How to install a GPU in 6 easy steps

Installing a GPU has never been easier.

How to install GPU

You can trust PC GuideOur team of experts use a combination of independent consumer research, in-depth testing where appropriate – which will be flagged as such, and market analysis when recommending products, software and services. Find out how we test here.

Last Updated on

If you were wondering how to install a GPU, we’ve got you covered with everything you need to know. 

Installing a GPU might seem complex and unnerving at first, and that’s understandable because you’re dealing with hundreds of dollars worth of equipment, and making all the connections can be confusing. However, it’s a simple process that anyone can do with the right tools and a bit of help. 

To that end, we’ve put together this quick step-by-step guide to help you through the process of installing a GPU so you can start gaming or working right away. So, without wasting another second, let’s get right into it.

What you’ll need 

Installing a GPU is easy, but you need the right tools. We’ve listed them below to save you time and effort. 

Here’s how you can install a GPU on your PC 

Follow the steps below to mount a new GPU.



Turn off the PC

Start by turning off your computer and the PSU switch and disconnecting the power cable from the wall socket. This is important because if your PSU is connected, your motherboard might be getting some power or holding a charge, which can short a component or damage the motherboard itself.



Open the side panel

Using the four-head screwdriver, remove the screws from the back of the casing that holds the side in place. Some PC cases come with knurled screws which can be removed and tightened by hand, so if you have those, removing them should be even easier.

After that, the side panel should slide off, or you might have to unclip it to remove it, but this varies from casing to casing. A tempered glass side panel should come right off.



Take out the GPU from the box

Open the GPU box and remove any plastic film on it.



Mount the GPU on the PCIe slot

The first thing you need to do is check the dimensions of the GPU and see whether your case has enough space to house it adequately. If it’s cramped, that could lead to restricted airflow, resulting in overheating. If the casing doesn’t have enough space, it would be worthwhile to invest in a bigger case, and we’ve got you covered there as well. Check out our best full tower case for the top picks.

Unclip the lock on the PCIe slot and align the GPU interface with the slot. Gently insert it until you hear a click, meaning the GPU has been locked into place.

Now, using screws, secure the rear frame of the GPU with the rear bracket of the casing.

Wear the antistatic wrap and connect the alligator clip to any metallic section of the PC case to ground yourself. Do this before the mounting process to avoid any static electricity build-up that can damage the GPU or other components.



Connect the cables

Take out the placeholder from the back of the GPU and insert an HDMI cable or Display port cable, depending on your monitor.

Connect the power cable from the PSU to the GPU, which could have 8 or 16 pins. Hold the clip on the cable, insert it into the GPU port, and release the clip, which should secure it in place.



Close the side panel

Attach the side panel on the PC case and tighten the screws.



Turn on your PC

Plug the power cable into the wall socket, connect it to the PSU, turn on the switch, and power up the PC. If it boots fine, that means that the stability check for all components has passed, and you can now install the graphic drivers for your GPU.



Install the GPU drivers

Depending on whether you have an Nvidia or AMD GPU, you’ll have to download the drivers separately. For Nvidia, you’ll have to download the Geforce Experience, and for AMD, their Adrenalin software.

Download and install the respective software; it should automatically bring the graphic drivers up to date so you can start gaming immediately.

Wrapping up

This was everything you needed to know about how to install a GPU, and as you can see, it’s a fairly straightforward process. All you need are the right tools and directions; once you’ve done it, you can do it again and even help your friends. We’ve also covered different topics like this. If you’re interested, check out some of the links below.

We also have reviews of GPUs tested in-house, and if you’re interested in checking some upgrade options, we recommend the GPUs below.

Chris writes about hardware, gaming and consumer technology in general - and otherwise enjoys fiction and YouTube vids.