There are a variety of reasons why you might want to remove a GPU from your current PC setup.
Maybe you would like to upgrade to a better GPU , maybe the GPU is faulty and you want to swap it for a new one.
Maybe you want to clean your GPU because it has been installed for a long time, or maybe you want to downgrade as you don’t need all the power currently installed in your PC and would like to reduce your electricity bills and earn a little money. extra selling the best GPU.
There are a variety of reasons in fact.
In this guide, we’ll go through a step-by-step process on how to remove a graphics card from your PC and make way for your new or replacement GPU or if you just want to clean it up a bit. up.
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How to remove a graphics card
- Remove existing GPU drivers with Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU)
If you are just cleaning your GPU or replacing your GPU with a GPU similar to your current one, you can skip this step entirely as it will be using the same drivers as before.
Before we start doing anything physical to our PC and taking out the GPU, we would first want to prepare our PC (software wise) to receive a new GPU. Display Driver Uninstaller (or DDU for short) is a program that uninstalls any older GPU drivers that may be found on your PC.
This program ensures that installing a new GPU driver goes smoothly, as any remnants of the old GPU driver could cause errors with your new GPU or when installing drivers for your new GPU. This is especially true if you’re jumping from one GPU brand to a different one or if you’re upgrading or downgrading your current GPU with one that spans a couple of years.
To download DDU, just go to Guru3D for the download link. The site itself also has instructions on how to use the program, and if you somehow forget them, the program has instructions as well. So just follow those instructions and you will have a hassle free time changing drivers and your PC will thank you.
Shut down your PC
Assuming you have already shut down your PC, you can also skip this step.
Now that your PC is running on your OS’s own display drivers and your PC is essentially free of old third-party GPU drivers after the DDU program’s mandatory reboot, you can now shut down your PC to formally start the teardown process. of this guide.
Disconnect cables from your PC and prepare your workstation
Now it’s time to get a little physical. Now that your PC is powered off, you can now unplug your PC cables from their sockets and proceed to prepare your PC for teardown. Take your PC to a clean and tidy area, such as your personal workbench or a table large enough to accommodate the PC tower.
You can also set up your workstation on the floor, but this is only if you have absolutely no other area to work on. Just make sure your floor is clean and dust-free and has a mat that can act as a work area. It is always advisable to have your tools and materials organized so that you do not end up losing anything essential to your PC such as its case screws or the GPU case itself.
Remember to ground yourself before starting work
This step is more of a constant reminder than a specific step, but any time you’re working in the guts of your PC, you’ll want to ground yourself to avoid shorting out any components due to the static buildup that naturally occurs when you drag anything around. the floor or the table.
To ground yourself, simply touch any metal object on your PC case to discharge any static. The best thing to touch is the case of your power supply, but you can also touch the case of your PC.
Always make it your best practice to ground yourself before touching anything inside your PC (especially if you find yourself moving around a lot), as it can save you a lot of headaches in the long run!
If you think you might forget to do this step from time to time, you can also wear an antistatic wrist strap, which is a wrist strap with a ground wire attached. Simply wrap it around your wrist or ankle and clip the alligator clip to the computer’s power supply case. This ensures that you are always grounded and that your body does not produce static electricity.
Remove the side panel of your PC
Now that you’re ready, you can start dismantling your PC, starting with the side panel of your PC. Simply unscrew the screws that hold the side panel to the case and carefully set it aside to open the PC.
Depending on your case, it may just contain thumbscrews that are easily loosened with your hands, or it may contain an actual screw that you may need a screwdriver for.
Disconnect the PCI Express cables (PCIe / PCI-E)
Now that the GPU is exposed, you can now proceed to disconnect the PCI Express (PCIe/PCI-E) cables that are currently connected to it. These cables are usually found attached to the side of the GPU. Simply pull them gently until they are removed from their slots.
Always remember to pull those wires from the plastic connectors so as not to damage the wires. If you need a little more support, you can hold your GPU by its cooling fans or its backplate if it has one.
Anything else connected to it, like water cooling hoses and GPU mounting brackets, is up to you to investigate further as they are specialty parts and not usually part of an overall PC build.
Unscrew the GPU from the PC case
Next is to unscrew the GPU mounting screws from the case. These screws are located in the PCIe expansion holes near the back of the case. You will need a screwdriver for this, so have one ready.
GPUs are usually held in place with 2 mounting screws on the case, as the GPU occupies two of these expansion holes for its interface.
Release the PCIe expansion slot clips holding the GPU
Next is to release the PCIe expansion slot clips that hold the GPU in place on the motherboard. These clips are usually located where the GPU has its connection pins. How to undo these clips varies from motherboard to motherboard.
Some motherboards have clips that snap into place so all you need to do is open them back up, while other motherboards require you to continuously apply pressure to the clips while you remove the GPU. Make sure the clips are completely undone to avoid damaging both your GPU and motherboard.
Take out the GPU
Once you have unfastened the clips or holding them down, you can now remove the GPU from the PCIe expansion slot. Grasp the GPU by its cooling shroud and pull firmly as straight as possible. Be sure to avoid grabbing the PCB side of the GPU to avoid adding oil and moisture to it, as it can cause corrosion.
Congratulations! You have successfully removed the GPU from your PC and your PCIe expansion slot is now free.
Also Read: All About Water Filters.