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Video Cards

There are so many video cards to choose from at your local computer store.  What to buy is always the question.  Well this is the tricky part so lets look at the key issues before you buy that new card.

First thing you need to know are your system specs:

You can find most of this information in system information section by going to  Start-All Programs-Accessories-System Tools-System Information.

Then Print at least that first page which should have details of the following except for your Power Supply.

  • Type of motherboard
  • Memory
  • Type of slots you have (PCI or AGP or Both)
  • Size of your power supply  (open your case to find out how big your        power supply is, it is written on the side)
  • Hard drive size

Out of the list the primary need to know items are the Power Supply and Type of motherboard.  You may wonder why?  Well all video cards have a requirement as to the size of your Power Supply. So lets say the video card you want needs a 450 Watt power suppy but your power supply is only a 350 Watt.  You may think "OH well i can just put in a new power supply," right? WRONG.  If you try that you could fry the motherboard.  This is where you need to know what type of motherboard you have and if it can handle a larger Watt power supply.  Go to the Manufacter's website and drop them an email ask how large of a power supply your board can handle.  Then it will be up to you to decide how big of a power supply you want.

Best advise i can give you is this:  If you need to replace a Power supply they start at around 75 dollars , a Motherboard starts at around 99.00, so look at that cost.  Now think about it and say "can i put it in myself"?, if the answer is "NO" then it will cost you to have someone install both.

When in doubt ask a pro. 

Everyone wants more POWER but sometimes more POWER can do things you didn't want.  So, always read the requirements on any new part you are wanting to buy first.  If you are still in doubt ask the tech people at the store.  They can look up your system and hopefully determine if you can upgrade or if you just need to buy a NEW computer. 

New Computer?  Well sometimes by the time you upgrade everything it's a better value to just buy a new system.  Some companies like DELL will let you trade in your old one for a bit of credit towards a new system.  Or, sell yours to a friend use that with the cash you were going to spend on upgrades and buy a computer that you want.

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