IMPORTANT: How to Install an nVidia Graphics Card

This article is a walk-through on how to install a graphics card. If your computer performs poorly in games or other media intensive applications, one of the major causes is the video card. This article shows how to install a new PCI-Express video card.

1. Power off the computer and disconnect all cables from the machine.

2. Remove the side cover of the computer. In most cases, two screws hold it in place. Consult your case documentation for the exact steps.

3. If there is already a graphics card in the PCI-Express slot: Remove the screw attaching the graphics card to the case.

Remove graphics card from case

Press and hold the PCI-Express latch to allow easy removal of the card.

Remove graphics card from case

Pull the card straight out of the slot to avoid damage to the pins.

4. If the new video card requires more than one expansion slot on the back of the machine, remove the metal expansion slot protector.

5. Carefully place the new card in to the PCI-Express expansion slot, some force may be required to push the card straight in to the slot.

6. Ensure that the card is securely in the slot and Replace the screw attaching the graphics card to the case.

Remove graphics card from case

7. If the new video card requires it, locate connect the PCI-E power connectors.

Install new graphics card

Standard PCI-E Power connectors.

Connect power connectors

PCI-E power connectors attached to the graphics card.

Note that these power connectors are available directly from some power supplies, and others may require Molex to PCI-E power adapters. Typically these will be included in a graphics card.

8. Replace connections on the back of the computer and power the computer on. If connecting a VGA monitor, a DVI to VGA or HDMI to VGA adapter may be required. These are typically included with the graphics card.

9. Once in Windows, run the setup CD that came with the graphics card to install the drivers. If no setup CD was included, visit the nVidia website at and download the latest drivers.