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How to Change a Graphics Card in a Laptop

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A graphics card is a piece of computer hardware that connects and sends video data to your laptop’s display. The video quality on your laptop will largely depend upon your graphics card. Most laptops use PCI or PCI Express graphics cards. PCI Express graphics cards attach to your motherboard into a graphics card compartment. Installing a graphics card is one of the easiest hardware installations you can perform on a laptop.

  • Shutdown your laptop, disconnect the power cable, remove the battery pack and disconnect any miscellaneous cables and external devices.
  • Attach an antistatic wrist wrap to your wrist, and then attach the wire clip to the outer casing of the laptop. This will help prevent shock from static electricity.
  • Open the laptop as far as it will go. Use a small flathead screwdriver to pry up the keyboard cover. The keyboard cover is a small plastic strip located between the keyboard and the LCD display. Remove the keyboard cover from the laptop and set it aside.
  • Remove the Phillips-head screws securing the keyboard to the laptop frame. Lift up on the keyboard and place it face-down over the palm rest. Disconnect the keyboard’s ribbon connector from the laptop’s logic board, and then remove the keyboard from the laptop base and set it aside.
  • Disconnect the LCD video ribbon connector from the video card.
  • Remove the retaining screw securing the heat sink to the logic board. Lift the heat sink out of the laptop base very carefully, and then set it aside.
  • Remove the four screws securing the video card to the logic board. Lift the old logic card out of the laptop base and set it aside. Install the new video card by placing it in the video card compartment and replacing the four retaining screws.
  • Reassemble the laptop by following Steps 1 through 6 in reverse order.
  • Insert the disc that was included with the new video card into the the CD-ROM drive. Follow the onscreen instructions to install the new video card’s driver on your laptop.

 

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