Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Know If A Graphics Card Is Compatible

Know If a Graphics Card Is Compatible

Installing a new graphics card can improve the performance of your computer significantly. It also can allow you to use new and advanced software. However, your computer must meet certain system requirements to accept a new graphics card. In many cases, a card may fit perfectly into an expansion slot, yet fail to function due to system conflicts. In other cases, you may get the card home only to discover that your computer doesn't have the right slots and operating system. Research and planning can help you know if your new graphics card is compatible with your system and ensure a fast, smooth graphics card installation.


1. Consult your computer's user manual to view its specifications. If you can't find the manual, find your model number and go to the manufacturer's website to download a copy. Check the specs to see what expansion slots you have. The types of expansions slots for graphics cards include Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI), PCI-Express and Advanced Graphics Port (AGP). Ensure that you have at least one slot open.

2. Write down your computer's overall specs. For example, note your CPU speed, installed RAM, total hard drive capacity, CD or DVD drive, current free space on the hard drive, types of expansion slots, type of power supply and operating system. Make sure that you include all upgrades that you have installed since you purchased your computer.

3. Browse your local computer or electronics store for graphics cards. Read the card's specifications and system requirements on the box. Compare your computer's configuration to the minimum system requirements of the graphics card. Also make sure it meets the recommended system requirements, if possible, as this can affect the performance of the card greatly.

4. Check the graphics requirements of the software you usually run. See if the software manufacturer supports or recommends the graphics card. Also, see if the software has minimum graphics requirements. Make a point to check the graphics requirements of any games and 3D design software you would like to use, as they are usually very intensive.

5. Ensure that the graphics card has the same interface as the expansion slots on your motherboard. For example, if your motherboard has both PCI and AGP slots, you must purchase a card in one of these two interface types. However, AGP is preferable in this case as it will allow the graphics card to operate at faster speeds. You cannot install a PCI-Express card in a PCI slot. Also, for older computers, ensure that the motherboard has PCI 2.0 expansion slots. If you attempt to install a PCI 2.0 card in a PCI 1.0 slot, it will fail.

Tags: graphics card, your computer, expansion slots, system requirements, graphics requirements, card Also, Card Compatible