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How to Install a new Video Card ?


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I got the new i3 and it works a treat with 8gb RAM. Seperately I got the nVidea GeForce GTX 550Ti. However, I cant get it to work due to my terrible harware knowledge and skills.

 

I opened the machine case and slotted the card into the slot, but the flip-over screw cover wouldnt fit 100% although I managed to close the case. The computer couldnt find any new hardware though.

 

I was told I needed a 6 pin PCI-E power plug from your power supply plugged into it directly. Im not sure what or how to do this. I have the lead with 6 pins one end and two seperate 4pin plugs the other end. I connect one of these to the Video card and 1 or 2 of the others to my power supply board inside the PC ? Then I should connect the monitor to the graphics card directly and try to add new hardware then ?

 

Thanks again for your help :)

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Newer video cards often require power directly from the power supply. The power provided by the PCI slot just isn't enough anymore.

 

You will have to use the power adapter cable you mentioned that came with it to plug it into one of the extra power connectors from the power supply(not the motherboard). You will need to make sure your power supply is at least 400 watts(according to the 550's specs). If it's not, your card could use too much power like when it's loading a map or level in a game and crash your computer. Without this power connection, the card cannot power up which is why your computer is not seeing it.

 

The typical way to install a new video card is remove the driver and application(if any) of your old video card, power off the computer, take out the old video card, put in the new one, boot up in VGA mode(usually your computer will just do this on it's own if it doesnt find video drivers, and pretty much ALL video cards support VGA mode, altho it's very low resolution), install drivers, reboot. Read the documentation that came with the card or find it on the card vendor's website to be sure. Also, be sure to be aware of static discharge safety so you don't harm your computer(most people touch the power supply or edge of the internal metal frame while the computer is turned off but still plugged in, professionals use wrist straps). If you're not sure, you should check. I'm not responsible if you kill your card, computer or yourself :)

 

Also, once you get the card working, be sure to update to the latest (stable, not Beta) driver from your card's manufacturer.

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Also, if you want max performance, once your new card is working, disable the onboard video card on your motherboard in your BIOS settings. If this is just gibberish, then don't worry about it for now.

 

Also, if there is a setting to override manufacturer's settings for overclocked performance, while this may sound exciting and tempting, don't do it for now because you probably won't notice a difference and could possibly mess up your card.

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I gave it another go this morning and it seems to be working now. I opened the case up again and connected the power cord pins from the card to one of the dangling wires from the supply. It was a bit of a guess but I think I got the right one :)

 

It then found my hardware and installed the drivers and asked me to reset. When I did so the screen disappeared with windows launching. I plugged the monitor back into pc where it was before instead of directly into my video card and it worked again. I thought it had to be plugged into the video card itself ? Im thinking maybe I have to uninstall the old driver/settings or something as it may be confusing itself (more than me!) lol

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Your computer is still directing video output to the built-in video card on the motherboard.

 

Boot your computer as normal. Once Windows is ready, go into Graphics options. You should see two video adapters, the original one(built in to your motherboard) and the new one you just installed. Right click the new one and make it your default video adapter. You'll have to move the monitor cable. You could then, optionally, disable the old one. It helps to have two monitors so you can see what's going on during this process, but certainly not required. Also, if you have the option of using DVI or VGA(two rows of pins, "classic" style) on both your monitor and your graphics card, use the DVI connectors. The signal processing is digital, faster and more accurate with DVI.

 

 

To make the built-in graphics adapter go away, boot your computer, then enter the BIOS setup(usually by hitting F9 or Delete, screen should say). You have to do this pretty quick after the computer first powers on. Look for either motherboard options or peripherals or something along those lines. Basically, you want to disable the built-in(or onboard) video adapter. There are many, many different types of BIOS out there, so the specific words can vary quite a bit. Some even just say video output and list onboard, PCI, AGP, etc. you'll basically want to set it to use your new video adapter and disable or ignore your built-in one.

 

When you got some money burning a hole in your pocket, have an ample power supply and an open PCI-X slot on your motherboard, then you can consider Nvidia's SLI technology :)

 

Lastly, don't forget to download and install the latest drivers for your card(stable/general release, NOT beta) and try to use resolution settings native and optimized to your monitor(many monitors list their preferred setting when your turn them on or enter the settings menu by hitting on a button on the front or side).

 

Hope this has been helpful.

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I managed to get into BIOS (Ive done it before on other systems so its not totally new to me) but I couldnt find any options for removing my on board video card. All it said under Video Options was - Enable/Disable on-board multi-monitor video or something and it was already disabled. I am still plugged into the pc and not the video card so not too sure where it is in BIOS (if that was it or not)

 

Daz

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Yep it seems everything is working now fine. I hope it lasts now though :) Am managing to play SWTOR with the GTX550 Ti on high settings with no lag or problems whatsoever. Thanks for your help, took me a little while but I got there in the end. They wanted £40 in the shop to do that and install windows...

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Basically, it's a hard drive that uses flash memory chips, like an iPod, iPhone, etc. instead of spinning metal platters. There's no moving parts, so there's no heat, less chance of mechanical failure and it's very, very fast. Like, you can boot up a computer in 10 seconds or load a game map for a shooter in just a few seconds. They're awesome, but cost a lot, like over $1 per GB while regular hard drives are a tenth of that.

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  • 1 month later...

New card!

 

GEFORCE GT 440! 2 gigs of DDR3 memory...

 

I know it's a PCI express card and it cost $90 at best buy.

 

Anyhow someone told me XP machines only can go up to 3GB of RAM? Or if I had four one gig ram cards plugged in it would be bascially 3.5 GB?

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Depends on what your motherboard can hold RAM wise

 

I have 4 gigs in mine. But that's due to the type of slots I have.

 

Now if you're talking about the memory in your video card, that's a different topic.

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Anyhow someone told me XP machines only can go up to 3GB of RAM? Or if I had four one gig ram cards plugged in it would be bascially 3.5 GB?

 

This is a 32 bit OS limitation. As the regular XP is 32 bit, its limited in memory. You could get XP 64 Bit which can address more memory than you could ever add.

 

There's really no reason to use XP anyway, use 64 Bit Windows 7 and enjoy near infinite memory capacity.

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Most medium and all high end graphics cards require power from the power supply, this has been so for many years.

 

Just to add emphasis to LC's point, my GForce 7800 required external power, and was released in June of '05. To make an even finer point, the Voodoo5 from 3dfx required external power, and that came out in 2000, and will still work in your current machine :) Of course, 3dfx was way ahead of its time, sadly. People think SLI is a relatively recent innovation. Most are surprised to learn it came out in 1998. I still have my original 2x Voodoo 2 cards, with a whopping combined 16mb of memory :)

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This is a 32 bit OS limitation. As the regular XP is 32 bit, its limited in memory. You could get XP 64 Bit which can address more memory than you could ever add.

 

There's really no reason to use XP anyway, use 64 Bit Windows 7 and enjoy near infinite memory capacity.

 

 

This is mostly true, however, Windows 7 Hom Premium edition 64bit is limited to 16Gb of memory.

Graphics memory is not in that equasion, practically, XP can run the highest memory graphics card, as that device had its own CPU core.

 

The complete list can be found on msdn.microsoft.com

 

in short :

 

VersionLimit on X86Limit on Windows 7 Ultimate 4 GB

192 GB X64

Windows 7 Enterprise 4 GB

192 GB X64

Windows 7 Professional 4 GB

192 GB X64

Windows 7 Home Premium 4 GB

16 GB X64

Windows 7 Home Basic 4 GB

8 GB X64

Windows 7 Starter 2 GB

N/A

 

VersionLimit on X86Limit on Windows XP 4 GB

128 GB X64

128 GB (not supported) IA64

Windows XP Starter Edition 512 MB

N/A

N/A

 

Memory discussed is in full 1000's (actual is in 1024kb) so totals will probably be less.

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This is mostly true, however, Windows 7 Hom Premium edition 64bit is limited to 16Gb of memory.

 

True, but with the limitations of the Home edition you shouldn't get that in any regards...and if you can afford 16 Gb of memory, then Home edition is a dumb choice.

 

Its so annoying that our school has elected to rather give all students free Windows 7 Pro, than hassle around with Home edition.

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Just to add emphasis to LC's point, my GForce 7800 required external power, and was released in June of '05. To make an even finer point, the Voodoo5 from 3dfx required external power, and that came out in 2000, and will still work in your current machine :) Of course, 3dfx was way ahead of its time, sadly. People think SLI is a relatively recent innovation. Most are surprised to learn it came out in 1998. I still have my original 2x Voodoo 2 cards, with a whopping combined 16mb of memory :)

 

LOL, I remember this back in the days. Never did get a Voodoo card though.

 

And people also forget that the only reason lower cards don't require external power, is because the PCI-E supplies power too.

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Unless you're doing some serious video editting or database stuff, most people really, really don't need more than 16GB. 8GB was pretty much essential for crappy Vista, but Win7 does far better. If you're hosting a game server or running a serious database, then a seperate machine is what you really need, not more RAM on your desktop(or just host externally).

 

Also, if you switch to SSD, you will reclaim some wattage to make available to other components(how I narrowly avoided having to upgrade my PS after I got a new video card).

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Unless you're doing some serious video editting or database stuff, most people really, really don't need more than 16GB. 8GB was pretty much essential for crappy Vista, but Win7 does far better. If you're hosting a game server or running a serious database, then a seperate machine is what you really need, not more RAM on your desktop(or just host externally).

 

I have 8 Gb of memory and most of it is taken up by the browsers alone.

 

But yeah, people don't really need 16 Gb, but the ram limitations aren't the reason why you shouldn't generally choose Home edition if you can avoid it.

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I have 8Gb now, which serves me just enough, I will upgrade to 16 in a few months, but that is just because I do not like my resources stretched to the limit with my video editing as they are now, when I am nearing the end of a video clip editing, I tend to sit nearly at 7,5 Gb used.

I do have Home Premium, but that was a budget choice back in the beginning.

My mainboard at the time was near new and I could not afford a new one (incl. Memory and CPU) and it's limit was 2Gb.

 

But now my W7 HP, and I have a Mainboard which can handle it's 16Gb, I think I will be selling it short if I do not upgrade when the cash is available.

 

The second reason why I need to, I have since this week upgraded my Video Editing software to now handle HD quality, and that will eat memory like nothing else..hehehe

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Not sure why you're a hard sell on Win7 Home, it only lacks XP mode, joining a domain, RDP hosting and drive encryption. Most of those features I think safely fall outside of "home use". When I went to Win7, the only thing that stuck out to me was the EOL date, which were interspersed among several years well into the future, but who is going to be running the same thing 5 or 6 years down the road?

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Actually it does not lack XP modus... I still had my XP license (As I upgraded from that and it wasn't used anymore) so now I have Virtual PC 2007, and XP modus is available with the license, including all its integration features.

 

I like my HP, with the onlyexception I would like mirroring of my 2 storage drives, but that is something I can live without, I just copy all files from one to the other drive once a week automatically.

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Was more asking Chaos, but as for backups, I've been copying stuff to an external drive. I've been kind of on the fence about subscribing to an online backup service(i.e. Mozy, Carbonite, et al.) Easy to use, modest cost but also saving sensitive info/data remotely and sites/companies getting hacked daily make it a hard decision.

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Was more asking Chaos, but as for backups, I've been copying stuff to an external drive. I've been kind of on the fence about subscribing to an online backup service(i.e. Mozy, Carbonite, et al.) Easy to use, modest cost but also saving sensitive info/data remotely and sites/companies getting hacked daily make it a hard decision.

 

I can't deal with external drives myself, I have seen too many of them crash at the most inopportune times, and a NAS is just not in the budget for me either. That would be the best I could get 5-drive SSD RAID-5 would be my preference..dhehehe (but that's just utopia)

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Not sure why you're a hard sell on Win7 Home, it only lacks XP mode, joining a domain, RDP hosting and drive encryption. Most of those features I think safely fall outside of "home use". When I went to Win7, the only thing that stuck out to me was the EOL date, which were interspersed among several years well into the future, but who is going to be running the same thing 5 or 6 years down the road?

 

It also doesn't remember certain network passwords/access. So if you used your computer with many educational or company networks, you'd have to type in the password whenever you connected.

 

Like said, it turned into such a bother here that it was opted that it was more hassle free solution to simply give out a free Windows 7 Pro to everyone instead of messing around with the numerous issues Home edition gives.

 

If you just have a home computer, especially stationary, then sure, home can do just fine. Its a cheap alternative.

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Actually it does not lack XP modus... I still had my XP license (As I upgraded from that and it wasn't used anymore) so now I have Virtual PC 2007, and XP modus is available with the license, including all its integration features.

 

I like my HP, with the onlyexception I would like mirroring of my 2 storage drives, but that is something I can live without, I just copy all files from one to the other drive once a week automatically.

 

Its been ages since I've had any need to run XP, but as far as I recall the xp mode in 7 is Virtual PC 2010 with several enhanced features (2010 only existing as that feature, not stand alone).

 

It is available for Home Premium too, so only Home Standard lacks it.

 

But meh....don't care so much either way, always use Windows 7 Pro everywhere, so its not any issue to me.

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