How to Use PCI-E Cards With Onboard Graphics

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PCI-Express, also known as PCI-E, is the standard graphics interface in computers. Although almost all new motherboards provide a PCI-E slot, allowing you to easily upgrade your graphics card, some motherboards come with integrated graphics chips as well. The onboard graphics adapter will need to be disabled if you wish to install a dedicated graphics card -- since you cannot use them together.

Things You'll Need

  • Spare PCI-E slot
  • PCI-E graphics card
  • Motherboard with onboard graphics

Disable Onboard Graphics

  • Log in to Windows. Remove the drivers for your onboard graphics adapter by going to "Uninstall a program" in the control panel.

  • Turn off the computer. Enter the system BIOS before the computer starts Windows. Usually, the BIOS is accessed by pressing the "Del" key, or the "F2" key on your keyboard.

  • Go to the BIOS page, which most closely matches "Integrated Peripherals" or "Onboard Devices." Find the integrated graphics option and disable it. Refer to your motherboard manual for further instructions, if you do not find any setting for disabling the onboard graphics card.

Install New Graphics Card

  • Remove the computer case cover and unplug the power supply.

  • Insert the graphics card into the available PCI-E slot. Attach the screw to the L-bracket, connecting the graphics card securely to the back of the case. Plug the power cable back in. Move the monitor cable from its original plug to the one on the back of the new graphics card.

  • Start up your computer. Log in to Windows.

  • Obtain the latest drivers for your graphics card from either nvidia.com or ati.com, depending on the type of graphics chip your card has. Install the drivers and restart the computer.

References

  • Photo Credit Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
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