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As you are probably aware, installing a video card is relatively simple, but there's more to it than just inserting it into a free PCI-E slot. The first thing you want to do is, I must admit, boring but still very important. That is registering the card with XFX using the serial number found on the card or on the back of the door hanger. This has to be done within thirty days of purchase, so you better do it now before you start gaming and entirely forget about it. XFX offers a lifetime warranty, so it's definitely worth the effort and a couple minutes of your time. Once that is done, then you can take a glance at the manual and install drivers.




















Just in case you don't have Adobe Reader installed, like it is the case when you're doing a fresh install, you should do so prior to installing new hardware to avoid any driver conflicts that could lead to mediocre performance. XFX includes a copy of the popular PDF reader along with the electronic version of the installation manual.



Drivers are not only important, but vital to exploit the full capabilities of your newly acquired graphic card since, otherwise, it will just use default Windows drivers that are designed to provide compatibility for almost any card but very limited functionality. XFX bundles a disc with the latest drivers available at the time the card was packed, but with driver releases coming out every so often, it is generally a good idea to check online for the latest ones.



If the default level of performance or visual quality is not up to your expectations, you can use nVidia's Control Panel to modify some options in this regard. There are a bunch of different tabs where adjustments can be done, though I will only take you through a few of the ones I find important to gamers among us. The Manage 3D Settings tab allows the Global (all situations) settings to be tailored to your liking, whether you want to gear the system toward performance or quality. Under this tab are some game specific settings as well. There are also pre-made profiles that can be adjusted to activate all the eye candy or to minimize the settings in order to get higher framerates, although that most likely won't be a problem with the pair of cards on the bench today. The choice is all yours. This is also where you activate SLI.



Before moving on to testing, let's just take a quick look at XFX's specifications.

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