|Install AGP Video Card
Most of the computers I build are for home and business use. Typically, they will do accounting chores, internet, and help a child with their homework. Occasionally, a hardcore gamer will come my way. For them, graphics are paramount. A regular video card will not do.
What is needed is a graphics accelerator, that installs in the AGP slot on the motherboard. Since the unit we're building for this book is a kind of "do everything, but on a budget" computer, I've selected a mid-range graphics card. It had a modest price tag, but still offered 4X speed. (photo 1)
When we open the box, we find the card, driver software, and an instruction sheet. Let's take a cloesup look at the card.
The most prominent feature is the heatsink, mounted on the side. (photo 2) You know, a graphics card can use more electricity than the motherboard and hard drive combined. This means heat, another reason we had to install that second case fan.
Along the bottom edge of the card are three groups of gold colored "fingers" that fit down into the AGP slot. Beside them is an L-shaped hook that catches a latch at the front of the slot, helping to hold the card securely.
Now, we'll turn our attention back to the motherboard, and consider the AGP slot. (photo 3) You can see it is divided into sections to accomodate the groups of fingers on the card. Each section is separated from the other by a plastic "tooth", or partition. At the end is the latch, that will grasp the L-shaped hook.
To install the card, the first step is to remove the knockout tab at the back of the case that lines up with the AGP slot.
These tabs are held in place by two little slivers of steel less than 1/16th of an inch wide. On most cases they can be broken free with your fingers by just twisting them back and forth. Take extreme care in doing this. You don't want the bottom edge of the tab to scrape against the motherboard.
Prepare the AGP slot by pressing down the lever at the end. This opens the latch, so it can grab the L at the card's end. (photo 4)
Next, we will insert the card.
Hold the card at each end. Align it with the slot, making sure the fingers on the card will slip into the individual sections, with the gaps between them matching the partition in the slot. Push down gently, but firmly. (photo 5)
As you do this, the L will push the latch closed, and the lever will rise back up. (photo 6)
In the bag of hardware that came with the case, you'll find small screws to anchor cards to the case. Run one of these in at the top, and you're finished.
|From the book
Installing the CPU
Parts of the Motherboard
Selecting Parts, first page
Booting Up 1st Time
Table of Contents
Install Case Fan
Computer Cooling Problems
Dream Machine or Basic PC
How To Build A Computer
Power Supply: How Much Is Enough?
|Home: Installing the CPU|