How to Install a Graphics Card

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

A graphics card dictates how images will be displayed on your monitor. Usually, the richer display you want, the more advanced graphics card you would need. Most people tend to change the graphics card of their computer to improve the monitor display. Doing this is helpful if you want to try a more advanced computer game or study display-hungry programs like movie and picture editors.

Materials Needed:
- Graphics card
- graphics card device driver
- graphics card manual
- non-magnetic screwdriver
- anti-static wrist band
Step 1
Wear the anti-static strap. Doing this will protect the computer, especially the graphics card, from any static electricity. This kind of electric shock might completely damage your newly bought graphics card.
Step 2
Turn off the computer and remove all the power cords connected to the CPU.
Step 3
Gain access to the CPU’s internal surface by removing its side panel. Never touch anything inside of it unless absolutely needed.
Step 4
Lay the CPU on its side while the opened panel’s side is up.
Step 5
Look for the PCI-Express or AGP slot of your motherboard. Check if the PCI-Express or AGP slot’s IO plate cover is still at the back of the CPU. It should be at the back if this will be your first time to remove it.
Step 6
Remove the IO plate by unscrewing it or simply twisting it off. Be careful when doing this and do not touch any components connected to it.
Step 7
Get the graphics card. Be gentle when removing it from the box. Carefully hold it by its edges so that you can prevent dropping it or causing other damages to it.
Step 8
Gently plug the graphics card to either the AGP slot or PCI-Express slot. Make sure to firmly plug in the graphics card to the slot. Your card may cause display problems when not plugged in correctly.
Step 9
Check the graphics card’s manual on how to secure it to the case. Most graphics cards are simply screwed to the case. However, other cards require other methods.
Step 10
Close the opened CPU side panel. Turn the computer on to check the graphics card and to install its device driver.
Step 11
Your computer will probably detect the newly installed hardware. You can already use the pop-up window to install the graphics card. If your computer never had the same graphics card, you would probably need to use its own device driver, which is commonly saved in a CD. This usually comes with the graphics card’s box.
Step 12
Insert the CD to your computer’s CD driver. Installation CDs typically have their own wizards. This will guide you to easily install the device drivers without worrying about how to adjust its setup.
Step 13
Check the graphics card’s manufacturer website. Most device drivers that came packed with graphics cards are outdated. See if yours has an updated version. You can enjoy a more advanced graphics card device driver by doing so.