My son has been begging me to purchase a "gaming computer" for some time now. So, I told him that if he was willing to learn how to actually spec and build gaming computers that we would start by modifying my old recording PC for gaming purposes.
DOING YOUR HOMEWORK
So, my son did all of the research and recommended the MSI video card based on our PC's specs: Gigabyte GA Z77 DS3H motherboard, Intel i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM, 450W power supply, (3) 1-TB 7200 rpm hard drives, Windows 7 OS 64 bit, and a $200.00 budget.
Gigabyte GA Z77 DS3H
I purchased the card from NewEgg.com here: MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti DirectX 12 GTX 1050 Ti GAMING X 4G 4GB 128-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready ATX Video Card
INSTALLATION AND TROUBLESHOOTING STEPS
INSERT CARD IN PCI EXPRESS SLOT
1. Installed card per instructions into PCIE slot. No power cable included. (Required)
CONNECT POWER CABLE
2. Went to Fry's Electronics and purchased a "dual" 4 Pin Molex - 6 Pin PCIE cable.
(Note: My cable had one 4 pin connector with 3 pins, and the other with only 2 pins)
FIRST POWER UP3. Installed power cable, booted w/ DVI in MSI card, Instantly received a DOS looking message saying "Connect Power To Your Graphics Card". Red LED lights on the graphics card were "on".
4. Turned off PC, switched "6 Pin" connector Re-checked the 4 pin Molex connector as well.
SECOND POWER UP
5. Monitor display froze at BIOS selection screen. The Keyboard was unresponsive. Tried multiple keyboards and multiple re-boots. Nothing changed. Always froze at BIOS select screen.
GIGABYTE BIOS UPDATE
6. It was time to consider updating the BIOS. (Computer was built in 2012 by Reyneirs Audio).
7. Switched back to onboard video and entered BIOS screen. Current BIOS was version "F3".
8. Using another computer I went to Gigabytes website and found the BIOS update page.
9. The latest BIOS that wasn't a "BETA" version was "F9".
10. I downloaded F9 to a USB thumb drive.
EXTRACTING BIOS FILE
11. The downloaded BIOS file was an .exe. I took it back to my PC and extracted the file.
12. The exe. file extracts to 3 files.
13. The "F9" BIOS file had a file extension of ".F9".
UPDATE GIGABYTE BIOS FILE
14. Rebooted PC using "On-Board" graphics to enter BIOS set-up (hold delete key during boot).
15. My Gigabyte motherboard supports "QFLASH".
16. Selected QFLASH, clicked "YES" to enter QFLASH.
17. OPTIONS: Load New BIOS, Save Current BIOS, Exit.
18. Selected "Load New BIOS". (Note: I should have saved my old F3 BIOS file first)
19. Files in the USB thumb drive showed up. I selected the "F9" file.
20. The process of loading and verifying the new BIOS was a fairly quick process.
21. The system auto rebooted.
MSI GRAPHICS CARD WORKS
22. While rebooting I quickly switched the DVI cable back to the MSI card.
23. The BIOS selection screen appeared but then the screen soon went black.
24. After a few more seconds the BIOS selection screen suddenly appeared again and then also went black again. (I'm thinking to myself "Oh Great. We're stuck in a loop")
WINDOWS 7 LOADS
25. After the second cycle through the BIOS selection screen, the Windows loading screen appeared.
26. After Windows loaded, the computer was now running on the new MSI graphics card.
EPIC GAMES LAUNCHER
27. My son eagerly installed the Epic Games Launcher and it said "Graphics Card Incompatible. Update Drivers". Oh, the look on his face was priceless.
MSI LIVE UPDATE
28. We then installed "MSI Live Update" to help ensure drivers were up-to-date. Which they were.
UNINSTALL EPIC GAMES LAUNCHER
29. We uninstalled the Epic Games Launcher.
30. My son ran "Windows Update" and select all updates. My computer was behind on updates.
REINSTALL EPIC GAMES LAUNCHER
31. My son then re-installed Epic Games Launcher.
FORTNITE RUNS ON MSI Geforce GTX 1050Ti Gaming X 4G
32. SUCCESS!! FORTNITE RUNS!
This was a great experience for my son. He had to find a compatible graphics card and go through the physical process of getting it to work. He is very proud of his efforts. He also realized that making things work in the "real world" is not as simple as downloading an APP on his iPad. Overall it took us a few hours to go through and troubleshoot each little thing that came up.
I hope our experience helps make your installation a little less painful.
Feel free to leave comments on your installation.
Thanks for reading,