Connecting hardware components to a motherboard is as simple as joining lego pieces. You just see if the parts fit and if it does, that’s most likely where it goes. Well, atleast that’s what most experienced PC builders say. As for first-time builders, it can be hard to determine where the hardware components fit in your motherboard.
One particular component beginners have trouble with is the graphics card. You must remove some parts on your CPU case before setting the graphics card on your board. You need to screw it in place, and, in most cases, you even need to insert the power cable to the graphics card.
In this article, we have provided a simple guide on how to connect the GPU to the motherboard, along with some common queries about the GPU.
There are not many things you need when connecting the GPU to your motherboard. All you need is a magnetized screwdriver to remove the case’s retention bracket.
A high-end GPU that can handle huge tasks will require a separate cable for power as well. So you might need to connect it to the power supply.
How to Connect GPU To the Motherboard?
Although the solutions mentioned below will help you locate and connect every component, keep the motherboard’s and the graphics card’s user manual near if you have any issues locating any parts.
Now, without further delay, let us get right into it.
Locate PCIe x16 Slot
First, let’s see where the graphics card goes into your motherboard. Search the motherboard for the longest slot with two partitions with one or two locks. Any motherboard will have two types of slots that match this description. One is the RAM slot, and the other is the PCIe x16 slot (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express).
The memory or the RAM slot will have a plastic lock on either side, whereas PCIe x16 will have the same plastic lock on one side only. There may be more than one PCIe x16 slot depending on the motherboard. You can use any of the slots according to your choice.
However, the PCIe x16 slot can either use eight or sixteen lanes of memory. These lanes act as a medium through which the motherboard transfers and receives data from the graphics card. These lanes determine how fast data are transferred between the two parties.
Another crucial piece of information that you can use to locate the PCIe x16 slot is from its orientation. When you insert GPU into the PCIe x16 slot, the HDMI-port side of the GPU should face towards the back side of the CPU case.
Please refer to the motherboard’s user manual to locate the faster lane PCIe x16 slot. If your motherboard does not have a PCIe x16 with sixteen lanes of memory, you can use PCIe x16 with eight lanes of the memory slot.
Remove Case’s Expansion Slot Cover
If you are connecting the graphics card to test the motherboard outside the CPU case, you can ignore this process. However, if you have already set the motherboard into the PC case, you must remove its expansion slot cover before inserting the GPU.
Remove the expansion slot corresponding to the PCIe x16 slot from the PC case. Remove the screw that holds this metal bracket in place.
If you have a bulkier graphics card, you might need to remove two of these expansion metal brackets.
Make sure that you do not misplace the screws from the metal bracket. You can use a metallic tray to place these screws.
Insert the Graphics Card
Before inserting the graphics card, make sure that the cables from other hardware components do not obstruct the GPU or touch any of its fans.
Follow the steps mentioned below to insert the GPU.
- Unlock the plastic lock on one side of the PCIe x16 slot by pulling it outwards.
- Now align the PCIe slot with your graphics card. Make sure that the HDMI-port side of the GPU faces the back side of the CPU case.
- Gently press on the card until you hear it snap in place.
Note: If you are having issues connecting the GPU, align the gaps on the gold-plated side of your GPU to the compartments on the PCIe x16 slot.
Secure the Graphics Card
To secure the graphics card, insert the screw in the expansion slot you previously removed. Depending on the graphics card you use, you may need to attach two screws to hold it in place.
Insert the Power Connector
Some graphics card takes power from the PCIe slow, while others need a separate power supply. Please refer to the graphics card user manual to check if the GPU needs a separate power source.
If your graphics card requires a separate power source from the PSU, check for the power supply slot. The slot will either have a 6-pin, 8-pin, or 12-pin power connector. Check the sides of the graphics card for any ports. You will usually find this port on the sides that face the CPU case’s side panel.
Take the appropriate cable from the PSU and connect it to the graphics card.
Turn on the System
Congratulations, you have successfully connected the GPU to the motherboard. Once you have assembled everything, turn on the PC to see if the fans on your graphics card spin. If it does not spin, remove the power cable from the GPU, reconnect it, and power on the PC again.
One important thing most first-time PC builders do is connect the monitor to the motherboard’s HDMI. By doing this, your entire system will run on the integrated GPU. The GPU fan may not spin if you connect the monitor to the motherboard.
Therefore, ensure you connect the monitor to the HDMI or display port on your graphics card.