How to Upgrade a Slimline Graphics Card

Written by jack gerard
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How to Upgrade a Slimline Graphics Card
Standard-sized graphics cards do not fit in slimline cases. (video card image by TEA from Fotolia.com)

Slimline PCs are designed to take up less space than regular PCs, allowing users to enjoy a powerful computer without having a large computer case on their desk or in their office. Because a slimline case is so thin, standard-sized components such as graphics cards won't fit inside of the case. Special slimline graphics cards are available that are designed for these thinner computer cases. When upgrading a slimline graphics card, make sure that the new card is specifically designed for use in slimline cases.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Video card driver installation software (downloaded or on manufacturer CD)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Turn off the computer, then unplug it. Press the power button on the computer case to make the computer attempt a start-up, discharging any power that may remain in the system while doing so.

  2. 2

    Locate the two or three screws on the back of the slimline computer that hold the outer casing in place. Remove the screws, then slide the casing off of the computer case so that you can access the computer's components.

  3. 3

    Lay the slimline computer on its side so that the motherboard and other installed components are facing up. Locate the slimline graphics card in the lower left corner of the computer's motherboard.

  4. 4

    Disconnect the monitor cable from the slimline graphics card, then remove the screw holding the card in place. Carefully remove the card from the motherboard slot it is plugged into, remaining in contact with a metal portion of the computer case while doing so to prevent accidental static discharge.

  5. 5

    Place the new slimline graphics card into the computer case, lining it up with the motherboard slot you removed the previous card from and pushing it down into place. Secure the card with the screw that held the previous card in place.

  6. 6

    Set the computer upright. Replace the outer case and secure it using the screws you previously removed. Connect the monitor cable to the new graphics card and plug the computer in.

  7. 7

    Reboot the computer. Cancel the "Found New Hardware" wizard when it appears, then launch the graphics card driver installation program from your hard drive (if you downloaded the program) or from the CD supplied with the graphics card.

  8. 8

    Follow the on-screen prompts to install the drivers for your new slimline graphics card. Reboot the computer once driver installation is complete.

Tips and warnings

  • Some graphics cards come with two faceplates so that they can be used with both slimline and standard computer cases. Make sure that you use the smaller of the two faceplates if you have the option, since this one is designed for use with slimline cases.
  • Static discharge can damage electronic components such as a computer's motherboard and other components. Maintaining contact with a metal portion of the computer case keeps you grounded, preventing static discharge from occurring.

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