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Upgrading Video, when we think of video we think of the display but forget about the speed it is displayed at...

Upgrading Video Considerations - Resolution, speed, size

Video cards allow you to see more, the higher the resolution, the more colors, the better the display. As with sound, quality equals money.

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One thing you may want to consider - upgrading one will affect the other. If you upgrade your monitor and the video card doesn't have the power to drive the monitor then you will have a nice shiny new monitor that has low resolution. So it is a kind of catch 22.

One way to go about this is upgrade what you can afford, if you can only afford one thing at a time upgrade the video card first. The reason I say this is that you can always use a lower resolution on video card for your monitor until you can afford to buy a new monitor.

Upgrading Video...

Another reason for going for the video card first is they are the bottle neck for the computer, if you don't have enough memory on the video card when the processor sends data to the video card it has to hold back some of the data until the first batch of data has been sent to the monitor.

Maybe you have a word processor open, you are working on a document and decide you want to put a graphic in the document to illustrate a point, when you select the graphic and load it you see it slowly fill in the blank space in the document. The video card can not accept the data fast enough to display it the way you expect it to. Not enough ram, maybe it is one of the older video cards that doesn't have a independent processor but only what is called a RAMDAC.

Before you get all excited and start you research you need to know what you have in your computer now. The computer management / device manager will tell you the make and model but not the type. The type is the slot in the computer that the card is inserted. Over four years old main boards can use ether PCI or APG, newer systems may only take the PCI Express (PCIx). If you don't know you will have to open up your computer and check the current video card. If you do open the case up remember Upgrading Video Observe  ESD will kill anything you touch if you are not grounded.

So you have decided on a new card and monitor - which one? Well what do you want the video system do? High graphics output? Games, rendering MPEG movies? Watching TV online? Higher resolution when you surf those flashy web sites?

Check out the cards that have a processor and ram over 4 GB. Video RAM is different from the ram for your main board and it is more expensive. You should be able to find a high quality video card for around $200 with a processor and 3 GB or more of RAM.

Note: Be aware that the newer PCIx cards will share or attempt to share the system memory, if you upgrade to a card that has say 128Mb of ram and run extensive graphics programs the video card will use system memory to offset the lack of memory on the card. If this is the case you will need to increase the ram on the system board to compensate this sharing of the system memory.

Upgrading Video - Monitors - Well just about everyone makes 'em. Research will help. The main thing is the resolution, like the video card. You can find a types from CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) to LCD to Plasma flat screens. Flat screens take up less room and use less power.

Last words:

My motto: "Buy cheap, Get cheap!" Paying twice for something doesn't save you any money!


When you
your Video
card you
will have
a higher
The question
is your
monitor up
to the

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