2 Comments

Upgrading Your Video Card – Part 2

Continued from Part 1. Now that you got your card and PSU there’s couple more things to know.

Linux Drivers

It’s best to add your new video card drivers before you shut down so your new card will just boot up to the deskotp. Remove your old driver and install the new. Don’t try to keep both drivers as they’d probably conflict. Don’t worry about uninstalling a video driver on a running system, the driver is stored in memory so this is no problem to do.

BIOS

For newer BIOS’s this isn’t a problem. On mine I had a video setting that by default said “PCI Express First’ so I didn’t have to change anything. The card was recognized at boot and the BIOS disabled the onboard one automatically. Most BIOS’s have this option. You may have to change this yourself though so look into your BIOS before booting.

Post Boot

If everything is set up correctly, you should have your new video card up and running. In the terminal type:

lspci | grep VGA

and you should see your new card. With that you can try out a game or an HD movie and see how it does.

Overclock

There’s alot of talk in the video card click of overclocking. My advice? Don’t! Sure you can if you want to but keep in mind that overclocking voids most warranties. Overclocking can also take years off a video cards lifetime. Plus even the greatest overclocks will usually only yield about 2-4 fps. If you need more fps than that then likely you need another video card. If you absolutely have to do it, there’s a good post in the nvidia forums (see third post down).

Budget for a Price

I decided to go with the nvidia PNY 9600 GSO 768MB card. This isn’t a good card for gamers (be careful of manufacturer-reviews) but it is good for the price I got it for. I picked this up at Fry’s for $40 after a mail-in rebate. It’s runs quiet and has a three year warranty to boot. I tested a few games and found out it ran decent on most new games on medium settings (Crysis plays 20-40fps). I found out a bit too late but if you want a good budget/gamer card you’re gonna have to begin at the $100 price range and I’ve heard alot of good things about the ATi 4770.

My PSU

This PSU is a great buy for the money as I said before though if you want to be sure you got a good PSU spend $40 dollars or more. As it was though, I couldn’t afford it and took a chance on a bargain PSU that has gotten some good reviews. The hec HP485D 485W ATX12V Power Supply installed easily and seems to be doing ok (I just hope it holds out for more that a year :) )

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2 comments on “Upgrading Your Video Card – Part 2

  1. I can’t thank you enough for the info you supplied on high end video card installation.
    I have a radeon x1950pro card to install and I need to boost my power to 450 watts
    I didn’t even consider that problem. I also need to convert my molex cable…no big problem but now I know…

    Thank You
    Allan H.
    London, Ontario, Canada

  2. Yeah, thought that getting a new card was as easy as putting it in before I asked a few people. Glad it could help you Allan.

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