How to install a graphics card and drivers.

Adding a graphics card to your computer is one of the easiest ways to give it a major boost in power. That’s in part because the best graphics cards tend to have a huge advantage over any integrated graphics built into the processors, and in part because it’s simple to install a graphics card.

How to upgrade your graphics card

Find the right PCIe slot

First thing’s first: you need to find where your graphics card is going inside your computer. Depending on your motherboard, you may have just one PCIe slot or you may have many.

Generally, you want to install your graphics card into a PCIe x16 slot. There are two parts to identifying a PCIe x16 slot. First, look for the longest PCIe slot on your motherboard. Slots come in x1, x4, x8 and x16 sizes. If you’re not sure, you can compare the slot length to the length of the connector on the bottom of your graphics card.
Next, confirm that the slot you’ve found is a true x16 slot by looking for a text indicator on the motherboard itself. Some PCIe slots maybe the size of an x16 slot back actually have fewer PCIe lanes, which can limit performance. For instance, we have a Micro ATX motherboard with two PCIe x16 slots, but one is a true PCIe 3.0 x16 slot while the other is actually a PCIe 2.0 x4 slot offering restricted bandwidth but support for longer add-in cards.

Ready your motherboard and computer case

Once you’ve found the correct slot, you should make sure the PCIe slot is in its open position. Some slots have a small clip at one end that can flip up and down. Flipping the clip down will unlock the slot. Other slots may have a clip that moves sideways. It will simply flip out of the way when you install the GPU, and then it will lock back into position.

You also need to remove any expansion slot covers on the back of your computer case that line up with the slots your graphics card will fill. In some cases, these will screw off while others may snap off.

Insert your graphics card

Now you’re ready to put the graphics card in. When holding the graphics card, avoid touching the PCIe connector or exposed portions of the PCB.

First, line up the graphics card with the PCIe slot. Then line up the end of the graphics card with the open expansion slots on the case. Make sure the end of the graphics card’s I/O shield is clear of the motherboard and not pressing into it.

Lower the graphics card into its PCIe slot. It should not take much force. You may hear a click when the lock at the end of the PCIe slot flips into place. If you don’t hear anything, confirm that the lock is in its closed position.

Secure the graphics card

Insert any screws into the case that are meant to hold the graphics card’s I/O shield in place. These should be the same screws you removed when taking out the expansion slot covers.

If your graphics card requires a bracket for support, follow whatever instructions were included with your graphics card.

Plugin any power connectors

At one end of your graphics card, you will likely find a number of ports. These are the power connectors for your graphics card. Plug in all corresponding power cables from your computer’s power supply. These can be 6- or 8-pin power connectors, and maybe a combination of multiple connectors. (Note: Some low-power graphics cards are able to draw all of their power from their PCIe connection and will not require you to attach any additional power cables.)

Don’t forget to plug in your display cables

With the previous steps, your graphics card is installed. But, you need to make sure you’re actually using it. So, plug your HDMI, DisplayPort, or any other video cables directly into the graphics card. If you use the display connections on your motherboard, you won’t be taking advantage of your graphics card.

Nvidia graphic card drivers

How to install Nvidia drivers how to get your Nvidia GeForce GPU up and running.

Installing Nvidia drivers has been an easy process for quite a while. Unlike its rival AMD, Nvidia hasn’t had a reputation for tricky video card driver installs, at least not to the same extent. When you’re installing your Nvidia graphics card drivers, you want to make sure it goes off without a hitch, so even though the process is simple for the most part, we’ll give you the exact steps for success.

 Preparing to Install NVIDIA Drivers

These easy-to-perform steps ensure your computer is ready for your NVIDIA driver installation.

Check your graphics card installation

As you’re getting ready to install your NVIDIA video card drivers, you’ll want to make sure everything is ready to go. Even if you think you’ve done everything right, check off this list to be sure:

  1. Is your NVIDIA card mounted securely in your case?
  2. Is your GPU seated fully in the PCI-E socket?
  3. Have you properly attached the power cables to your NVIDIA GPU?

Before you can even think of installing drivers, you want to make sure your computer can recognize your card. Ensuring that it’s installed correctly is the first step towards success.

Make sure your monitor is connected to your graphics card.

This one might seem like a no-brainer, but when you’re running on the thrill of getting a new graphics card, it’s easy to forget to plug your monitor upright – trust us, we’ve all done it. Most motherboards come with an HDMI port, which allows you to use your CPU’s video out if it supports that feature. However, the motherboard port doesn’t output video from your graphics card. So, if you don’t make sure your monitor is connected to one of the ports on your GPU, then you don’t get any of the advantages of having a video card installed.

Remove any video card drivers that were previously installed.

This step isn’t as vital as it used to be, but it’s still a good idea nevertheless. You can use the Display Driver Uninstaller tool from Guru3D to completely remove any graphics card drivers that were previously installed on your computer. This process ensures that none of the old files will be around to conflict with your new drivers once you install them.

How to Install NVIDIA Drivers

Once you’ve checked off the list above, you’re ready to install your NVIDIA drivers. This process is straightforward as long as you’re careful to make the right choices.

To get started, head to the NVIDIA driver download page. Here, you’ll see a series of dropdowns that lets you input which product you own. We’ll go through each of them below:

  1. Product Type: More than likely, if you’ve bought a video card for gaming or general use, this is going to be “GeForce.”
  2. Product Series: If you’ve bought a recently manufactured card, this will probably be “GeForce 10 Series,” “GeForce 16 Series,” or “GeForce RTX 20 Series.” If you’re using a laptop, make sure you select the choice that has “(Notebooks)” after it.
  3. Product: This is where you select the actual model of your video card.
  4. Operating System: This is where you input which OS your computer is using.
  5. Windows Driver Type: We recommend choosing “Standard” here. Once you’ve installed the GeForce Experience software alongside your driver, it will automatically update to DCH if that’s the type you need.
  6. Download Type: You’ll want the “Game Ready Driver (GRD).”

Once you’ve input your selections, click “Search,” and you’ll be taken to the appropriate page. From here, click “Download,” then install the software. It will automatically install your NVIDIA drivers and the GeForce Experience program, which will be where you’ll download updated drivers in the future. Alternatively, you could just download Nvidia GeForce Experience and install your drivers through there without having to deal with the dropdown menus.

Credit to TechRadar for such an informative article.

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