PCI-E became the graphics standard for new computers produced after 2004 and quickly replaced the old AGP video cards that dominated the market. Before you install a new PCI-E graphics card, you must remove the old one, unless you want to operate with both cards. Unlike other cards, a PCI-E card has a much longer set of plated contacts at the bottom and you’ll often see a lever at the back of the slot the card sits in which helps keep the card in place.
1. Touch a grounded metal object before you begin working. This prevents ESD (Electrostatic Discharge), a phenomenon that kills all integrated circuits.
2. Turn your computer off and unplug it from its outlet. Remove the rest of the cables to make the rest of the disassembly process simpler.
3. Lay your computer flat on a table with the side opposite the peripheral connectors facing up toward you.
4. Remove the screws on the rear edge of the case now facing up. You must remove two or three screws, depending on your case model. Some case models have a tool-less removal method with a tab near the rear ventilation fan. Squeeze the tab if you see it.
5. Pull the case cover back and lift it off.
6. Locate your PCI-E graphics card. To do this the easy way, look for the VGA or DVI port you connect your monitor to and look inside your computer for the card that sits right behind it.
7. Remove the PCI-E power supply connector from your graphics card. Most connectors have a small clip you must press to remove them. Keep this in mind, as you may damage the card or connector if you don’t press the clip before pulling the connector off. You might have two of these cables attached to the card. Remove both if you see two of them.
8. Remove the screw holding the graphics card to your case at the faceplate right behind the area where the VGA or DVI ports sit.
9. Lift the faceplate gently, taking the rest of the card with you. Once your card makes a 45-degree angle relative to the slot it sits on, pull it out.