Do you want to install a new graphics card in your PC? We will give you the best tips and explain what you need to consider to avoid the most common mistakes during installation. Installing a new graphics card in a PC is not difficult. However, there are some points that need to be considered. This guide explains what is important. If you follow all our tips for installing a graphics card, you will not have any problems or bugs and can enjoy your new pixel accelerator.
Current graphics cards in the trade have a PCI Express connection, short PCIe . One differentiates the version 2.0 / 2.1, or 3.0. Since these are down-compatible, you can not go wrong here. Even if you put a PCI 3.0 card into a PCIe 2.0 slot, the performance losses are currently only marginal. There must be a PCIe 3.0 x16 or PCIe 2.0 x16 slot on your motherboard. "X16" indicates the number of maximum usable lanes of the PCIe slot. These x16 slots are easily recognizable by their length of 89 mm.
Very old computers still have an AGP or PCI slot for the graphics card. Matching models can be found even in the trade. Here, however, you should consider whether the purchase of a new graphics card is still useful. The easiest way to see the connection is in the manual of the mainboard. If you no longer have it, remove the old graphics card and compare its connections with the images on this page. Also helpful are tools such as CPU-Z or HWiNFO64, which indicate which slots the mainboard has.
Problematic can be cards with a large overall length, which sometimes collide with existing hardware in the housing. In any case, measure the free area in which the new card should be located.
Uninstall old drivers
The new graphics card is freshly unpacked on the table, so quickly unscrew the calculator and insert the new acquisition. But beware: if you simply go to the action, risks that your PC does not start clean. Before you remove all drivers of the old card! To get rid of them, go to "Software" in the Control Panel. Remove the drivers of a Radeon card using the "AMD Catalyst Install Manager" entry and select the "Express uninstallation of all AMD software".
For a GeForce card, select "NVIDIA Graphics Driver" in the Control Panel. By the way, "Intel HD Graphics Driver" can be used to remove the Intel HD graphics driver, which is integrated in the current Core i processors.
Remove tuning tools
If you use the driver of a graphics card manufacturer instead of the named reference driver, this is often entered under a different name in the software list. Also remove all the tuning and overclocking tools on the old map if you have used them. Finally, shut down the PC, a reboot is not necessary. On the Internet are small tools, allegedly remove all driver residues, so-called "Driver Cleaner". We advise against the use of such programs as they sometimes delete important system files.
Remove the old card correctly
Caution when removing the old graphics card! In addition to the screw on the slot plate, a plastic clip holds the card additionally at the end of the base. This can be obscured by a fan on the graphics card at first sight. Anyone who pulls the card by force breaks the brace in the worst case. As a rule, you must press the clip down or to the side to remove the card. When inserting the new card, make sure that the clip locks into position when inserting.
Do not forget the power supply
Most high-performance graphics cards require a separate power supply via the PC power supply. If you forget to connect them during installation, you will get a warning when booting. Modern PCIe cards often have one or two multi-pin PCIe power connectors. If these connectors are missing from your power adapter, use the adapter that is usually included with your PCIe graphics card.
Check the card driver
If there are display errors in games or in Windows mode, this is presumably due to the driver. The driver CD that accompanies the graphics card is usually obsolete, even if the card is brand new. Therefore, install the reference driver from the graphics processor manufacturer. These are usually updated monthly and resolve known problems with applications and games. For a GeForce card you get the driver at nvidia.com. The necessary for a Radeon card Catalyst software, visit amd.com.
After you have installed the card, move the PC up. Windows automatically installs a default driver. Then start the downloaded driver software and follow the instructions on the screen.
Check the power supply
Particularly powerful graphics cards need significantly more power and require more power than an onboard graphics. This is especially true when the PC is operated with two cards in parallel (SLI or Crossfire). If the PC power supply is too weak, the computer crashes while playing or strange picture errors occur. Then look for the power supply on the type plate. In addition to the total output in watts, the 12-volt power supply is particularly important. The exact requirements on the power supply are mostly noted in the system requirements of the graphics card.
Adjust the screen correctly
The screen refresh rate of a TFT flat screen is generally 60 hertz and is automatically adjusted. Only some special gaming and 3D monitors can be controlled with 120 hertz or more. Sometimes, a flickering can occur with a TFT, for example in the case of dashed surfaces. The reason is the analogue transmission of the picture signal via VGA (D-Sub). Replace the VGA cable with a digital DVI, HDMI or DisplayPort cable if TFT and graphics card allow this.
Find the correct screen setting
After installation, the resolution is no longer correct: symbols and fonts are much too large. Right-click the blank desktop and choose "Screen Resolution". Modern 21- to 27-inch TFTs usually have a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels as optimal, native resolution. This notes Windows with the note "recommended". If the correct resolution does not exist, you probably have not installed the rich graphics card driver yet.
Set the driver
If you have a Radeon graphics card and connect it to the screen via HDMI, it may happen that the image will show a black frame - even though you set the monitor's native resolution, 1920x1080 pixels, and the current Catalyst driver Installed.
Right-click on an empty area of the Windows Destops and select "Catalyst Control Center" from the context menu. Click on the "Settings" button in the upper right corner and click on "Extended view". In the left column, open the "My digital flat screens" menu and select "Scaling option (digital flat screen)". Move the slider to the far right to "0% Overscan". The display should now be full-screen, with a click on "Save" you save the setting. Alternatively, you can also connect to the screen via DVI or DisplayPort, the problem should not occur at all.