Graphics cards are an essential component of the computer. They let you render graphic texts and videos without overloading the CPU. However, for all that graphics cards do in a PC, they come in various sizes: from small form factors to massive ones.
Despite these variations, graphics cards are similar in that they use a PCIe port to connect to the motherboard. You might consider disconnecting your graphics cards yourself, but you must note crucial points. The removal task might seem straightforward, but it requires some technical knowledge to avoid system failures.
Below, we’ve highlighted some of the common steps you’ll need to consider before removing a graphics card from a computer.
Before we get into details on how to remove a graphics card, it’s important to emphasize the need for safety precautions. Your PC has several electrical points that can cause shocks and shorting if you take the wrong step when disconnecting a component.
You must have an antistatic wristband as a primary safety measure before opening your computer. The device protects you from most of the static electricity buildup as the body touches a piece of electronic equipment.
Other standard safety actions include turning off the PC from the mains and disconnecting all adjoining cables. It’s also noteworthy to only use appropriate tools and devices throughout the process.
Steps to Removing a Graphics Card
The following are the actions to take to get a graphics card out of a PC:
Solution 1: Unscrew the Card from the Board
Most, if not all, graphics cards get screwed down to the sides of the PC casing. This technique ensures that the component doesn’t sag, breaking off its PCIe connection. For added measure, some graphics cards would include a PCIe bracket.
You may have to unscrew up to three screws around the card using any appropriate screwdriver.
Solution 2: Release the Card from the Slot
After unscrewing the graphics card, you mustn’t push it out right away. This is because there are some locking mechanisms around the point where the GPU plugs into the motherboard.
Typically, these mechanisms are switches, tabs, or sliders. They help lock the PCIe connection, making it difficult to come off by mistake. Depending on the motherboard’s manufacturer, you may have to pull or press the tab to have it come free. In other cases, it’s a combination of pushing and sliding.
One way to ensure that you’ve successfully released the graphics card is when you hear an audible click. When that happens, you can pull the card out of the casing.
Solution 3: Removing the Graphics Card Correctly
Pulling the graphics card out of the PC requires techniques to ensure that you don’t damage it. You’ll start by holding the card by the midsection using one hand (two, if the graphics card is a large one).
Take care not to touch the PCB area as you hold the graphics card. Also, try not to let the component hit the case sides as you pull through entirely.
Other Points to Note
Once you follow the above steps, your graphics card can come free from the computer. However, there are other helpful tips you need to know about generally handling graphics cards.
First, you must properly store your removed graphics card. That means you cannot leave the unit out in the open not to damage its parts. An excellent way to keep graphics cards is by placing them in an antistatic bag.
Then, you can keep the bag in a box big enough for the GPU. We’d recommend that you use the original packaging box with which the card came, but any decent-sized package would do if you no longer have it
As a PC user, you may want to learn how to remove a graphics card yourself for several reasons. For example, you might want to replace it with a new one or clean it thoroughly for a better function.
Whatever reason you might have, it’s essential that you correctly remove a graphics card from the PC, as failure to do so can damage either the GPU, the motherboard, or both.
The removal steps mentioned above are quick and straightforward. Following them can see you freeing up your graphics card in no time.
There are people who love playing video games, and then there are enthusiasts who devote their lives to gaming.
Corey has been playing games since The Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy III were still young.
Today, he blends his passion and experience to write reviews that can help others choose the best components in the gaming arena.