Maybe you are beginning to experience a grainy, glitchy, ashy display quality on your PC’s screen. Perhaps your PC is okay, but your friends enjoy perfect gameplay, and video quality is getting you jealous, and you want to join them. No doubt, the best, easiest thing you could probably do is get a new graphics card.
This easy step-by-step guide should walk you successfully through the process of installing a new graphics card.
- Things You Should Know Before Installing a Graphics Card
- Installing Your Graphics Card
- Frequently Asked Questions
Things You Should Know Before Installing a Graphics Card
Apart from the CPU, the GPU does most of the heavy lifting in graphics processing. To improve your graphics, perhaps the easiest thing to do is upgrade your GPU. Switching your old graphics card or video card is the perfect way to achieve this because a stronger graphics card equals sharper graphics.
However, before you install a graphics card or set up a new GPU, a few things need to be considered before you begin the process:
Consider the Electrical Capacity of the Power Supply
GPUs usually take up about 50% of the PSU’s power-producing capacity. If, by any chance, you do not get a sufficient power supply, your newly installed GPU might not function or could function horribly.
To ensure this doesn’t happen, consider that most GPUs usually require a capacity of up to 500W. However, if you install a faster variant, you should consider simultaneously upgrading your power supply unit. Usually, PSUs with capabilities of 600 watts and above are more suitable.
Ensure the Casing Is Big Enough
Most modern graphics cards are usually large. So it is crucial to be sure the capacity of your case and PCI slots are up to par. If these parameters are lacking, you might need to change the casing, which could involve rebuilding your computer or installing a motherboard with the required ports.
This stage is probably the most important due to the risk of an electrical surge that could fry your motherboard. Before installing a new graphics card, you should disconnect all power cables from the mains. You should also turn off your computer; you could do this by long-pressing the power button.
Furthermore, static electricity could also damage components on your motherboard. A very efficient way to avoid a static surge is to ground yourself by standing on an insulated surface while touching your computer’s components. You could also discharge the residual static electricity in your PC by long-pressing your power button. You can now open up your computer.
Clear Out Previous Drivers
Although this is easy to ignore, it is only logical that different graphic cards need a different set of drivers to work. Depending on what graphics card you finally get, whether an AMD or NVIDIA, clear out previous drivers if it is not the same make as the previous one.
To uninstall these drivers on your Windows 10 PC, first right-click on the windows icon displayed on the bottom left corner of your monitor, then choose the Device Manager option; under that, select Display adapters. You should see the drivers you want to uninstall. Right-click on it and select the Uninstall device option.
Most graphic cards automatically come with their drivers. For others, however, you might need to get these drivers from the manufacturer’s websites.
Installing Your Graphics Card
After taking all the precautions, you should be ready to begin the installation. Don’t worry; the procedures aren’t complicated, as discussed earlier. We will outline these simple steps below. But before you start, be sure you have a complete kit containing different types of screwdrivers, so you don’t have an issue removing any screws. You should also ensure you turn off your computer and disconnect it from any power source.
Step #1: Open Your Computer
You can usually achieve this by removing the metal panel on the side of your computer. Ensure that you unscrew the one opposite the motherboard; if you do this, you should be looking directly into your motherboard after you have opened it.
Step #2: Extract the Old Graphics Card
The Graphics card is usually screwed down to the panel. So the first thing to do is reach down and separate them by removing those screws. To pull out the Graphics card, you need to release the PCI-e slot clip, so you don’t damage it. You can now pull it out gently.
Before you remove begin the extraction process, ensure you remove the power cable(s) connected to the graphics card.
Step #3: Installing a New one
This step could feel much easier, but it requires as much care as the others. A wrongly installed Graphics card could have ghastly implications for your computer. You could also damage your PCI-e slot or other vital components on your motherboard.
To install, locate the PCI-e slot and calmly push it in until the security clip clicks. Connect the power cable and screw it back unto the rack. Next, replace the side panel, connect it back to the power source, install the graphics driver, and you should be fine.
Frequently Asked Questions
Although swapping a graphics card could seem complicated if you are a novice, it is generally a straightforward process. With procedures mainly involving extraction and replacement, you should be fine.
It is only logical that different graphic cards need a different set of drivers to work. Depending on what graphics card you finally get, whether an AMD or NVIDIA, if it is not the same make as the previous one, it would be best to clear them out.