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Re: How mcuh can the computer change and the old harddrives stilll work?
I've changed the graphics cards of one of my computers twice, each time to
a newer model. Most graphics cards have a standardized mode available, whe
re the CPU does most of the work. This will make the computer run slower t
han usual, but still let you see enough on the screen that you can tell the
computer to download and install the proper graphics driver for the new gr
aphics board. It may help, though, to get a new graphics board with the sa
me brand of GPU (usually either Nvidia or AMD/ATI) as the old graphics boar
d. Then, reboot the computer and expect its speed to go back to normal.
Some things to watch out for when choosing a new graphics board:
Measure the space within the computer to get the maximum length of graphics
board that will fit inside.
Check the type of socket on the motherboard and get a new board for the sam
e type of socket. PCIE 2.0 boards work in the older PCIE sockets of the sa
me length; PCIE 2.1 boards might work, but don't count on it.
Check the rating of the power supply (PSU), in watts. Make sure the new bo
ard is not recommended to be used with a higher rated power supply.
Amazon offers some used or refurbished graphics boards by online ordering.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
Scroll down the left column to find the boxes to check in order to narrow d
own the types of cards you look at.
When you're ready to download new drivers, check if either of these sites o
ffers the type you need: