card is secured to the computer case using a screw that must be removed.
5. Insert the new VGA card into the VGA slot and firmly press down to ensure that the card is securely inserted. Insert the screw on the end of the card to secure the card to the computer case.
6. Replace the case’s access panel and retighten the screw on the rear of the case to hold the panel in place if necessary. Reconnect the cables to the computer and then turn on the computer.
7. Allow Windows to detect your new video card and install the proper drivers. If Windows does not automatically detect and install the video card, insert the installation disc into your CD drive to manually install the drivers. Once the auto-run window appears, select the option to install the device drivers, then follow the on-screen prompts to complete the installation of the VGA card.