How to change video cardBelow we have collected all the tips, advice on how to choose the new video card and the steps to follow for the replacement inside the computer, so as not to overlook any detail.
After when is it worth changing the video card?
The video card is one of the components that "ages" faster, so we will have to think about replacing the one previously installed on the PC every 2 or 3 years, especially if we are avid gamers or buy new games often.
If we occasionally play games or use the video card for video-editing or other purposes, we may also consider a replacement every 5 years, but this is an extreme case: the video card risks becoming too obsolete even for the new versions of Windows and for the hardware acceleration offered by browsers and video players, so it is always advisable to plan a change within the recommended times.
Which video card should we choose?There are many video cards on the market, but to be on the safe side we must choose a model that has a modern video chip, fast and capacious video memories and has an optimized cooling system, so that it can even work without the need to operate. the fans (thanks to the large heatsinks positioned on the board).
Wanting to summarize as much as possible, the series to consider for gaming are:
- NVIDIA RTX series (newer and more expensive)
- NVIDIA GTX series
- AMD Radeon RX
- AMD Radeon RX Vega 56
By focusing on video cards that have these abbreviations we will be sure to buy modern cards and able to withstand (more or less) all games, also based on the resolution we are going to exploit (and this also depends on the type of monitor we intend to use. for the purpose). To know all the features to consider for a new video card, we refer you to reading our in-depth analysis on How to choose the video card for PC graphics.
Motherboard and power supply compatibilityEven before seeing the new models of video cards, we must check if our motherboard and the power supply included in the computer are compatible with it, or we risk finding ourselves with a card not working or with sudden blocks (due to the inadequate supply of electric energy). The program we recommend using to check the motherboard is Speccy, available free for Windows.
Once installed on the computer to be updated, let's go to the Motherboard menu and check for the presence of a slot PCI-E x16, with all the relevant information (for modern video cards you need the PCI-E x16 2.0 or better still the PCI-E x16 3.0). If the motherboard does not have this type of slot or is available in a version that is too old, probably the PC cannot be updated with the new video cards: in this case we will have to assemble a new PC, as seen in the guide on How to choose the parts of the new computer to assemble.
For the power supply instead we will necessarily have to turn off the PC, remove the power socket and remove the side panel of the case, so as to be able to check the power value (expressed in Watts) directly on the label of the power supply.
If we do not find a label or we do not know how many Watts the power supply expresses, we advise you to replace it with one of at least 550W, as seen in the guide Which power supply to choose for the PC and how many Watts are required.
The best video cards on the marketAfter these important premises, below we have collected some of the best video cards that we can buy on Amazon, so as to also have full warranty support (in case of problems, just send it back and choose another one).
NVIDIA RTX series
- Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2070 (419 €)
- PNY Quadro RTX 4000 (939€)
NVIDIA GTX series
- GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1650 mini (220€)
- MSI Nvidia GTX1660Ti (324 €)
- Asus GeForce GTX 1070 DUAL (476€)
- Gigabyte NVIDIA GeFoce GTX 1080Ti OC (892€)
AMD Radeon RX
- ASUS DUAL Radeon RX 580 (339€)
- Gigabyte Radeon RX 5500 XT (297€)
- Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5600 (458€)
How to replace the old video card with the new one
In this last chapter we will show you how to physically change the new video card, so that you can continue playing without problems. First of all, get yourself a set of screwdrivers of various sizes, as it may be necessary to unscrew some anchor screws. After getting everything we need, we turn off the computer, pull out the power socket and remove the side panel of the case, helping us with our hands (just turn the screws on the edge of the panel).
We will thus have access to the inside of the case, with the video card in the central part; to remove the old card, remove any additional power cable immediately in front of us, then unscrew the anchoring screw on the back of the video card, which holds the card firmly.
After removing this screw, we pull the old card upwards until it comes out of the PCI-Express slot; we don't have to force or push, just pull it gently upwards. Now that we have removed the old card, let's get the new video card, remove all sorts of protective seals or stickers (they can be anywhere, better check!) Then place it in place of the old one, in the PCI-Express x16 slot.
After positioning, we tighten the fixing screw of the video card to the case, reconnect the additional power cable (or the two additional power cables, in the case of particularly powerful video cards) and rearrange the case panel and the power socket . At the next restart, the card will signal the presence of new hardware and Windows will start with the installation of the new driver.
If the card is not recognized or the PC starts with too low a resolution, we can install the new video driver as seen in our guide on how Download and install updated NVIDIA and AMD video card drivers.
ConclusionsChanging your video card is not a walk in the park, although it may seem simple at first! We will have to check the compatibility of the motherboard and the power supply, choose the right model and, only then, proceed with the change of the card (the one that is really simple and affordable for everyone).
In another guide we have shown you all the Best video cards for PC, while if we are looking for a way to overclock the video card and its components, we recommend that you read our article to the best GPU Overclocking Programs (Video Card).