This article will introduce you with a list of things that you are recommended to check for the compatibility with a graphics card. Seek for more details about the graphics card? You can go to MiniTool Partition Wizard.
After several years use of your old computer, its performance may decrease day by day. Therefore, some users may consider getting a whole new PC while others may only want to replay some components of the old machine, such as graphics card (also called a video card or GPU), hard disks and monitor.
What Is Graphics Card Compatibility?
If you are going to replace your old graphics card with a new one, or just add another modern graphics card to your host, you should take the graphics card compatibility into consideration before buying the new card.
Graphics card compatibility refers to whether a graphics card is compatible with other equipment of the computer like motherboard, CPU, power supply, BIOS, etc. In other words, whether a graphics card can work well together with other parts in a PC.
How to Check Graphics Card Compatibility with Motherboard?
1. Graphics Card Slot Checking
To connect the new graphics card to your motherboard, you need to rely on the slots on the motherboard. For modern computers, most of them use the latest generation of PCI Express slots, which is compatible with any kind of graphics card. Generally, the PCIe x16 slot is the longest.
Yet, if your machine is an old one, you should pay attention to the shape and size of its slots, whether they can contain the modern graphics card or not.
2. Host Case Size Checking
Besides the size of the motherboard slots, you should also consider the size of your host case. For a small case, it is hard to keep the graphics card in an available slot while not bother other parts that already on the motherboard.
Furthermore, if the graphics card you are going to buy has a fan, you will also measure the headroom of the host by its length, width and height to see whether it can hold your new card or not. As for the size of your new graphics card, you can view it in its specifications.
3. Power Connector Checking
Besides insert the graphics card into a motherboard slot, to ensure it is workable, you should also connect it to power. Usually, graphics cards require a 6-pin or 8-pin connector. You can check the technical specifications to find the type of graphics card connectors of your motherboard. Or, just open the case of your host when the machine is unplugged, remove the current graphics card and count the pin of the connectors.
4. Power Supply Checking
The power energy that the PSU (power supply unit) can send to computer components is limited. Thus, you should confirm that your computer has enough power to support your new graphics card. Usually, a common graphics card requires a power supply between 100W and 300W.
Check the technical specifications of your computer to see its power supply; and check your new graphics card’s specification to see its power requirements. Then, so they match each other?
5. BIOS Checking
For most BIOS, it can be manually changed to fit for your graphics card. Yet, few BIOSs of prebuilt PCs have been locked by their manufacturers. Therefore, you can’t adjust its settings. They only way to test its compatibility is to directly connect your new graphics card to the motherboard and see whether the BIOS detects the card or not. If not, you should change another graphics card or replace another motherboard.
Graphics Card Compatibility Test with Operating System
Though OSs have little chance not to be compatible with a new graphics card, it is still necessary to check whether your new card can work on your current system. Most graphics cards support Windows systems while some of them support Linux (Ubuntu, Fedora, SUSE, etc.), MAC Oss (e.g. mac pro 1.1) and so on. And, modern graphics cards only supply new Windows OSs including Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10.
Graphics Card Compatibility Check Online
Nowadays, the specifications of both your computer model and your new graphics card can be found online. So, you can easily find out whether your current computer is compatible with your new graphics card or not.
Unless you really can’t find their specifications, you can switch to the famous forums and ask help from technicians for answers.
As you can figure out from the above content, to check the graphics card compatibility, you should do it manually. There is no automatic way like using a graphics card compatibility checker or a graphics card compatibility scanner at least until recent days. Yet, maybe there will have graphics card compatibility tools soon.