Installing a 3D Graphics card on an IBM Aptiva

    With all the great 3D games available these days it's very possible that one may want to upgrade their PC by installing one of the many 3D video cards available. Even an owner of an Aptiva with the ATI 3D Rage graphics chipset may want to install a new video card as with the exception of a few of the most recent models one is limited to the 2MB of video RAM preinstalled to the system.

    The procedure is very simple as almost all such cards are Plug and Play, however as the display adapter on Aptivas is a onboard graphics chip built-in to the motherboard if one wishes to install a 3D video card to an IBM Aptiva the OEM video must be disabled to avoid potential conflicts.

    The example used here is installing a Matrox Mystique with 4MB of Video RAM on a 2176-C66 model with the ATI chipset, however the details will be applicable to most Aptivas with onboard video chipsets.

    1. Close all open applications
    2. Right-Click on the Desktop > Click Properties > Choose the Settings tab
    3. Set the system display to the basic Windows95 default settings:
      • Color palette = 256 colors
      • Resolution = 640 x 480 pixels
    4. Click Apply > Answer Yes to Restart the computer
    5. Right-Click on My Computer > Click Properties >
      Choose the Device Manager tab
    6. Click on the [+] next to Display Adaptors
    7. Click on the listing for the ATI graphics adapter once to select it
    8. Click the Properties button
    9. You will see a box at the botton that looks like this:

      [X] Original Configuration (Current)

      REMOVE that check mark

    10. Keep Clicking OK until you are back in Control Panel
    11. Shutdown the PC
    The onboard ATI graphics controller is now disabled and the new video card can now be installed.

      Matrox Mystique 220Installing a Matrox
      Mystique 3D Card

    1. Open your PC
    2. Choose an open PCI expansion slot. Aptivas, like most PCI bus PC's have a combination of PCI and ISA explasion slots. PCI slots are usually made with a beige color plastic, and are considerably shorter than other slots in your computer.

      WARNING! Use only a PCI slot!WARNING!: Plugging a Matrox card into a non-PCI slot can damage the card, your computer, or both

    3. Remove the single screw from the frame releasing an expansion slot cover adjacent to an open PCI slot.
    4. Line up the Matrox card and insert it into the PCI slot, rocking it gently back and forth until you achieve a tight fit. Plug in your monitor
    5. Replace the screw you removed in Step 3 securing the new card and replace your PC's cover
    6. Plug your monitors cable into the connector on your new Matrox card.

    Installing the Matrox Drivers

    1. Restart your PC
    2. Windows95 will detect your new hardware at this point. The Adding New Hardware screen will appear and prompt you to insert your "drivers disk". Choose the option "Driver from disk provided by hardware manufacturer"
    3. Click OK
    4. Insert your "Matrox Installation" CD-ROM > Under "Copy manufacturer's files from" type "G:\" (assuming G is your CD-ROM drive letter) > Click OK
    5. After the display drivers for your Matrox card are installed run the mgasetup.exe file on the Installation CD to install the MGA PowerDesk application.
    6. Your Matrox card is installed!

    NOTE: For further details see the
    Matrox installation Guide
    [Adobe Acrobat .PDF file]

    Important Note

    After disabling the onboard ATI graphics chipset and installing a new 3D video card the original graphics device will continue to appear in Device Manager, and will be displayed with the yellow exclamation point that indicates a device in conflict:

    (!) ATI Mach64

    This is perfectly normal and one should simply IGNORE this and should NOT not attempt to remove it (no matter what you do the system will detect it at bootup and will attempt to reinstall it).

    NEW!Just recently I came across a suggestion posted to the Aptiva newsgroup that enabled me to remove the ATI 3D adapter from appearing at all in Device Manager. While simply disabling it via the details above is a perfectly acceptable for those of us with a few anal tendencies for whom seeing that "false conflict" daily is disturbing this may well be a better solution. Click here for details.

    Matrox Video Cards - Product Information

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