When you decide that it is time for a new motherboard for your computer, you will be faced with the decision of which video card to use. Motherboards have changed over the years, but the standard has not. Up until recently, the only options that a mother-board user had was to choose between either AMD or Intel; either type would work fine for your purposes. Nowadays however, it is possible to use a motherboard with a video card as well! How does this work?
There are actually several different types of connectors on a motherboard these days. These different connections make it possible for a motherboard to support two different processor cores and graphics cards. This ingenious technology is what causes most current modern graphics cards to plug into a motherboard and will still fit in most motherboards. PCIe slots on a motherboard also come with several numbered pins and you likely are wondering what the big deal is.
Well, the answer is simple. Modern motherboards have electrical interfaces that allow the video card and processor core to communicate with one another. This is a much more efficient and secure method of communication than physical ports did in the past. The old hardware interface methods used pin connectors that often caused errors and connection problems. Motherboards that used these old technology would often experience hangs and crashes when using graphics cards; Motherboards with the newer PCI Express designs will not experience this problem.
If you have an integrated graphics processor on your motherboard, it might surprise you to know that your motherboard supports two separate processors. In the past the motherboard would only support one, but as graphics processor speeds and technology improved, so did the need for a second processor. With the new technology of an integrated GPUS, all of your computer’s integrated processors can work together and this includes your video card and your mainframe. The great thing about these intelligent systems is how easy they are to use and control.
You may not be using your graphics card or your mainframe every day, but chances are if you play online or use your computer for gaming you still use the integrated graphics card or your monitor. With that being said, your motherboard will eventually need to be upgraded. Upgrading your motherboard is simple, but can be costly. Some companies offer cheaper motherboard options. Some of these options include:
An option that many have chosen to save money, is to upgrade from a AGP based motherboard to a PCI express based motherboard. A lot of people choose this upgrade because they receive better quality video output from their computer and a much quieter operation. Another reason to choose a PCI express setup is that it does not need any extra power connectors such as those found on AGP based motherboards. One thing to remember with an AGP setup is that your video card requires an active slot. This means that once you unplug your video card, you will need to open up your case to access the slots for it and make sure your monitor is working with the new setup.
Two different types of motherboards exist: Mini-ATX and standard. Mini-ATX motherboards were built for smaller computer cases where an expansion slot is not needed, such as the laptops, which usually fit in a small case. On-board expansion slots are very common on mini-ATX motherboards and these are usually green colored. Standard on-board motherboards will always come with an active slot and these slots can be black, red, or blue depending upon the manufacturer. If you are looking for an aftermarket video card, make sure that you purchase one that is compatible with your on-board setup.
Video cards are soldered directly to the motherboard so if you decide to replace your video cards, you should remove it from its slot. Unplug the card and then remove the old card and take the new one and put it in the empty slot. Many computer models have rear input slots for DVD drives and other such devices but if your motherboard does not have this, you can use an unused port on your computer. Be careful when connecting the new device because the plug on the back of a standard motherboard will not fit the molex cable that is used to connect video cards to computers.