You hooked up your new monitor to your multimedia computer and can t wait to see how your game looks on the new screen, only to see pausing and skips. Before you rush it back to the store for a refund, the jerky animation you see could be your aged video card (graphics card) or outdated drivers.
The word on popular gaming sites is that any card over two years old is outdated. If your favorite game is less than two years old, then you are not seeing your game at its full potential. Some hard-core gamers will not even wait two years before updating to a new card. Although most games have a certain amount of flexibility; since manufacturers know that not all gamers can afford to upgrade their video card every six months. Nevertheless, after two years, replacement is necessary.
When considering updating your graphics card the first thing to figure out is whether your computer can accept a new card. So check the documentation that came with your computer or go to the manufacturer s website to see if your computer model is capable of upgrading. If your computer is short on RAM, you may want to invest in an upgrade anyway.
To choose the most updated and compatible card do some research. Tom s Hardware is a good place to start, or visit your favorite gaming news page. Shopping for graphics cards can get highly technical and confusing, but price is an obvious deciding factor. If the new graphics card you are looking at costs more than your computer is worth, you may want to think about upgrading your computer. Keep in mind that most new graphics cards require a recent version of DirectX , but that s easy to get.
If you have a graphics card less than two years old, you may need to update your drivers. You can look to your monitor manufacturer s webpage to see what drivers they have available that may increase your performance.
With a fast monitor, updated drivers, a capable computer and a high performance graphics card your games should play clear and skip free.
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Microsoft, (2003). Video card 101. Retrieved Apr. 17, 2006, from Windows XP Web site: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/games/learnmore/videocard101.mspx.
PC Perspective, (2006). Bfg technologies geforce 7900 gtx oc review. Retrieved Apr. 17, 2006, from Reviews Web site: http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=236&type=expert.
Toms Hardware, (2006). Squeezing value out of lower-end cards. Retrieved Apr. 17, 2006, from Graphics & Displays Web site: http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/01/05/squeezing_value_out_of_lower_end_cards/page2.html.