Video card testing

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Revision as of 02:50, 13 July 2009 by imported>Samuel (now have some detail)
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Video Card Testing Process overview

Video card testing consists of checking the card to make sure that it has a decent ammount of memory, and to see if it auto-configures to a reasonable resolution

Plug the card to be tested into the appropriate system. (the near system is for AGP cards, the second system is for PCI-E). It's probably easiest if you plug the video cable into the card before plugging the card into the computer.

Make sure that the Keyboard/Video switch is set to the proper setting (A or B .. The switch ID is marked on the plugs).

Turn on the computer and, when the system boots into the menu, choose 'boot from ______ Live CD'.

Wait while the CD boots, and then choose Applications -> accessories -> Terminal


less /var/log/X*g

This will have you viewing the X-windows log. Then type:


This will find the line indicating the amount of RAM that the card has. If it's 16MB or more, then write this on a piece of tape, and tape it to the card (when you remove the card after shutting down)..

If the card has a low resolution less than 1024/768, then the card should get a yellow dot.

If the card has a higher resolution, then it should get a green dot, in addition to marking the memory size.

If the display looks corrupt, or the card has less than 16MB of ram, then it should get marked with a big 'X' and sent for recycling.

Good cards should be placed in an appropriately marked box with bubble-wrap or anti-static bags between each layer.

Initial Sort (ignore this line and below)

  • Busted stuff - Scrap
  • Anything ISA - Scrap unless classified as "Everything else"
  • Modems
  • Sound cards
  • Video cards (VGA cards)
  • Network interface cards (NICs)
  • USB cards
  • Wireless cards
  • TV tuner cards
  • Everything else - put in advanced sorting

Sub Sorting


  • ISA - Scrap (unless it has 4 phone plugs)
  • PCI
    • 3Com - Keep
    • Everything else - Scrap. Here's a list (if in doubt):
      • Agere
      • Ambient
      • Asante
      • Broadcom
      • Cirrus Logic
      • Conexant
      • Creative
      • ESS
      • IC
      • Intel
      • Lucent
      • Motorola
      • PCTel
      • Phantom
      • Rockwell
      • Smart Link
      • USRobotics
      • Zoltrix