Build a Better PC - Graphics Card
Article:  Andy Collinson
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Graphics Card:
The graphics card is possibly the most expensive item of all the components in your computer. If you intend to build a PC for gaming or video editing, then making the right choice is crucial. You can pay hundreds of pounds for a graphics card but choice will probably be a trade-off between cost and performance.

There are many manufacturers of graphics cards and different chipsets. Two of the biggest names in graphics cards are Nvidia and ATI. I've used both manufacturers in the past, and its always a difficult choice. One way to decide is to look at your software. If you are building a gaming machine, then some software vendors prefer Nvidia, others ATI. If the machine is to be used on other operating systems e.g. Linux, then both Nvidia and ATI provide accelerated drivers for linux. If you plan on running FreeBSD then Nvidia have the best support as there are no ATI drivers for FreeBSD yet.

Fitting the Graphics Card

For my current computer I eventually settled on an ATI HD5770 card with 1G DDR5 memory made by manufacturer XFX. The card is a PCi Express slot and also requires one additional cable to the power supply. The card has DVI and HDMI connectors and can be seen both left and right views.

Fitting the card onto the motherboard is straightforward, be careful not to touch any gold contacts and inserting some cards can require a lot of pressure. Once inserted the additional power supply connector is attached and can be seen on the right hand site of the graphics card with yellow black wires.

Final Assembley

Now that all cards have been added check that all screws are tight and that no cables obstruct fans or ventilation slots. Cable straps are used to tidy cables and wires.

Completed Assembley Pictures (Click to Zoom)

The next step is testing, the page can be accessed here or from the fixed sub-menu on the left.