How To Install a Laptop Video Card

Level of difficulty: Difficult

There are a number of differences between desktop and laptop computers, the most obvious being most of the peripherals of a laptop are built into the motherboard and therefore cannot be replaced with any expansion cards like in desktop machines. A video card essentially allows the user to enjoy high resolution display generated by different graphics intensive software like games and image editing programs among others. There are however some laptop models that were introduced into the market which allow for the upgrading of the video card to allow for the execution of these graphics demanding programs. This is the reason why some buyers are very particular with the specifications of their laptop paying close attention to the video card capability aside from its processor and memory configurations.

Materials Needed:
- Laptop
- Video card
- Device driver
- Screwdriver
- Antistatic wristband
- Web browser
- Internet connection
Step 1
Launch your web browser and navigate to your laptop manufacturer’s website. Check if your model supports a video card upgrade and make sure to take note of the recommended video card make and model to avoid any performance problems.
Step 2
Once you have confirmed that you can upgrade the video card of your laptop, shut it down and unplug the AC adapter if connected to the wall socket.
Step 3
Completely remove the battery from the laptop to make sure that no power is being supplied to your machine. This will eliminate any possibility of the laptop suddenly powering on.
Step 4
Position your laptop on a stable surface making sure that the LCD screen is laying flat down on the table in order to prevent any damage to it.
Step 5
Take a flathead screwdriver to slowly and carefully disengage the front bezel of the laptop. Make sure to pry it gently until it is loose to avoid damaging the outer casing of the machine.
Step 6
Once the bezel has been successfully removed, three screws which hold the keyboard in place will be seen. Remove these screws very carefully so that the keyboard component will not be affected.
Step 7
When the screws are removed, the keyboard can be pushed forward and lifted away from the laptop. Removing the laptop keyboard completely is not necessary but it will provide for more room to operate.
Step 8
Slowly remove the ribbon connector of the LCD. This is a sensitive component and should be pulled out of the tag very gently to avoid tearing it.
Step 9
Once the LCD connector has been separated, you will see four screws which are holding the video card in its place. Remove these screws carefully. Using the thumb and index fingers, lift the unscrewed video card out of the machine.
Step 10
Install the replacement video card. Make sure that it is securely inserted into place and put back the four screws.
Step 11
Carefully reattach the LCD’s ribbon connector. Check that it is firmly attached.
Step 12
Reposition the keyboard and put the screws back into their proper place.
Step 13
Return the laptop’s front bezel, battery pack, and AC adapter (if necessary) in that specific order.
Step 14
Power up the machine and proceed to install the correct device driver for your video card based on your current Operating System. Reboot the laptop after completion of the driver installation.