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Waiting for the GPU to arrive is very exciting, but that excitement often turns to anxiety once it’s time to install it, especially if you’ve never done it before. We’ve been there too.
Having said that, the actual installation process is very simple. You just connect the GPU to a PCIe slot on the motherboard.
People have more trouble selecting the right GPU to buy or fixing problems after the installation. As such, we’ll cover the entire process in this article.
You must consider compatibility when purchasing any component for your system, but it’s especially important with graphics cards. Specifically,
Make sure the GPU will physically fit in your case. Higher-end graphics cards can be over 300mm long, so it’s important to take GPU clearance into account.
GPUs typically come in three sizes; single, double, and triple-slot. These refer to how many PCIe slots the GPU will cover. So, make sure the PCIe slots required for the GPU are available.
Similarly, computer cases come in various sizes. If you’re using compact ones like Micro ATX or Mini ITX, large-sized GPUs may not physically fit in the case or may overlap with other components. Check the dimensions of the GPU online to account for this.
Also, ensure the GPU is compatible with your PSU. Modern GPUs use 6-pin (75W), 8-pin (150W), or 12-pin (600W) connectors. First, the PSU must support the GPU’s pin connectors.
Second, the PSU wattage should be high enough to handle the GPU’s requirements. Check the spec sheet on the manufacturer’s site or use tools like PCPartPicker for this.
If you’re switching from an NVIDIA card to AMD or vice-versa, it’s good practice to uninstall the current drivers before installing the new card. You can use the driver uninstaller tool provided by the manufacturer, or simply use the control panel for this. If those don’t remove the drivers properly, you can try out third-party tools like DDU.
Also, please keep the following things in mind before starting with the hardware installation:
Periodically touch an unpainted metal surface (e.g, the chassis) or use anti-static equipment to ground yourself.
Store all the components securely. Smaller ones like screws are very easy to misplace.
Taking photos after each step will help you remember which cable or component goes where restoring everything later on.
If you have an old GPU already installed, follow the steps listed directly below to remove it first. Otherwise, skip ahead to the next section to start installing the new GPU.
Turn off your computer and unplug the power cable.
Now take the case to a clean workspace. You can place it standing straight or lay it on its side as you prefer.
Some motherboards use a lock mechanism to hold GPUs in place. Check if there’s a handle, lever, or something similar on or behind the PCIe slot. If it’s present, you’ll need to pull it back or press it in some cases, to release the GPU.
Now, here are the steps to install the new graphics card:
If necessary, follow Steps 1-4 from the prior section.
If the GPU has protective covers on the connectors, remove them.
Gently push the card into the slot. If there’s a locking mechanism on the PCIe slot, press or pull it as appropriate to lock the GPU in place.
Re-connect the power cables, switch on the PSU, and power on the PC.
When you power on the PC after the hardware installation, your PC will use generic drivers for the graphics card. This is fine to start off, but it’s best to update the drivers to get the best performance out of your GPU.
We recommend a couple of ways to do this. First, you could use tools provided by the GPU manufacturer (e.g., GeForce Experience, AMD Adrenalin, etc.) to automatically update the drivers.
Or if you want to install a specific driver version, you could go to the manufacturer’s support site, search for your GPU model, and download the file from there.
Can’t Remove GPU from PCIe Slot
People often have difficulty removing the old GPU before installing the new one. If you followed the steps from this guide, you’ll know that this is due to the PCIe slot’s latch holding the GPU in place. Depending on the latch, you’ll need to pull it back or press down on it to release the locking mechanism.
GPU Doesn’t Work After Installation
Reseating the GPU and ensuring you’ve plugged in the power connectors properly fixes this problem most of the time. You should also ensure your PSU can handle the GPU’s power requirements as mentioned earlier.
If these steps didn’t help, we recommend the following troubleshooting procedure:
Test the GPU on a different system to ensure it actually works. Manufacturing defects and damage during shipping are more common than most people think.
If it works, the problem is with your motherboard’s PCIe slot or the power connector. Although not as common, the monitor or display cable could be faulty too.
Sometimes, only specific components might not work. For instance, some graphics cards are designed to not spin the fans at idle temperature. We’ve seen people misinterpret this as a GPU not working before.
Other times, the component might actually not be working. For instance, the GPU fan could be physically obstructed by something. Or the HDMI port could be damaged.
We’ve even seen niche cases where a dirty HDMI port or a CPU that wasn’t properly locked down caused display problems. If you’re installing an old or second-hand GPU, these could be worth looking into.
As stated earlier, you should remove the current drivers when switching from an NVIDIA card to AMD or vice-versa to prevent driver conflict. In rare cases, this can be necessary even if you’re installing the same manufacturer’s card.
Using External GPU w/ Integrated
This one is more of a common query than a problem. Users often ask if it’s possible to use an External GPU if your system already has an integrated GPU.
Yes, you can do this. The system will generally use the dedicated GPU for most tasks, and only utilize the integrated one if necessary. You can also manage such preferences yourself using tools like the NVIDIA Control Panel.
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But you need to get that new hardware up and running before you’re able to bask in enhanced graphics glory. Here’s how to upgrade your existing computer with a new graphics card, from basic buying considerations to step-by-step installation instructions.
Few upgrades add as much punch to your PC as installing a new graphics card. It can transform your PC from a system that chokes on lightweight games into a monster that churns through even the most visually punishing titles with ease.
You’re going to need a decent power supply if you want to get your game on.
Next make sure your computer has the proper hardware to support your new card.
In general, you want the graphics card that offers the most bang for your buck, though you’ll also want to consider a card’s noise, heat, and power consumption. While graphics card recommendations are outside the scope of this article, PCWorld’s massive graphics card buying guide can help you make an informed decision no matter how much money you have to spend.
Simply deciding which graphics card you want is a complex and nuanced discussion, as both AMD and Nvidia offer choices for virtually every budget, from sub-$200 options all the way up to the ferocious $1,500 GeForce RTX 3090 .
The most common problem that people run into is an inadequate power supply: Either it can’t supply enough wattage, or it doesn’t have enough available PCI-E power connectors. As a rule of thumb, your power supply should at least meet the power supply requirements recommended by its manufacturer. For example if you purchased the aforementioned GeForce GTX 3090—a video card that draws 350 watts—you should have a power supply that meets the 750W minimum suggested by Nvidia, along with a pair of 8-pin power connectors.
Further reading: How to pick the best PC power supply
To find out how much wattage your power supply pumps out, open your case and look for the standard identification sticker all power supplies have, which lists their basic info. While you’re there you can also identify how many 6-pin and 8-pin PCI-E connectors are available.
AMD’s Radeon RX 6900 XT.
With all of those questions resolved, it’s time to get down to business.Installing a graphics card
You install a graphics card into a PCI-E x16 slot on your computer’s motherboard (the long, black slots in this picture.)
Unless you need to remove an existing GPU, you first need to locate the long PCI-E x16 slot closest to the heat sink of your processor. This will either be the first or second expansion slot on your motherboard.
Don’t forget to lock the latch at the end of the PCI-E slot after firmly inserting your graphics card!
You can now install your new graphics card into the open and unobstructed PCI-E x16 slot. Firmly insert the card into the slot, then push down the plastic lock on the end of the PCI-E slot to hold it in place. Next, use a screw to secure the graphic card’s metal retention bracket to your PC’s case. You can reuse the same screw(s) that held the cover bracket or your former graphics card in place.
She needs more power, Captain! Your graphics card won’t run unless you’ve connected it to your PSU.
Most gaming-level graphics cards require additional power connectors. If yours does, make sure you connect those PCI-E power cables. Your graphics card will not function correctly without properly supplied power. In fact, if you don’t connect those PCI-E power cables your PC may be unable to boot.Wrapping up
With your graphics card secured and powered up, finish the job by sliding your case’s side panel back into position and plugging your display cable into your new graphics card. Turn on your computer.
The Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 6800 XT, plugged in and powered on.
If your new graphics card is the same brand as your old card, this process is simple. Just go to the manufacturer’s website and download the latest driver package for you operating system. Keep in mind that graphics drivers are quite large, generally about 500MB in size, and it make take some time for them to download depending on the speed of your Internet connection. Install the driver, restart your computer, and now you’re ready to enjoy the buttery-smooth framerates your new graphics card will no doubt deliver.
Benchmark software can help to stress-test new systems (particularly important for PCs you assemble yourself).
Benchmarks can test for sudden performance issues. If your system has apparently slowed down in some way, you can use before-and-after benchmarks to confirm your suspicions.
You can run some benchmarks to check whether certain tweaks you’ve implemented on a system actually speed things up or not.
There’s more to benchmarking than simply installing the benchmark software, firing it up, and running it at whatever default settings exist. I’ll walk through the reasons you may want to benchmark in more detail, and then I’ll discuss how to properly run a benchmark.
Before diving into the whys and wherefores of benchmarking, let’s start with my Golden Rule.Loyd’s Golden Rule of Benchmarking
It’s a simple rule, and it applies to most users who aren’t professional product reviewers: Run benchmarks that give you information about what you want to do with your PC. Anything else is irrelevant.
If you’re primarily a PC game player, you probably care about how well games run on your system. Secondarily, you might care about 3DMark scores. In contrast, a Cinebench score or a Photoshop-filter performance test won’t be as important to you.
Of course, most people use PCs for more than one purpose. Even so, you probably use your PC for one purpose more than you do for others, so it’s worthwhile to focus on how well your system performs in that arena.
You’ll find some narrow exceptions to that rule. For example, if you want to use an architectural CAD application, a system that runs games smoothly will likely do fairly well with that CAD app–but it would probably perform even better with a professional graphics card. At the same time, if you use a pro graphics card, game performance will likely decrease a bit.
Finally, keep in mind a general exception to Loyd’s Golden Rule of Benchmarking: If you’re a PC-performance geek, you’ll be driven to dissect the performance of every aspect of your PC.Stress-Testing Your System
When you build a system, you naturally want to test it, to make sure everything works well. You can use software designed to test a system, but those programs don’t always do a good job of verifying system performance. In the past I’ve run 3DMark 2006, which allowed you to loop the test ad infinitum. To heat things up a bit, I’d also run the multicore version of Mersenne Prime95 simultaneously, using the benchmark mode of Prime95 that consumes lots of memory bandwidth.
Whenever I burned in a system this way, I ran both applications simultaneously for 2 to 4 hours.
It’s my belief that system burn-in isn’t as necessary today as it once was. One of the reasons to burn in a system was to check for early component failure: If all the components survived the burn-in process, they’d likely run for years without issues. Today, components are generally more reliable. If you’ve built your own system, though, you’ll probably want to run a few stress tests to confirm that it’s stable at a high performance level before you get started with any serious gaming or other taxing tasks.Benchmarks for Troubleshooting
Once, my PC’s game performance suddenly slowed to a crawl. It turned out that my system’s cooling fans, including the GPU and CPU coolers, had become clogged with dust. That resulted in high enough heat levels that both components throttled back significantly.
If you want to use benchmarks as problem-solving tools, first you need to run some tests while your system is healthy, so that you have a baseline for comparison.System Tweaking
If you overclock your system, or if you just like to play around with different graphics settings, running benchmarks can give you some idea of the impact of a tweak. If you really want to verify the positive or negative effect of a setting change, though, you need to be patient, and change only one setting at a time before rerunning a test.
Now that you’ve looked at the whys of benchmarking, it’s time to dive into how to run a benchmark effectively.
Laptops are among the most valuable things we carry around with us, valued anywhere between $500 and $3000. This makes them perhaps one of the most dreaded items to lose from your person. According to a 2010 study on computer and electronic theft performed by MacTech, over a million computers were stolen each year in the United States alone, and the vast majority of them were laptops.Narrow the Chances
The best remedy is prevention. Leaving your laptop out in the open while you go do something else is obviously not good. Most thieves will see this as a wonderful opportunity to slip in and grab the device. It eliminates the chance of confrontation which could damage the merchandise and possibly injure the thief. When you’re on a terrace having a drink while browsing through your laptop, and you suddenly feel the need to relieve yourself in the bathroom, take the laptop with you.
Besides keeping your laptop on your person at all times, you should definitely also make sure that you’re using it in an area that is neither too crowded nor too depopulated. Fewer people means fewer possible witnesses. The same, paradoxically, can happen in very crowded places. All the commotion and noise deafens people to their surroundings, making them less apt to notice that someone is stealing a laptop.Lock It
If you happen to be one of the many unfortunate victims of theft, it helps to have some way to block the laptop from being usable. Some laptops may have a hardware-based mechanism that prevents them from being used without some form of authentication (like a key). But if you’re not lucky enough to have one of those, you’ll need to use software-based methods (like having a password for every account on your operating system and eliminating guest accounts for Windows).
The good part about using Linux in this situation is that passwords are mandatory from the get-go. If you’re a Windows user and don’t use passwords to log into your OS, you’re going to have to get used to it!Track It
You should have ways to track your laptop, not just because it might get stolen, but also because it can be equally useful when you lose it. For loss recovery you could use privacy-friendly tagging services like BoomerangIt or ReturnMe. For tracking you could use Prey, as we’ve previously suggested in this article about remotely wiping your Linux computer. It works on a variety of operating systems and platforms.
Just be aware that remote wiping should be done as a last resort measure, although you should take into account the possibility of data theft if you have a lot of sensitive material such as credit card numbers and bank account details. You should always have a backup of your sensitive data somewhere safe. Laptops are not necessarily the best candidates for that.
Combine all three of these, and the likelihood that you will suffer from theft drops enormously. Remember, theft prevention is all about contingency. Even if you try everything to stop it, there’s still a chance it will happen. By that point it is good to have an execution plan when things go sour.
Miguel has been a business growth and technology expert for more than a decade and has written software for even longer. From his little castle in Romania, he presents cold and analytical perspectives to things that affect the tech world.
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The GPU is an important component of a computer and the Windows operating system will collapse if this component is overloaded. While playing games, many users have reported the error Windows has restarted your GPU driver due to a problem driver. If you encounter the same, then please read through this article for the resolutions.Windows has restarted your GPU driver due to a problem driver
The problem could either be with corrupt or outdated Display drivers or the lack of a suitable GPU. In both these cases, we will have to troubleshoot accordingly. Try the following solutions sequentially to resolve the problem:
Update the Graphics using official Driver tools
Download the latest version of DirectX on your computer
Add a GPU to your system
Update your Windows system1] Update the Graphics Driver using official tools
The best method to update Graphics Card drivers is to do so using driver update tools. Depending on the processor used by your system, try the following:
Intel Driver and Support Assistant: The Intel Driver and Support Assistant can help update drivers on Intel systems in the correct manner. This works when updating drivers in a general manner fails.
AMD AutoDetect: AMD users can use the AMD version of the driver update tool. This tool is known as AMD Autodetect and can update drivers which are left out by the usual procedure.
In case you are using an external GPU, you can download the Graphics Card drivers directly from the manufacturer’s website.
Related: How to restart Graphics Driver in Windows2] Download the latest version of DirectX on your computer
Many users have confirmed that downloading & installing the latest version of DirectX on their system has resolved the problem in the discussion. This version is available on chúng tôi DirectX installs several runtime libraries essential to the game and other multimedia on the system.3] Add a GPU to your system
In case you are playing a graphics-intensive game, make sure that your system has everything needed for its minimum requirements. GPU is a part of the minimum requirements. Usually, an external GPU is needed for playing heavy games.
To solve this problem, you can either buy a new GPU or stop playing the game. If the hardware is not sufficient, nothing else will work.
Read: Windows computer freezes while installing Graphics driver4] Update your Windows system
At times, Microsoft recognizes feedback sent by users and patches generic problems on Windows. These fixes are pushed through Windows updates. You can update your system manually as follows:
In the Settings window, go to the Windows Update tab on the list on the left-hand side.How do I fix a corrupted GPU driver?
The failure of a GPU is as critical as the failure of the CPU. The first symptom is a Blue Screen of Death error. Other than this, you will notice overheating of the system. The fan might run faster than usual. After this, the display might exhibit issues.
Read:Why does Windows keep restarting my GPU?
If your GPU is the internal GPU, then simply updating the drivers will be helpful. However, if it doesn’t work, you will have to send it for hardware replacement. External GPUs can be replaced rather easily. If not, you can also add USB-based GPUs these days.
All Windows PCs come with a powerful graphics card, which helps the system carry out heavy and essential tasks. Thus, it’s become important to keep the graphics card up to the latest version, or else it can get buggy and cause severe issues. To update the graphics card, you must update your system’s graphics adapters.
There are several easy ways to update graphics drivers in Windows 11, and this is what this guide demonstrates. So, read ahead and try any listed method to update your Windows 11 PC’s graphics drivers.
How To Check Your Graphics Card?
Before updating your Windows 11 PC’s graphics adapters, you must know what graphics card your system or laptop has.
So, if you’re a laptop user, you can check the manufacturer’s stickers placed next to your touchpad. There you’ll find the graphics card’s series and model. If the stickers aren’t visible properly, you can follow the below-listed steps to check the same in your system:
Note: The same steps also apply to desktop users.
1. Use the Ctrl + Shift + Esc shortcut to launch the Task Manager program on your system.
4. Lastly, use the Windows logo key + V shortcut to open Clipboard and check the graphics card model.
Once you’ve checked your Windows 11 PC’s graphics card’s manufacturer, series and model number, try any of the listed methods to update it on your Windows 11 PC with ease.
1. Using Device Manager
The first method to update your Windows 11 PC’s graphics adapters is using the Device Manager utility. Below is the process to do the same:
1. Press the Windows + R keys concurrently to open the Run utility and type chúng tôi in it.
4. Now, wait for the operating system to search for the updated version of the selected graphics driver. If it finds some new updates, install them by following the on-screen instructions.
Another way to update your Windows 11 PC’s graphics adapters is through Windows updates. Microsoft regularly pushes new updates for graphics drivers and other components through optional and cumulative updates.
So, follow the below steps to install all optional and cumulative Windows updates to update your system’s graphics drivers:
1. Press the Windows + I shortcut to open the Settings app and move to the Windows Update section.
5. Proceed to the Optional updates section and check if there are new updates available for the system’s graphics drivers in the Drivers updates section to download and install.
7. Lastly, wait for the update to download and install on your Windows 11 PC.
Other than updating the graphics drivers automatically, you can also try updating them manually in a few easy steps. The below-mentioned instructions easily demonstrate the same:
1. Open the Device Manager app on your Windows system and expand the Display adapters section.
5. In the end, select the updated version of the graphics driver. You can find the latest version by looking at the date written next to it.
7. In the end, wait for the updated graphics driver to install. After installing them, restart your Windows device.
4. Via GeForce Experience
If your Windows 11 system has NVIDIA graphics drivers, you can easily update them using GeForce Experience. If you don’t know, GeForce Experience is a GPU management tool by NVIDIA that lets you manage all your NVIDIA GPUs under one roof. So, follow the below-mentioned steps to update your system’s NVIDIA graphics drivers:
3. Once the GeForce Experience’s exe file is downloaded on your Windows 11 PC, install it.
4. Once done, open the GeForce Experience utility on your Windows 11 PC, and create a new GeForce Experience account or log in with an existing account.
6. Let the GeForce Experience scan for the new updates for the graphics drivers installed on your driver.
5. Using Intel Driver & Support Assistant
If your Windows 11 system has Intel’s basic graphics card, you can update it using the Intel Driver & Support Assistant utility. You can check the below steps to update it with ease:
5. Launch the Intel Driver and Support Assistant app on your system and select Support in the left pane.
6. From Official Site
Another easy way to install the updated display adapters on your Windows 11 PC is directly from the manufacturer’s official website. Follow the below steps, as they demonstrate the same in detail:
From AMD’s Support Website
Here are the steps to update the AMD graphics drivers on your Windows 11 PC:
From NVIDIA’s Site
You can also install NVIDIA’s latest graphics drivers from its official website, and below steps explain the same:
1. Move to NVIDIA’s official site, and select the appropriate options from the Product Type, Product Series, Product, Operating System, Download Type, and Language dropdown menus to identify your product.
3. Again, press the Download button using cursor and let the graphics driver’s exe file on your system.
7. Force Reinstall Them
Another method to update the graphics adapters on your Windows 11 PC is by force reinstalling them. In this method, you need to first uninstall the existing graphics drivers from your PC and then download optional Windows updates to get the updated version of the uninstalled graphics drivers.
Sounds complicated? Follow the below steps to force reinstall your system’s graphics drivers:
1. Use the Windows + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run utility and type chúng tôi in its search box.
3. Select Uninstall device from the menu and checkmark the Attempt to remove the driver for this device checkbox.
5. Use the Alt + F4 keyboard shortcut to open the Shut Down Windows window and select Restart from it.
6. Once your Windows 11 PC is restarted, open the Settings app using the Windows + I keyboard shortcut and proceed to the Windows Update section from the left-navigation pane.
That’s it! Updated graphics drivers have now been installed.
The last and easiest way to update the graphics drivers in Windows 11 is using a third-party driver updater. There are plenty of third-party driver updaters that automatically search for new updates for your system’s graphics drivers and install them. Even some tools also fix the issues with them by repairing them.
Yes, Windows 11 regularly releases new updates for your graphics card through cumulative and optional updates.
You can easily update your Windows 11 PC’s graphics card drivers using the Device Manager utility. Else, you can use a third-party program to do so.
Is Windows 11 Better for Graphics?
Windows 11 has really improved in terms of everything, including graphics. You can easily play any high-end video game if your Windows 11 PC has a decent graphics card that can handle the game.
How Do I Increase Graphics on Windows 11?
You can increase graphics on your Windows 11 PC by enabling the Game Mode and Auto HDR options on your system. Additionally, you can turn on the Hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling option on your PC in the Default Graphics settings.
How Do I Check My Ram and Graphics Card Windows 11?
You can check the below instructions to check your Windows 11 PC’s RAM and graphics card:
1. Press the Windows + I keyboard shortcut to open the Settings app on your PC and scroll down till the end.
2. Navigate to the About section, and check your system’s RAM and graphics card in the Device specifications section.
Graphics drivers play an essential role in the functioning of our Windows 11 PC. Due to this, it becomes very important to keep them up to date to avoid any kind of system failure and sluggish performance.
Here in this guide, we shared several methods to update graphics drivers in Windows 11. We hope the listed methods assisted you in updating your system’s graphics drivers. If yes, then make sure to share which method you used to do so.
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