Here are answers to some common questions about video cards.

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How do I find out what kind of video card my computer has?

  1. Open Display Settings by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Appearance and Personalization, clicking Personalization, and then clicking Display Settings.

  2. Click Advanced Settings, and then click the Adapter tab.

    This is where you can see details about your video card, including what kind of video card your computer has.

How do I find out how much memory my video card has?

  1. Open Display Settings by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Appearance and Personalization, clicking Personalization, and then clicking Display Settings.

  2. Click Advanced Settings, and then click the Adapter tab.

    This is where you can see details about your video card, including how much memory your video card has.

How can I find out whether my video card is compatible with Windows?

To find out whether Windows is compatible with your video card, go to the Windows Vista Compatibility Center website. This website contains a comprehensive list of video cards (graphics cards) that have been tested to work with Windows Vista.

Can I upgrade my video card?

If your computer uses a separate video card, you can upgrade the video card by removing the original card and replacing it with a new one.

If your computer's video card is built directly onto the computer's motherboard, you still might be able to upgrade the card. If your computer has an available AGP, PCI, or PCI-Express slot, you can usually purchase a video card designed for this slot and use it in place of the built-in video output.

How do I update the driver for my video card?

You might occasionally encounter a game or other program that requires you to update to a newer version of the driver for your video card. For instructions on updating drivers, see Update a driver for hardware that isn't working properly.

Note

  • Video card manufacturers often release updates to their drivers to enhance performance or fix compatibility issues with new games. If you need the latest driver for your video card, visit the support section on your video card manufacturer's website for information on how to download and install the newest driver.

What is video acceleration?

Video acceleration, also referred to as 3‑D acceleration, uses a graphics processing unit (GPU) on the video card to speed the display of text and graphics on the screen, and to enable graphic effects such as transparency and simulated lighting. The video acceleration features of your video card determine how quickly things are drawn on the screen, and whether you can use all of the graphic effects available in Windows, games, and other programs.

Can I use more than one video card in my computer?

Some computers allow you to plug in two or more video cards, each connected to its own monitor. Other computers allow you to pair video cards for display on a single monitor to increase performance, using technologies such as NVIDIA SLI, ATI CrossFire, or another technology. Check with the manufacturer to see if your computer has the necessary hardware to support multiple video cards.

What is a video capture card?

You can use a video capture card to display or record video from sources such as VCRs and camcorders. Many video capture cards don't support connection to a monitor, but instead require that your system also contain a standard video card.