Switching From Integrated ATI Radeon Xpress 200 To An nVidia Graphics Card

by on December 13, 2006

Q: My new HP computer came with integrated ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics card. I want to know if I can add on an nVidia graphics card.

A: You certainly can, assuming this is a desktop computer that we are talking about here. If you are on a laptop then you are pretty much out of luck and have to stick with what’s built-in.

When you go to replace your video card here are some things to know about your system before you purchase a video card:

1. What type of video card slot does your computer/mother board support? Most newer PC’s use the PCI-Express standard while most older machines use AGP standard which is always followed by a number like 4x, 8x etc. The AGP card speed (i.e. 4x, 8x) is added to the AGP slot specification to indicate what speed of AGP your board can handle at a maximum. You can purchase a card that handles a higher speed than your slot can support, however, your card will run much slower than intended so it’s more cost effective to match the card speed with the slot speed.

2. Make sure you turn off your on board graphics in your BIOS setup once you have the new card installed. You will need to install the new card, keep your monitor plugged in to your on board video, go into the BIOS and disable it – Then Save/EXIT. You will need to power down and switch your video cable over to the new card at this point.

3. It never hurts to download the latest drivers for your card ahead of time (rather than trying to get them in the default resolution of 800×600 or 640×480!). Run the driver installation once you boot into windows with the new card active.