15.3 Installing a Video Adapter

Physically installing most video cards is very straightforward. Simply choose an available expansion slot, seat the video card, and connect the monitor. Some combinations of AGP card and AGP slot are problematic, requiring extra care to make sure the card actually seats. You may think the card is fully seated, you may even have felt it snap into place, and yet when you fire up the system you have either no video or garbled video. If that occurs, turn off the system and make sure the video card really is seated.

Many video adapters now come with heatsinks on the graphics chipset. Some whose chipsets run at very high speeds go further, adding a fan to the heatsink. If your adapter has a fan, make sure to connect power to that fan before you use the adapter. We received mail from a reader who didn't realize that connecting the fan was mandatory, and so overheated and damaged his expensive new video adapter.