How to upgrade or install Graphics Card in your PC

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Most of us think upgrading our personal computer is a tedious and time-consuming task that is why we mostly hire a trained professional to do the job, but if you are a PC enthusiast then upgrading the hardware should be a fun task even for those people who want to know the depths of the technologies.

Upgrading or repairing your devices may turn out to be a time of learning, experiencing the realm of wire management and building a unique bond with your machine. We spend hundreds of dollars in the Custom PC builds because we don’t know the craftsmanship behind the beautiful looking devices but let me tell you it only requires one screwdriver, a sense of management and some planning ahead of the work to build a computer of your own from the components. The PC that you build may not have liquid cooling, or flashy RGB lighting or tempered glass case moulded into your table, but it will have a bond with you that you will cherish throughout its life.

Image: Widows central
Image: Widows central

That is why today we will be telling how you can upgrade, install or change the Graphics card on your Desktop computer, however, stay tuned for the whole PC building as we’ll cover that later. The Graphics card is one of the most expensive and delicate components of the computer, it is not hard to install, but there is a whole process to follow. The Graphics card can do different functions depending upon the choice of the Graphics card, the number of the Graphics cards and the configuration of your PC. You can use it for gaming, cryptocurrency mining, machine learning or AI rendering, while it can be used commercially in data centers and for research purposes too.

Compatibility

The first and the most important step before upgrading your Graphics card is to choose which graphics card you want to buy and see its system requirements. Every Graphics card requires a PCIe x16 slot to mount on your motherboard; if your motherboard has a PCIe x8 slot it should work fine too, you may want to have a look in the motherboard’s guidebook. Your motherboard may have many PCIe slots, use one that is close to your processor for your graphics card to perform ideally considering your environment if it does not have one close to the CPU then any slot would work. Most of the Graphics cards can work with any motherboard, but some require specialized configurations of the motherboard so before buying do check out the compatibility of your motherboard with your desired Graphics card.

Image: Linus Tech Tips
Image: Linus Tech Tips

The Graphics card is the most power hungry component of the computer that is why some of them have separate power connectors to work. If you have a low-end graphics card like the GTX 1050 SKUs or lower from Nvidia and Radeon 450, 550 or lower from AMD then motherboard can provide the required power, so you do not need to worry about this part. However, if you have a high or mid-end Graphics card, then power supply management should be one of your concerns. The Graphics cards have the required power supply written on their spec sheet if you have slightly lower than that and by slightly, I mean a difference of 20 to 30 Watts then it would work fine, but you would not be able to overclock it. It is recommended that you have at least 100Watts more than the written power supply if you want to overclock your graphics card.

Image: Linus Tech Tips
Image: Linus Tech Tips

Lastly, the size of the graphics card should be compatible with your case as graphics cards usually have 1 to 3 slot sizes. Make sure your case has a room for an additional sized Graphics card for example if you are installing a two-slot Graphics card than your case should have space for a three slot card. The extra space will give room for the hot air to flow out of your PC. This is for the ATX builds, if you are installing in a mini ITX case then you do not have a choice, After all these, you are good to install the Graphics card physically.

Installation

The installation of the Graphics card is very straightforward. You are required to find the PCIe slot on your motherboard. In most motherboards, the PCIe slots have locks so that the component attached can be remained intact, be sure to unlock the slot before sliding the card in and do the same when you want to remove it.

Hold the Graphics card with the cooler or the plastic body and slide it in with constant pressure until you hear a click sound so that it attaches to the connector, the locks will automatically place the card. To make sure the components of your computer remain safe from static electricity touch the metallic parts of your cases from time to time or wear an earthed wristband. Most cases have bracket covers make sure you have them removed before installing the Graphics card.

When the graphics card is in its place, gently hold it and place the screw, some Graphics cards need three screws while most of them require only two that are to be placed on the bracket. Lastly, connect the power cables, there you go, your new Graphics card is in place.

Image: Windows central
Image: Windows central

Drivers

For drivers you would need to start your computer, before booting up make sure your display is not connected to your new Graphics card, it should be connected to your motherboard directly. After booting up you would require uninstalling your old Graphics drivers, there are many ways to uninstall the drivers. The easiest and the recommended way is through a third party program called Display Driver uninstaller or DDU; it’s a free program. Once installed, it will automatically boot you into safe mode then select which drivers you would want to remove; there will be options for the drivers for Nvidia, AMD, and Intel remove all of them as Windows tends to install the drivers that are usually dated frequently.

Image: Linus Tech Tips
Image: Linus Tech Tips

After uninstalling head over to the official site of your respective Graphics card and download the drivers for Nvidia’s Graphics card you would install GeForce experience app, and for AMD’s Graphics cards you would install AMD Crimson application. Be sure to download the latest stable builds; it is very easy to install the drivers, as they are the executable files (.exe) just run them and do as they ask you to do. To download latest Nvidia Graphics drivers, click here and for AMD Graphics drivers, click here. When the drivers are installed shut your PC down connect your display output to the Graphics card and then Restart your computer, your Graphics card will now start, and you can do what you want to do with your new Hardware. Crank up the settings and start gaming!

RELATED: Best Graphics Cards for Gaming in 2018

Precautions

To make sure you do not run into complexities, make sure you wear gloves all the time. Most of the circuits in your computer are very sensitive especially towards the static electricity. As mentioned above use the earthed metallic wristbands or frequently touch a grounded metal to transfer the static electricity to the ground. Lastly, make sure the wires remain insulated, if you see any part of wires bare, immediately remove or change that part of the wire as short circuit could damage your system.

 

ALSO READ: These Graphics Cards prices drop by up to 40% – Is it the right time to buy?

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