Video Cards

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Types of Video Cards

We work with three types of video cards, categorized by the slot they are made for:

  • PCI - mainstream by 1995 (that's PC capital i, not PC 1 as in the number one)
  • AGP - mainstream by 1998
  • PCIe - mainstream by 2004
(to see visual differences between video cards and their slots, search for PVI AGP PCIe, as at [1]

Video Card Inspection

  1. Look for name and RAM size. If these are not on the card, determine them during the testing phase.
  2. Clean any dust. If there's a fan, blow dust out backwards through the cooling fins.
  3. Check for bad capacitors or evidence of overheating.

Video Card Installation

  1. Choose a test system with a slot that the video card will fit into.
  2. Turn off the entire system; remove any video connection(s).
  3. Plug the video card into a slot; connect to monitor and, if required, additional power connection.
  4. Turn on the system.

Video Card Testing

  1. Confirm that video card is working (stuff appears on the monitor) and that its fan works (if there is one).
    ⇒ Some video cards take a few minutes to initialize.
  2. Open a Terminal and use fgqc to start the '3D gears' graphics routine; make the 3D gears window full screen.
  3. Open another Terminal and use fgqc to run consecutive two stress tests.
    ⇒ If the testing station freezes or crashes, ask for assistance.
  4. If you were unable to find the card name and RAM size, use lspci to find them.
  5. Close any open windows, shut down the computer, and turn off the PSU.
  6. Remove the video card (may be quite hot!), video connector, and additional power connector, if there is one.

Passed Video Cards

  1. Attach piece of masking tape with RAM size, and card name if not already clearly visible eg. Ge Force 8800 GT 512 MB
  2. Apply a green dot and place card in the appropriate Tested Video Cards bin.

Failed Video Cards

  • Put in the Failed Cards bin.