You might find yourself asking this question that Why and how to Install a Graphics Card in a Laptop. When your laptop’s graphic card isn’t compatible with the new game you want or that you want a new one to stay up to date with unique technology so you need to upgrade your graphic card at that time.
Can I Change The Graphics Card of My Laptop?
However, before you start reading the step-by-step guide, we would like to warn you that not every laptop has an upgradeable GPU. Most laptops come with an ‘Integrated’ GPU chip that you cannot remove, and forcefully removing it would damage the motherboard (naturally).
On a further note, poking around the back of your exposed laptop and damaging it would lead to your warranty being void, so beware. The best option for you, in this case, would be changing your motherboard with a better integrated GPU or changing your laptop entirely.
In contrast, if your laptop’s GPU is upgradeable, check whether the GPU you want to buy is compatible with your computer. To do this, refer to the spec sheet of your laptop.
Most laptops have a PCI slot to attach graphics cards, so check to see if you have one. If you do, then you can change a GPU, but if not, then change the motherboard or get a new laptop as stated above.
Furthermore, if your laptop is old, make sure that the new GPU would fit as these days bigger GPUs are being produced. And finally, make sure that the new card possesses modern connective features like VGA, HDMI, Display Port, etc.
How To Install a Graphics Card in a Laptop
Firstly you need to uninstall existing drivers, Replacing old GPU then install new GPU with its new drivers. Bingo!
Video: YouTube/Linus Tech Tips
Now that we know whether you can or cannot change your graphics card let’s see how to change it at last.
Step 1: Uninstalling existing drivers
Start by navigating to Device Manager and double click on the ‘Display Adapter‘ option to expand it. Right-click on the ‘revealed display‘ adapter and clicked ‘uninstall device.’ Then follow the instructions to remove the old display adapter and power your laptop off.
Many errors that occur due to graphic updates are due to driver incompatibility; hence you must uninstall the old ones that your OS is using to run the old GPU.
Step 2: Replacing Old GPU
Now that you have uninstalled the old drivers, you can now replace the GPU. However, take caution, as one wrong move could damage your laptop permanently.
Start by removing the battery and pressing the power button to discharge all capacitors. Next, remove the back cover by unscrewing all the screws, and expose the motherboard.
Locate the PCI slots, usually located next to the CPU, and search for the GPU. Unscrew the GPU from the PCI express backplate. Remember to keep storing the screws separately, as they will return to the exact positions.
Modern GPUs use a clip mechanism to attach themselves to the PCI slot. To locate them, look at the bottom of the GPU, towards the ends of the slots. Release them to unlock the GPU.
To release them, press them or pull them to the side, and remove the GPU directly upwards to prevent any damage to the PCI slot. Keep the GPU on an anti-staticantistatic bag or any electrically non-conductive surface.
Use compressed air to blow out any dust remaining in the PCI slot before placing it in the new GPU.
Step 3: Installing New GPU
Now finally, the part we have all been waiting for. However, every good thing comes with a cost, so make sure not to mess anything up, or you would ruin everything. On that note, let’s start.
Firstly, unpack the new GPU, which may have been packed in an anti-staticantistatic bag. Remove it carefully, not bringing its links into contact with any electrical surface. Next, place it gently into the PCI express slot, and apply some pressure until it is appropriately set in the backplate. If the motherboard has a clip, it will click back into position when the GPU is properly positioned.
If the GPU is wider than the old one, remove the adjacent panels to make more room. Use the screws you removed to secure the GPU into the motherboard. If there are any power cables, connect them before replacing the back cover of your laptop.
Replace the battery and power on your laptop. Now we are at the final step.
Step 4: Installing New Drivers
Now that the GPU is appropriately connected and your computer is powered on, you will be requested to adjust color and screen resolution by your OS. Do this and confirm that your display is standard. If it is off, troubleshoot your setup to see if you correctly performed all the steps.
To install the drivers, you have two methods. Download them from the internet, using the model name of your GPU to search for them. After downloading, follow the installation procedure to install it on your laptop.
The second option is using a driver disc. Place the disc in your laptop and follow the instruction manual to install it on your computer. When done, test your graphics to see if they are working correctly. To do this, play a game and check if there is a change in the picture quality and graphics.
What To Do If My Laptop Has No PCI slot?
If you do not have a PCI slot, you can either change your motherboard or the laptop entirely. However, there is another way to add a graphics card to a computer, but it cannot be used for gaming purposes. Astonishingly, you can plug A GPU into a USB port.
Doing this gives you an extra graphics output so that you can use an external monitor as well, with your laptop’s built-in screen. If your computer already has a VGA, DisplayPort, or HDMI output, adding a USB graphics card means you can use the third screen, implying that you are not limited to two displays.
We hope that this article was insightful to you, and now you can change your GPU and play your favorite games!