Change graphic card

The method described below applies to a card in AGP or PCI Express format, as well as under the OS Windows XP and Vista.


The graphics processing (unit GPU) market is dominated by two manufacturers that are Nvidia and ATI. They sell their production to assemblers (Asus, Powercolor, Sapphire,...) that make the final product: the graphics card.

Uninstall the old card (unless integrated graphics chipset IGP refer to point 7)

  • In Control Panel, click on System -> hardware -> Device Manager -> s graphic cards.
  • Unfold the submenu and select your current graphics card.
  • Right click and select uninstall.

This will have the effect to uninstall the drivers and remove the card from the list of the devices installed on your computer.

Stop the PC

Disconnect the power supply and all cables connected to the back panel.

Place the main unit on a table

  • Remove the side panel to access the maps of extensions.
  • Before continuing, check whether your new acquisition has a dedicated power connector (connector PCI-E 6 / 8-pin).
    • If so, check that your power supply is equipped with the appropriate outlet.
    • If not, look in the accessories supplied with the box, maybe an adapter is included. If you do not have this adapter, will need to purchase one, or even in some cases, change the power supply. Attention to check this before you buy a new map.

Before you touch your card inside the box

Think of unload you electricity static (just touch the piping to radiators or taps).

  • Disconnect the connector PCI-E 6 / 8-pin (if the old graphics card is so equipped).
  • Remove the screws securing your graphics to the housing of the PC card, and then repel or unlock the locking system at the rear of the PCI-Express or AGP connector. (The majority of motherboards are equipped with a system preventing the graphics card to pull connector, each manufacturer having its own solution, refer to the manual of the motherboard for details).

Picture 1: Coding; Picture 2: PCI Express-lock system.

  • Remove the card, without forcing excessively. (It is often easier to place the flat for this operation).

Install your new card

  • Gently insert the card into the PCI-Express/AGP connector pressing two hands, always without forcing excessively.

  • Connect the connector PCI-E 6 / 8-pin power (if the graphics card is so equipped, it is essential, the graphics card cannot function without this power). See picture, we see a port 6-pin and 8-pin, if you forget to plug one of these connectors to the power supply, the map and therefore the pc will not start.
  • Bring the card/holder fixing screw and close the central unit.
  • Reconnect the PC and all devices.


  • Windows will detect the new card and claim you the drivers.
  • Click Cancel until the dialog box is more displayed and a message appears indicating "that a problem occurred during installation and that the device might not work normally". No panic, this is normal.
  • Insert the drivers CD shipped with your card or the last downloaded on the net.
    • Nvidia drivers
    • ATI drivers
  • Start the installation and follow the directions.
  • Once the installation is complete, restart the computer, even if no dialog box prompted.
  • If the screen resolution has changed, make a right click on the desktop and then go in the Properties menu-> settings to select the best resolution, at your convenience.

Appendix: Specificity of integrated graphics circuits (PGI)

In the event where your PC is equipped as a circuit built into the motherboard, you must first verify that a graphics port is free to host your card (AGP or PCIexpress16). Finally, the method is somewhat different from that described above. Item n ° 1 must be passed, indeed there is no need to uninstall the driver first. And ofcourse, the chips can be disassembled, this is going to be. Similarly, it says here or there it is necessary to disable the chipset in the bios. It is a misconception that has a hard life: see this article. The suite (from point 2) does not change. If everything went well passed, you can you romp on your favorite games to see the gain made by your beautiful brand new graphics card!

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Last edited: 2012-11-04

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