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Upgrading and Fixing Computers: Do-it-Yourself For Dummies® by Andy Rathbone

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Chapter 9. Beefing Up Your Computer's Video Card

Topics and tasks in this chapter

  • Finding compatible video slots and ports

  • Understanding video card features

  • Installing your new video card

When engineers sat down at their poker table many years ago to design computers, they decided on a quick and easy way to upgrade their many parts.

Upgrades would come on cards, they decreed. To upgrade the computer, owners would simply slide the card into one of several standard-sized slots built into every computer. Simple.

And today, that's still how you upgrade your computer's video: You slide a video card into your computer's video slot. This chapter covers that specific task in minute detail by covering these things:

  • Discovering what type of video card works with your computer's video slot.

  • Choosing a more powerful video card that both fits into that slot and matches the video ports on your monitor.

  • Installing the new video card and plugging a cable between the card and your monitor.

Note

Dig in — unless you own a laptop and netbook, unfortunately. Only desktop computers can upgrade their video.

Buying the Right Video Card

Video cards require two things to be compatible with your computer:

  • The card must physically fit into your computer's video slot.

  • The card's ports — its connectors — must match the ones on your monitor.

Let's tackle the slot issue, first.

Finding a compatible video slot

Also known as buses, slots sit together in a long row on your motherboard, like rake marks left in dirt. When you plug in ...

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