PowerColor HD 2600 Pro 512MB Video Card Reviewajmatson -
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Since a video card is an important part of the computer, people are nervous to mess with it. Despite what some may think, it is actually quite easy. The first thing you want to do is turn off the computer and disconnect all power to it. Once power is removed, take the monitor cable off, remove the screw holding it into the PCI slot, press the release lever for the card, and slide it out. Once the old card is removed, line up the new card to the PCI-e slot, secure the card into the slot, and place the screw into the pci card holder. Re-connect the video cable and the power cables and turn the computer back on. Now your card is installed and ready to be configured.
Once the card is installed and the computer restarted, a box comes up showing the new video card installed and asking for the drivers. Place the CD into the drive to begin the setup. The setup will start automatically and run all the way through prompting you to restart when it is finished.
After restarting you bring up and install the ATI Catalyst. The Catalyst program is what allows you to interact with the card and change graphics settings. The install is quick and easy. Just select the type of install, which is basic for default placement, or advanced to install in a different directory. I also was prompted that the drivers were not signed so I selected to install anyway and it completed the installation.
You have the option to select basic and advanced mode. With basic mode you can change the display size and the 3D performance. This if for people who just want the card to work with minimal interaction and no overclocking. It only gives you one setting that will adjust according to overall performance, not individual like the advanced does.
With the advanced configuration you have more control over the options for graphics settings. The biggest advantage is the ability to overclock the card. This is where the real fun comes in. Overclocking is what computer building is all about. With the Catalyst program you also have the ability to monitor the card in real time, like temps and speeds. Additionally, you can get all of the information on the card that you would need to get support for the card.