A graphics card, also known as a video card or GPU, is a crucial component of any computer system. It is responsible for rendering images and videos on the screen and plays a critical role in gaming and other graphics-intensive applications. Understanding the location of the graphics card on your computer can help troubleshoot or upgrade your system. But remember that the GPU’s location differs for a PC and a laptop. Plus, there are many differences between the graphics on both types of devices.
In this blog, we will explore the location of graphics cards on both PC and laptops and tell you several facts about the graphics on both computing devices. Whether you’re a gamer looking to improve your gaming experience, a professional working with graphics-intensive applications, or just someone looking to upgrade their computer, this blog will provide you with all the information you need to understand where the graphics card is located on your PC and Laptop. Let’s start reading the post!
- It’s crucial to locate the graphics card on your computer or laptop first when troubleshooting or intending to change it.
- It may be located on PCIe or AGP for the computer while integrated on the motherboard or near-screen hinge for a laptop.
Where graphics card is located?
We’ll first look at the GPU’s locations on a PC and then discuss where the graphics card is located on a laptop. Let’s discuss it!
When most people think of a Graphics card, they usually think of the PCI-E slot on the motherboard. However, there are three locations where a Graphics card can be on a PC.
1. PCI-E slot
A dedicated graphics card is placed in a PCIe slot on a motherboard, especially the top x16 slot. An x16 slot is the ONLY place where a specialized graphics device’s actual connector can fit. Several PCIe slots can be found on a motherboard, including x1, x4, x8, and x16. The number following the letter “x” often indicates how many PCIe lanes are in a slot. The more demanding the add-in card can support, the more lanes it has. The largest slot, x16, is used by graphics cards to produce the most data.
Keep in mind that frequently an x16 slot may only have 4 or 8 lanes. There are only 4 lanes in the bottom x16 slot. Due to this, a GPU is rarely attached to a slot with the x16 layout (x4). Again, ideally, a GPU needs an x16 slot with all available x16 lanes. All motherboards' top x16 slot provides that guarantee. Two power plugs are attached to the dedicated graphics card’s upper right corner. This is such that additional PCIe wires from the power supply unit can only power most graphics cards.
In summary, a motherboard’s x16 slot is where a specialized graphics card is installed. Depending on the motherboard’s form factor, these may be at the center-left or bottom-left. The graphics on a Full ATX motherboard are on the center-left. Since the sole x16 slot on Mini ITX motherboards, the smallest commercial motherboard size, is situated on the bottom edge of the motherboard, the dedicated graphics card would be placed there.
2. AGP slot
The second location is the AGP slot. This was the most common location for a Graphics card before PCI-E slots became popular. A point-to-point network called an “accelerated graphics port” (AGP) is used for high-speed output video. The motherboard of a computer is connected to graphic cards using this connector.
An AGP is mainly used to speed up 3D graphics output for high-definition videos. Compared to PCI, AGP offers much quicker connectivity and throughput. 3D graphics, high-definition gaming, and graphics for engineering and architecture are the primary uses of an AGP.
3. External GPU
The third location is an external graphics card. This graphics card is installed outside of the computer in a special enclosure. An external GPU, often known as an eGPU, is a relatively recent idea that allows laptop users to attach an external hardware connection and achieve desktop-quality graphics. The greatest graphics for gaming can be ensured with the assistance of an eGPU. Gamers' visual experience has changed.
The graphics card’s location is a little different on laptops. There are two locations where a Graphics card can be on a laptop.
A graphics card is soldered directly onto the motherboard of a laptop. In contrast to a PC, it is NOT removable. A cooling system typically covers a gaming laptop’s CPU and GPU chips. You must remove the entire cooling system to find the separate graphics card chip.
2. Near-screen hinge
The graphics card is typically located near the hinge of the screen. So if you’re looking at the laptop from the front, it’ll be on the right-hand side (as you face it). Some laptops place the graphics card near the bottom of the device, so you might have to look at the back to spot it. And others still have it put away in a corner somewhere—so again, you’ll probably need to refer to your owner’s manual to get an exact location.
Tips to Install a Graphics Card in Your PC or Laptop
Installing a graphics card on your laptop or desktop might seem intimidating at first, but it’s not as complicated as you might think. Here are some tips to make the process a bit easier:
Ensure that your graphics card is compatible with your laptop or desktop. Check the manufacturer’s website for information about supported models.
Turn off and disconnect your computer from all power sources before starting.
Carefully open the cover of your laptop or desktop to access its internal components.
Unscrew the screws holding the graphics card in place, if any, and carefully remove it.
Insert the new graphics card into its designated slot and secure it with screws if necessary.
Close up any covers or doors and reconnect power sources to begin using your computer with the new graphics card.
It’s essential to know the graphics card’s location on your computer when upgrading it. On a desktop PC, the graphics card is typically located in a PCI-Express slot on the motherboard. The graphics card is integrated into the mainboard on a laptop and cannot be easily replaced. This article looks at the different locations where a graphics card can be found on a PC and a laptop, including the PCI-Express slot, AGP slot, and external graphics card. It also provides tips for installing a graphics card on a PC or laptop.