Install Pci Graphics Card In A Dell Optiplex

A Dell OptiPlex 745.

The Dell OptiPlex has basic video graphics components built into the motherboard. Often, users upgrade this basic graphics support with advanced expansion cards. Many high-end expansion cards come in a specialized format known as AGP. However, older lower-end expansion cards run on the PCI expansion slots and are still used in the OptiPlex. Depending on the form factor, the Dell OptiPlex provides between two and four PCI expansion slots that can be used for this upgrade.


1. Turn off the computer and unplug the power cord. Remove all connectors from the back of the unit and label them accordingly with tape if they are not color-coded.

2. Open the case using the thumb screws located on the back of the unit.

3. Disengage the locking arm that holds the expansion cards in place on a mini-tower. This is not present on the smaller form factor. Insert the new expansion card carefully into an open PCI slot. The card must sit firmly in place but not be forced. The outward-facing part of the card must align with the open slot.

4. Replace the locking arm and close the case to hold the new PCI card in place. In the smaller-form-factor OptiPlex, use the provided screw to secure the PCI card to the computer chassis. Next, close up the case and secure using the thumbscrews. Re-attach all cables and power cords to the back of the computer. Attach the video cable from your monitor to the output from the new PCI graphics card you just installed.

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5. Power up the computer and install graphics card software. Depending on the operating system installed in the system, it may automatically recognize and install software for the video card. However, it is best to install the manufacturer’s provided software and then check the manufacturer’s website for any updates to the drivers for the card in question.

6. Finally, reboot the computer to complete installation.