Make A Graphics Card Function Better

A typical AGP graphics card.

Graphics cards are one of the most important elements of any computer. For example, graphics cards with more dedicated RAM (memory) allow games and applications to run faster and more efficiently. Installing a faster video card is the best way to boost performance, but there are also a few software settings and tweaks that will help most graphics cards function better.


1. Download and install the latest drivers for your video card. Manufacturers including NVIDIA and ATI publish regular driver updates that boost performance and fix compatibility issues. Their driver software also allows you to tweak video settings such as anti-aliasing, resolution, 3D options and refresh rate.

2. Restart the computer and enter the BIOS (usually by pressing “F2,” “F10” or the “Delete” key) and disable built-in system video if you plan to install a new graphics card. Native graphics sometimes cause third-party video cards to function poorly or have system conflicts.

3. Defragment the hard drive in Windows by clicking on “My Computer,” then right-click on the main drive (usually C:) and select “Properties” and then “Tools.” Click the “Defragment Now” button and then click “Defragment.” This will optimize the hard drive, making graphics and other system functions run smoother and faster.

4. Uninstall unnecessary programs and applications that run in the background. The more system resources available, the better your graphics card will run. Adding or freeing more memory or RAM also places less demand on your hard drive when you’re playing DVDs and games, or when editing video.

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5. Increase screen resolution and turn off anti-aliasing. Because anti-aliasing requires extra resources, this is especially helpful in systems that have a fast graphics card and a slower CPU. For example, turning off anti-aliasing and increasing screen resolution from, say, 800-by-600 to1280-by-1024 will give your video card a performance boost without sacrificing image quality.