Adding A Video Card To Your Computer

Although I know I’m supposed to be working on the method of watching your TV over the Internet, I’ve had a hardware breakdown of my 7.1 sound system, so I thought I’d show you how to upgrade your Video Card on your computer.

First, let’s examine why you’d want to upgrade your computer’s video card. With Windows Vista , if you’ve bought a computer without a dedicated video card, you’ll lose a lot of speed in the Operating System as Vista needs a lot of computer resources to draw the screen on your monitor. In Windows XP, not having a dedicated video card wasn’t as big of a deal, as the OS wasn’t as big of a resource hog ๐Ÿ™‚ In Vista, if you don’t have a dedicated video card, then the OS uses both processor cycles and your computer’s memory to draw the screen. The idea of having a dedicated video card means that the video card does all of the work, freeing up processor cycles and memory for real work.

In this instance, I’m using a Vista launch machine that did not have a dedicated video card. It’s now my wife’s machine, and the main goal here was to speed up Vista/Windows 7 and to allow her to use a dual monitor setup (she’s jealous of mine) :)So to order the right video card, I need to find out what available expansion slots I have on the computer. If you don’t know by looking (or didn’t feel like cracking the case right this second), then just go to the manufacturers website (in this case HP) enter your model #, and the system as originally configured will tell you what available slots there are. In my case, I have a free PCI-e slot, so that’s what type of video card I looked for.

A word about NewEgg. This is where I order any computer part that I may need. Although I’m too lazy to have an affiliate click thru link on this blog ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m of the position that they are the best place to purchase needed computer parts. So I need a PCI-e video card. One with memory, a PIC-e interface, and cheap:) I decided on the ASUS EN8400GS. At 41 dollars after shipping, it’s a pretty good deal. It has 512MB of RAM, and three outputs. You can spend as much as 600 dollars on a video card, but in this case it’s a bit much.

So now, let’s’ crack the box and look at the card

Instead of a fan, this video card uses a Heat Sink to disapate the incredible amount of heat that a video card creates. This makes the video card quieter. So now let’s crack the case of the computer

And now to insert the card. A word of caution hereโ€ฆI usually don’t use a grounding strap, but should, and I usually wear a hat when doing this in case I happen to be sweating. ๐Ÿ™‚Additionally, make sure the computer is UNPLUGGED not just turned off for this.

Generally, you just place the card in the slot and gently (but firmly) place the card in the slot. And you may want to be a bit careful. This card can easily be broken if you aren’t careful. If you take a look at the next slot over, you’ll see that the open slot next to the PCI-e slot is now pretty useless. ๐Ÿ™‚ After screwing in the card, put the cover back on and restart your computer.

Once you restart the computer, just put the driver CD in, and you should be set. This procedure took me about 15 minutes including the taking of the pictures.