How to replace computer graphics card?

Are you considering replacing your graphics card? We’ve made an introduction to collect tips and tricks for purchasing and installing this PC component. The graphics card is a very valuable piece of equipment, this anxiety of getting everything right is understandable.

Buying a video card entails a significant expense. Many of us have handled our newly purchased GPU with extraordinary care, like gold. If you’re considering changing, don’t make the rookie mistake and follow our advice.

Buying guide to replace your graphics card

First of all, we will consider some interesting points in order to know which video card we need and take into account how the market is. We know the current circumstances are not conducive to buying a graphics card, but we’re still doing some research.

Sometimes we forget that the graphics card market has changed a lot in the last 10 years, why am I saying this? The prices we see in NVIDIA Pascal (GTX 1000) have nothing to do with Turing (RTX 2000) and Ampere (RTX 3000); same goes for Navi and Polaris on AMD Radeon.

In short, graphics cards are more expensive now, so if you have a GTX 1070 or GTX 1080 and want one of the same current range, you’ll have to go for the RTX 3070 or 3080. At that time the GTX 1070 started at around $375, now the RTX 3070 starts at the “official” price of around 499 euros.

By that I mean you don’t have the old vision of the graphics card market: now the price is higher, but the performance is also much higher. And the needs of that time were not the same as now: there were no 4K videos and no Ray Tracing.

So I stress it so you don’t be surprised because that’s the reality, not to mention mining and scarcity are pushing the market.


Budget is the key to purchasing a graphics card, as it will keep us from going crazy among the thousands of custom models. With the budget we will have defined how much money we can spend and the range we are looking for, which helps us to eliminate many models.

Based on official prices, types of video cards by budget will be as follows:

  • Euro 180-250: low range.
  • Euro 250-500: intermediate level.
  • 500-1000 Euro: high range.
  • More than 1000 Euros: top of the range.

The prices we see in the lower range will be for “modest” models like the GTX 1650 or 1660, which may include the RX 5500 XT and RX 5600, but these are already discontinued. Theoretically, we will see the RTX 3050 and RX 6600 models of the future in this range.

Loaded into the mid-range, we find a super controversial market:

  • RTX3060.
  • RX6600XT.
  • RX6700.
  • RTX3060 Ti.
  • RX6700XT.

The high-end is one of the most interesting because of the value for money it offers, and the occasional “top-of-the-line” model is very controversial. The models we found are:

  • RTX3070.
  • RX6800.
  • RTX3070 Ti.
  • RX6800XT
  • RTX3080.

At the top of the range we find 3 main models:

  • RX6900XT.
  • RTX3080 Ti.
  • RTX3090.

Additionally, we can save money by purchasing refurbished graphics cards.

Lack of Graphics Card: Buy or Wait

That’s one of the biggest problems with buying a graphics card today: graphics card shortages. This is a phenomenon that causes 2 main effects in the market: Minimum stock and very high unit price.

Since there is not enough supply to meet the demand for the product, its price rises a little. The problem is that it “didn’t go high enough”, rather the price premium being 53% compared to the suggested starting price.

Personally, I would recommend waiting because the price will drop a bit during 2023. One of the reasons for this shortfall is the low production capacity that Samsung and TSMC have, something that will improve by the end of 2022 because a decline in laptop demand is expected.

Resolution and FPS, what’s the point?

We can roughly summarize the answer as follows:

  • 1080p and 60 FPS: RTX 3060, RTX 3060 Ti and RX 6700 XT.
  • 1080p and 144 FPS: RTX 3060 Ti, RTX 3070 and RX 6800.
  • 1440p and 60 FPS: RTX 3060 Ti, RTX 3070 and RX 6700 XT.
  • 1440p and 144 FPS: RTX 3080 and RX 6800 XT.
  • 2140p and 60 FPS: RX 6800 XT, RTX 3080, RTX 3080 Ti, RX 6900 XT and RTX 3090.

How long-term returns do we expect to get?

Performance degrades over time and handling 144 FPS at 1440p, for example, is not easy. It’s true that many AMD Radeons will be optimized in Ray Tracing with FidelityFX Super Resolution, but in 5 years they won’t deliver the 60 FPS or 144 FPS they do in other scenarios.

Want a GPU that will last 3-5 years at 60 FPS at 1080p and 1440p? We recommend investing more to spend less. If we buy an RTX 3060 Ti, it will give us a very good performance, but for example, it may be insufficient as soon as the next generation NVIDIA Hopper or RDNA 3 comes out.

And I’m not saying this because there are better GPUs, but there are pros and cons to replacing a graphics card because every piece of technology is subject to obsolescence. Then the graphics card requirements that will be in 5 years will be much higher.

Power supply, attention!

Finally, highlight the importance of the power supply when replacing a video card because the latest generations consume more energy. As a suggestion, go to the GPU datasheet and you’ll see that the manufacturer (NVIDIA or AMD) has announced a recommended minimum power amount for the model.

As we can see, the manufacturer’s recommended powers range from 500W to 850W, so keep that in mind if you buy an RTX 3000 or RX 6000.

Tricks to replace your video card

We continue to replace the video card of our computer with the purchased GPU, so we reveal step by step what can be useful for its installation.

Uninstall before installing

First of all, uninstall the drivers of the old video card so that when we install the new one, the computer is free of software. To do this, you can use the Applications section of your computer’s Settings menu.

Hold the crate horizontally

Once everything is removed, turn off the computer, unplug all cables from the case, and place the computer horizontally on a table for safe and comfortable operation. It will not only be easier to remove the graphics card that we will replace, but it will also be child’s play to install a new one.

It’s time to remove the old GPU and to do so follow the below path:

  • Check that the video outputs (HDMI/DisplayPort cables) are disconnected.
  • Remove the fixing screw on the PCIe bay.
  • Disconnect the PCIe cables from the GPU.
  • Use the button on the PCI-Express slot where the GPU is connected to remove it without damaging the slot.
  • If it’s not easy, you press the button with one hand, and with the other you pull the GPU from side to side towards you. Don’t force it. Watch out for GPU cables and fans

Now let’s install the new graphics card. We will do the opposite of the previous one:

  • We place it in the slot until we see that it is well attached and solid.
  • Make sure that the PCIe slot bracket of the box overlaps the GPU screw. Then screw it on.
  • After it is fixed, attach the PCIe cables and lift the chassis up. We want the cables to be well away from the GPU fans so that the blades don’t collide with the cables.
  • Rarely, cables break as the blades collide with them, but vice versa: the blades can be damaged.

Install video card drivers

All that remains is to reinstall everything, log in and install your video card drivers. Go to NVIDIA or AMD websites where you need to search for your model. You will download a file, run it and start the installation.

NVIDIA GeForce Experience for Nvidia and AMD Software: Adrenaline Edition.