Video cards allow your computer to display a graphical user interface. Depending on the HP computer you have, and how old it is, there are a few different types of video cards you might have, and there are a couple of different ways to go about locating them.
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Locate Your Video Card
Start your computer. Click "Start," select "Control Panel," and choose "System." Click the "Hardware" tab and then select "Device Manager." The Windows Device Manager utility will open. Click the arrow to the left of "Display Adapters," and then right-click the device that is listed there. Click "Properties" and look at the information to the right of "Location."
Determine it's Physical Location
The device manager gives you the exact technical location of your video card. If it says "PCI slot" followed by a number, then your card is in one of your motherboard's PCI slots. If it says "PCI bus" followed by a number, you either have on-board graphics or the card is in an AGP slot. On-board means the video card is integrated in the motherboard, and there is no separate card. You can look up the technical specifications of the card model from the device manager to determine if it is on-board or in an AGP slot.
Access the Card
You must open your computer tower to see the video card's location on your motherboard in relation to other components such as fans, RAM and the processor. Open your tower by either unscrewing the side panel or sliding it off, depending on the tower case. Trace the cable that runs out of your monitor to the back of the tower, and look inside the tower to where that cable is connected. It is connected to your video card.
What is AGP and PCI?
AGP stands for "Accelerated Graphics Port," and it is used solely for connecting video cards to computers. PCI stands for "Peripheral Component Interconnect," and PCI slots can be used to connect many different types of components to computers. AGP slots allow faster data transfer than PCI slots, which prompted video cards with 3D rendering in mind to be made for AGP slots. Currently, AGP video cards are considered outdated because a motherboards support much faster PCI transfer rates.
Make sure your computer's warranty is expired or of no importance to you before opening your computer's tower case, because doing so may void your warranty. Furthermore, it is important to either ground yourself by touching metal or wear an anti-static bracelet before touching any components inside your computer, otherwise the static electricity might damage them.
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