If you want to remove your graphics card from your PC, you may be breaking into a cold sweat at the thought of it. Maybe you feel like you need to have the steady hand of a bomb disposal technician, or the knowledge of an engineer. Or, maybe you have the unshakable confidence of someone who doesn't understand risk, and you're just going to yank it out, because what's the worst that could happen?
Well, while we admire your confidence, we'd advise you to be careful, lest you do irreparable damage to your computer. The good thing is that removing a graphics card from your computer is actually a pretty easy process. By the time you've read this article, you'll be full of confidence. Only this time it won't be misplaced.
How To Remove Graphics Card From PC
We'll preface everything we are about to say with a few words of warning. If you aren't confident in what you're doing, then it may be worth taking your PC to a certified technician who will be able to do the job in a few minutes for you.
For best practice, it is recommended that you wear an anti-static band if you're going to do this yourself. These are typically worn around your wrist or ankle. At the other end is a crocodile or alligator clip that you then fix to the PC case, or an alternative grounded object. The idea is that this will prevent static electricity from being generated, which can do damage to your delicate PC components.
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Before Removing the Graphics Card
It's also advisable to do a little bit of prep work before you remove your graphics card:
Turn on your computer and remove any existing graphics drivers or software from your computer. This will help to prevent any conflicts when your new graphics card is installed. This is especially important if you are changing GPU manufacturers.
Once that's done, switch off your computer. Wait for thirty seconds or so, and then disconnect all cables from the back of the computer.
Finally, remove the casing from your PC, to reveal the internal workings. You're now ready to move onto part two of the process - removing the graphics card itself.
Removing the Graphics Card
So now you are ready to do the main job, the whole reason you've started out on this mission. Here's what you do:
Make sure you disconnect any cables that are connected to the graphics card. This might be, for example, a dedicated power connection. Often, a graphics card will connect to the power supply using a PCIe cable. You can remove this by pushing the clip on the cable down, and carefully pulling the cable away from the graphics card.
The graphics card will be held in place by a mounting bracket. You will need to remove the screws that are holding it in place.
Once the screws are removed, your next job is to remove the graphics card from the PCIe slot. It will usually be held by a clip or lever. Gently pushing down on this will 'unlock' the graphics card. Gently slide the card out of the graphics slot.
That's it. If you're planning on keeping the card you've just removed for any reason, then keeping it in an anti-static bag will help protect it from damage.
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And that's everything you need to know about removing a graphics card from your PC. A relatively simple process, that just requires a bit of care and finesse.
Where Is The Graphics Card Located?
This may vary depending on how your computer was put together. But as a general principle, you will usually find it located in the expansion slot that is closest to the CPU.
This is different to an integrated graphics set up. In this scenario, the GPU will be built into the processor, rather than being a separate item. If this is the case with your computer, then you aren't realistically going to be able to remove it. This is more common with laptops, whereas a desktop is much more likely to have a discrete graphics card.