Making the Jump to in which slot vga cards are installed Dual Graphics Card System Many PC users knowbut when it comes to setting up your system in order to utilize a second graphics card, things can get a little trickier.
But whether you are setting up a ATI Crossfire system or a Nvidia SLI system, the procedure is pretty much the same.
Computer Requirement Checklist CPU-Z will be able to report on your motherboard model and manufacturer.
Inspect the internals of your system.
Graphics cards can be quite lengthy and those that are fitted with large heatsinks can take up two expansion slots.
Check that your power supply can provide enough juice to power your dual card system.
Although some power supply manufacturers have certified their power supplies to be compliant with dual card systems, check the specifications of the power supply in your system.
Also check that your power supply has a suitable spare connector should your graphics card require one.
The next step is to check that your existing graphics card supports the same standard as the motherboard.
While in a single card setup, you can use a Nvidia graphics card with a Crossfire motherboard and vice-versa, the same cannot be said for using two cards.
If you have a Crossfire motherboard, you are restricted to using graphics cards which have ATI graphics processing units; the same is true for SLI-enabled motherboards and Nvidia graphics cards.
SLI and Crossfire configurations are only available on Windows XP and latterly on Windows Vista operating systems.
Update your Drivers Before starting the upgrade, you should download the latest available drivers for your graphics card.
For ATI cards, you will need the full driver version with Catalyst Control Center.
Then install the driver and restart your system to complete the driver installation.
Remember, however, that if you are changing graphics cards vendors, you should uninstall the current driver before installing the new driver, otherwise you may experience problems with the installation and performance later.
Installing the Second Graphics Card Now, with the PC turned off, its time to install your second graphics card into your system.
Remember to ground yourself by touching exposed metal on the inside here your PC case or a radiator in order to discharge any build up of static before you touch any of the components.
Locate your free PCI Express x16 slot and the blanking plate that aligns with it.
Remove the blanking plate, or in which slot vga cards are installed if your card will require two expansion slots and then remove in which slot vga cards are installed graphics card from its packaging.
Take care to hold the card only by the edges, otherwise you may damage some of the more delicate areas of the card.
Make sure the card is fully in the slot, and then secure the card to the backplate of your PC with a screw or clip depending on your case.
Once secured, attach the power connector if required.
Link and Activate the Dual Card Setup Link the two cards together using the connector cable.
Most SLI cards use a single ribbon cable which resembles a miniature IDE cable, while Crossfire cards have two.
Earlier Crossfire configurations used external pass-through cables, but the latest incarnation uses ribbon connectors similar to the SLI bridge.
For both formats, the connectors fit onto the cards via the top edge of the cards.
Once the cards are connected, the next step is to activate the dual card setup.
Some motherboards require you to do this manually by repositioning a jumper on the motherboard or via an option in the BIOS.
Your motherboard manual should tell you how to enable the system for using dual cards.
Some SLI motherboards use DIP switches, while on some older motherboards, there would be a small card which would lie flat between the two PCI Express x16 slots.
Turning this card around would alternate between Normal and SLI mode.
Once you are finished, put the case back on and power up your PC.
As the driver is already installed, the installation should complete autonomously.
If you are setting up a Crossfire system, once Windows has restarted go into your Catalyst Control Center and select the Advanced Setup option.
This provides a list of graphics settings; scroll to the Crossfire option, tick the box to activate and your display should go black momentarily while Crossfire is initialized.
Once the display returns, you should see an information box confirming that Crossfire has been activated.
If you are setting up a SLI system, once Windows has restarted, select the Nvidia Control Panel and enter the 3D settings tab.
Click on Set SLI Configuration and click the radio button to Enable SLI Technology.
Restart your computer and when it has rebooted fully, you should see a pop-up message confirming that SLI has been enabled.
All that remains now is to enjoy your new graphics power!
Remove the right side panel to install cards into a BTX system. Step 4.Locate the expansion slot you want to use. If the slot has a header cable installed in the slot cover, you will need to move the header cable to a different slot. Figure 3-31 illustrates a typical system that has some available slots.
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