Upgrading Video Card

June 21, 2009 at 16:04:01
Specs: Windows Vista
I have a basic acer pc and I don't use it for
much more than the internet and school.

The specs for it can be found here:

I was given BioShock as a gift but I can't play
it because of my video card. I'm planning on
upgrading but I'm not sure if it will work
because my video card is integrated into the
motherboard. Would that cause any

If not, I was planning on either getting
X1950 XTX. I don't really know much about
video cards so I was wondering if anyone has
done something similar?

Also, if anyone knows about a better card for
around $100 that may work better, I would
appreciate the suggestion.


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June 21, 2009 at 16:50:06
Well, given the specs on the link you provided (Acer Aspire AM3100-U3401A), you have one PCI Express ("PCI-E" or "PCIe") x16 slot.

This means just about any modern video card can go in that computer. You can shop around yourself on computer part sites (for example newegg.com, tigerdirect.ca) for PCI-E x16 video cards to get a good idea of the types of cards you'll find...features they offer, variations in specs, etc.

RE: your question about compatibility.
In the vast number of cases, your integrated video will automatically be disabled when you install a new video card (so you would use the monitor connector on the new card, not the one on the motherboard).

If you're planning to buy your card online, you can probably find a bunch of cards in the $100 (US or CA, doesn't make much difference) range. In major chain stores, you're a lot more limited I think. Try local "small" shops which custom build computers...you may be able to find a really good deal, and in some cases might even find installation included in case you're a little wary about doing it yourself.


Edit: I believe this should have been posted in General Hardware. Keep it in mind for next time :)

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June 30, 2009 at 19:26:42
Your integrated video card may automatically in Windows, but not in the BIOS. You can to have the BIOS setting changed to "disabled", for the video card to avoid IRQ resource issues, etc.


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June 30, 2009 at 20:26:44
I haven't seen that since Pentium I motherboards...every modern system (and I use 'modern' very liberally) I've seen automatically disables the integrated video.

That said, it doesn't mean such an option does not exist in some cases.

Don't despair if you can't find such an option, it might not exist, but it's still a good idea to look for it in case it does.

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