How to Remove (and reinstall) a Graphics card in a Custom PC


When should you remove your GPU from your desktop computer?

There are various reasons you may want to remove or install a graphics card in your desktop PC, perhaps you’re upgrading to a different card, or maybe you need to troubleshoot an error, this article will give you a basic rundown on what to keep in mind.

What all do I need to remove a graphics card from my custom computer?

Not much is needed, just an appropriately sized Phillips head screwdriver (typically P2) and if you have one an anti-static strap, however if you do not have an ESD strap just be mindful to touch a grounded surface like a large metal desk or even the PC case before beginning and once every few minutes.

After unplugging your PC from the wall if it has been powered on recently, make sure to hold the power button for a few seconds to clear out any residual charge in the capacitors. After doing this, it is safe to open the side panel and unplug the power connector(s) from the graphics card by pressing on the tab and pulling. From this point forward, it’s suggested to have the PC lying on its back side.

How to Replace a Graphics Card in your PC

Next you will want to unscrew the thumb screws holding the PCI-E slot tabs in place, the number of screws may vary. While these may be called “thumb screws” it’s typically almost impossible to remove them by hand, so it’s much easier to use your screwdriver.

Removing thumb screws from a GPU

Next you’re going to press the tab pictured near the technician’s index finger down and towards the right if you have a light graphics card it will pop the card out with ease, however as with this 3080ti and a lot of heavy modern cards it is also necessary to pull up on the card with your other hand to help with release.

How to remove a graphics card from a computer

After that, removal is finished! Be careful to avoid bumping into internal components as you remove the graphics card. Typically, the inside of a computer is a little more robust than most would give it credit, but it’s always better to be cautious than sorry about it later.

GPU removed from PC

How to Reinstall a GPU in a Desktop Computer?

To reinstall it’s just the same thing in reverse, with one detail to note. It is important to ensure the PCI-E retainer clip is in the open position. This clip will close itself upon pressing the graphics card into the slot. Once you believe it is fully slotted in, give it a small tug to ensure the clip is closed, then you can resume the rest of the process.

GPU Tab Open and Closed

If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of removing components, AVADirect Custom Computers can build your PC for you!


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