Steps to Remove GPU from Motherboard – GPU refers to the Graphics Processor unit, and it means a programmable processing unit responsible for graphics manipulation and output. Most of the laptops come with integrated graphics that is, the GPU is permanently attached to the motherboard. Hence it is not removable. This is not the case with desktop PCs.
There are many reasons why removing a GPU card from the motherboard is necessitated. It could be for:
- Upgrading to a newer and better GPU
- Even downgrading the GPU so that electrical bills can be reduced and maybe earn some extra cash by selling the better GPU
- The current GPU is faulty and needs to be changed
While this article will discuss the methods to remove the GPU from the motherboard, please note this involves removing apart from the manufactured item. So any improper installation/removal or mishandling may cause damage to the part and may also nullify the warranty. Hence, if you are unsure, it is best to let an experienced technician remove the GPU from the motherboard.
Table of Contents
Some Preliminary Precautions
- Have the necessary screwdrivers and tool kits ready such as spudgers etc.
- A handy tool to aid in removing GPU drivers is available on Windows. It is called the Display Driver Uninstaller. While this may not be required, it can help clear all remnants of drivers from Windows. Once these drivers have been removed, you can safely go ahead and open up the PC.
- Static electricity can damage or even destroy the components. So, it is recommended to wear an anti-static band around the wrist or ankle. Usually, the anti-static band comes with an alligator clip at the other end to enable it to be clipped to an unpainted part of the PC case.
- Turn off the computer entirely and remove the plug
- Sometimes, the PCIe slot can get dirty and mess up the motherboard contacts. So if it happens, keep some alcohol and cotton swabs handy to clear it up quickly and reverse any damage.
Steps to Remove the GPU from the Motherboard
- First and foremost, before doing any physical activity on the computer, it is best to prepare the computer software-wise. DDU or Display driver Uninstaller program can uninstall any GPU drivers in the PC. This is done to remove any remnants of the old GPU driver so that no error will be encountered while adjusting to the new GPU, which may be of a different brand.
- Remove the desktop’s side panel by unfastening the screws with the help of a screwdriver.
- Usually, the graphics card is connected to the power supply through a six-pin or eight-pin PCIe cable. So remove the PCIe cable from the graphics card. It can be done by pushing the clip on the cable down and delicately pulling the cable away from the graphics card.
- After that, unfasten the screws which hold the GPU to the computer case.
- Once the graphics card is disconnected from the case, it will still be in the PCIe slot, held together by a small clip to the motherboard. This clip has to be pushed down in order to release the card. After that, gently and slowly remove the graphics card from the slot.
- Please remember to store the GPU in an anti-static bag to prevent damage.
So while the process to remove the graphics card from the motherboard is pretty simple, it should be done with utmost care. As the computer parts are delicate, even slight damage may make the computer part completely useless.
It is best to quickly explain how to install a new GPU into the PC for good order’s sake. Before that, it is best to check the power supply (PSU) in order to ensure that it can handle a dedicated or more powerful GPU. Going for a 500W-certified PSU of a reputable brand or a 600W + model for overclocked configurations is suggested.
Steps to Install the New Graphics Card
- Turn off and remove the power supply cord to the PSU.
- Remove the side panel by unscrewing the two screws on the rear.
- Unscrew the screws on the rear bracket which holds the GPU.
- Unlock the PCIe slot clip and remove the GPU with a delicate pull.
- Now, push down the new GPU to slide the connector into the slot and make sure the lock clicks into place.
- Screw the rear bracket, secure the card, and connect all the required PSU cables.
- Finally, attach the side panel.
Once the above steps are completed, plug in the display connectors to the rear of the case and put the power on, and boot up Windows.
Sometimes the PC might not turn on. If so, double-check if all the cables are connected properly and correctly, and also if the GPU is seated in the PCIe slot securely.
If you use the GPU for intensive workloads like gaming, install new drivers so that the windows and software can communicate with the card effectively.
As seen from the above article, removing the graphics card is not a daunting task. The main process involves the PCIe slot on the motherboard. Most GPUs are connected to the PC via the PCIe slot. Since the motherboard may have more than one slot, it is best to use the first (x16) slot. This has the most bandwidth available compared to the x4 slot, which is shorter. The other slots can be used for wi-fi cards, expansion cards, or even additional GPUs.
Sometimes, the motherboard might break or even not turn on after installing a new GPU. So there are cases where installing a new GPU into the motherboard might not work. So think carefully before removing the old GPU from the motherboard.
Sometimes removing an old GPU from the motherboard and installing a newer and more powerful GPU can make a lot of difference, especially in gaming PCs. However, as seen from the above, you can remove your GPU with just the right amount of tools and a few minutes to spare. But it needs to be done with the utmost care.
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