What is a GPU?
The graphing processing unit (GPU) is an important part of the system. Before going into the topic, it is very important to know briefly what exactly the GPU is and why we need it. GPU is responsible for generating images and graphics. Every computer and mobile have some kind of GPU incorporated in it because it creates images in the frame buffer to display it on output. That is why when people buy gaming computers, they pay special attention to the GPU and its memory bus.
Remember that GPU is often confused with graphics cards but they both are distinctive to one another. Just like the motherboard has a CPU, GPU has an in-board graphics card along with some other important components to drive it. It is a different chip connected to the PCI express slot.
Why do we need to remove the GPU?
There are many reasons as to why we need to remove the GPU from the motherboard. As all other parts of the computer need to be cleaned, your GPU might need some cleaning to run smoothly in the long term. Another reason may be that it becomes malfunctioned and there is a need to remove it and check what could be the possible reason. Your GPU might be outdated and slowing your computer’s speed, so you might need an updated one by selling the current GPU. The list of reasons just goes on. So, here are a few steps that you might need to know on how to remove the GPU from the motherboard.
Steps to remove GPU from Motherboard
Step 1: Remove the Existing GPU Driver
The first step to remove the GPU (in case you want to replace it with a new one) is to uninstall the driver. Uninstalling the driver is essential because the system works on software language. The software updated on the current driver can only read that. So, if you want to install a new one, you need to make the system forget about the previous one.
The uninstallation will lead you to install the new GPU easier and smoothly. This is because if any old memory remains in the system, it might hinder you from installing the new one and cause errors in steps often. It becomes even more important if you are changing the GPU with the other company’s GPU or the newer version.
In this regard, display driver uninstaller can be of useful help. There are many display driver uninstallers available online. Choose any one of them. They also include the instructions and, in any case, you skip a step, it automatically indicates you. So, download the display driver installer and let your system have a smooth process changing drivers.
Note: You can skip this step if you are just cleaning the driver and will place it back after cleaning.
Step 2: Shutting down the system
After removing the GPU, the system uses its own graphics on the operating system. As the system’s graphics are not adequate when you are running a gaming system and using a lot of graphics, you must need a third-party driver. Now, brace yourself to add a new driver by shutting down your system after uninstalling the previous driver.
Step 3: Remove the system’s wires and plugs
It’s time to do the real work. For this, you must first unplug the system from the socket and remove any wire attached to it. Now, find a table or workspace where you can put your PC and open it to carry out the proceedings of GPU removal. Make sure that a workspace you are using is clean and dust-free because dust can harm your other PC’s components too. Make sure to find a proper tool to unscrew the PC casing and GPU itself.
Step 4: Ground yourself before getting start
Grounding yourself is the most important step while working with the inner of the system. This is because static build up happens naturally when you drag the PC and any charge can cause the shorting to any of the components inside the system. So, to ground yourself, touch any metal case. In this case, you can touch the power supply case or PC case to discharge any static. Avoid any hassles and unnecessary headaches with shorting to avoid any problem.
Step 5: Remove your PCs side panel
Now, you are ready to open the PC. Start it by removing the panel. There could be loosened screws that you can easily remove by hand or you may need a screw driver depending on the PC. Unscrew the panel and carefully place it aside.
Step 6: Unplug the PCI Express cables
As mentioned above that a GPU is attached to the PCI express cables, it is essential to remove the currently connected PCI express cable to the GPU. They are attached to the one side of the GPU. Hence, gently press them until they are removed from the slot. When you unplug the PCI cable, make sure to hold it from the plastic to avoid the damage of the wires. If it needs more force, hold the GPU from its fan or backplate (if it has).
After that remove the PCI expansion slot clips that hold firmly the GPU to the motherboard. It depends on the motherboard as to how to remove it. Some only need a snap to open while others need continuous pressure until it is separated from the GPU. However, you need to be sure that it is carefully removed without damaging the motherboard.
Step 7: Pull out GPU
Once you have removed the PCI express cable and expansion slot, you are ready to pull out the GPU. Make sure to pull it straight to avoid any corrosion that may happen due to the addition of oil and moisture as a result of grabbing from the PCB side. Congratulations! Now you have successfully removed the GPU. Store it in some anti-static bag until you decide what you have to do with it.