Tips to install a graphics card correctly

There are many of us who are clear about how to install a graphics card correctly, so we have prepared a simple and fast entry, suitable for all audiences! Find out how to do it in just 5 steps.

We return with a tutorial of the classics, but polishing a couple of details that we think may be useful to you. The graphics card is perhaps the most expensive home PC component of all, so we are especially afraid of damaging it in the assembly process. With peace of mind, following these steps, you will surely do it quickly and without complications.

Index of contents

  • Tips to install a graphics card correctly
    • Uninstall the GPU drivers (if you had one installed)
    • Turn off the PC, open the case and check connections
    • Insert the GPU into the main PCI-Express slot (x16)
    • Plug the HDMI or DisplayPort cable into the graphics card
    • Install the corresponding drivers
    • Optional: configure graphics card fans

Tips to install a graphics card correctly

We advise you to follow all the advice that we are going to present below in order because they follow a logical development. It is possible that you skip one and nothing happens, but let’s save the scares for another day.

Uninstall the GPU drivers (if you had one installed)

The rush is not good and we have all felt that “urge” to want to install the GPU as soon as possible, but first you have to prepare the PC . We must uninstall the GPU drivers (unless we did not have any installed before), so we proceed to do the following:

  • We open the start menu and look for « control panel«. We open it.
  • We select view of “small icons” and we go into Programs and features.
  • In the case of AMD, look for Adrenalin or AMD to find the drivers first; as for NVIDIA, uninstall everything that comes interchangeably. In my case, I have an RTX 2070 Super and I have the following installed:

Turn off the PC, open the case and check connections

If you have the same dust as this box, take the opportunity to clean the PC ?

After uninstalling everything related to your AMD or NVIDIA GPU, we are going to turn off the PC and disconnect the cable from the power supply.

We proceed to open the PC case through the left side cover (if we look at the case from the front), which is where the glass or methacrylate panel is usually. Once open, we have to do the following:

  • If you already have a GPU installed, we disconnect the HDMI / DisplayPort cables connectedto it from the outside, unscrew it and extract it. To remove it, use the button that the PCI-Express slots usually have as a «safe». Never use force , but we pull it towards us gently and from side to side; otherwise, we may damage the slot and motherboard.
  • Check the PCIe connectionswe have because, surely, we have to power the GPU in a specific way. This is more a matter of power supply, than graphics card, so keep that in mind when buying one.

Insert the GPU into the main PCI-Express slot (x16)

When asked how to install a graphics card , the main answer is: in the main PCI-Express slot . We are referring to the first slot after the socket, which is usually a hardened slot on many motherboards because it is the one commonly used for the GPU.

Why this and not others? Because the main one, in 99% of cases, will be x16, regardless of whether it is PCIe 3.0 or 4.0. There is no performance difference in graphics cards when using PCI-Express 4.0 or 3.0 , but when using less than 16 lines.

The number of lines affects the bandwidth of the interface, but we recommend that you take a look at the PCI-Express connectors , an entry in which we talked specifically about it.

As for the installation of the graphics card, insert it in the main slot using the lock button and screw it later so that it is secure and does not sag. You only need to connect the PCIe cables from the power supply.

Plug the HDMI or DisplayPort cable into the graphics card

We will finish the installation of the graphics card with the video outputs, which are usually HDMI or DisplayPort because DVI has lost its meaning after the appearance of DP. All that remains is to turn on the PC and let the monitor display the image.

If you see that the monitor does not give an image , try another connection or connect the HDMI / DisplayPort cable from the monitor to the motherboard . The priority is that the monitor gives an image and we can do the last step of all: install the drivers. Afterwards, I’m sure the GPU will give the picture.

Anyway, I recommend that you take a look at the GPU inside because many times they do not give an image due to insufficient power to the graphics card:

  • There are models that have an LED pilotthat warns if the power is OK or not. To interpret it, consult the manual of the graphics card.
  • Check that the PCIe connections of the GPUare connected correctly and do not “dance”.
  • Remember that many graphics cards require a powerful source, although having a lower power than that recommended by NVIDIA or AMD … it pays for performance, it should not show an image for that!

Install the corresponding drivers

Assuming that the graphics card works correctly, we have to know this last step on how to install the drivers for this component. As of Windows 10, it is Windows Update that is usually in charge of finding the drivers for our model, in case we have not installed anything.

Similarly, I recommend installing the drivers manually by going to the NVIDIA or AMD support page . Both on one website and on the other, we have to select the correct parameters (our model, series, etc.).

Once you have the drivers downloaded, I always advise taking a look at what you are going to install because AMD and NVIDIA usually incorporate their optional software in their packages. For example, I don’t think many of you are going to use NVIDIA Broadcast, so you can uncheck what you think is not essential.

Optional: configure graphics card fans

Finally, I wanted to recommend one last adjustment in the installation of your graphics card: configure its ventilation . This will be useful for everyone, but especially for those who have a GPU with 1 or 2 fans because its cooling capacity is more limited.

Personally, I have tried a lot of fan control software, but on GPU I stick with the King: MSI Afterburner . If you don’t like it, you can download NZXT Cam, although I warn you that it is a software raised as an “ecosystem” of NZXT. To go further, we recommend reading how to create a graphics card ventilation curve .

We hope it has been helpful and now you know how to install your graphics card. If you have any questions, comment below and we will answer you shortly.

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