Zotac GTX 1070

Should you have a more powerful graphics processing unit (GPU) and need to install it on your PC, this simple guide details the step-by-step process.

Installing a new, more powerful graphics card can make a world of difference when it comes to gaming on a PC. And because you're not completely rebuilding a PC, this isn't a terribly complex task. However, it can still appear to be rather daunting for anyone who hasn't opened the side of a PC case before. Luckily, with a little help, the right tools, and a spare 10 minutes, you can be back in-game in no time.

The main things this task involves are the case and PCI-e slot on the motherboard. Most GPUs sold today are connected to the PC via this PCI-e slot. A motherboard can have more than one slot, but we'll want to use the first (x16) slot. An x4 slot is shorter and can be used for other expansion cards (Wi-Fi cards, for example), and secondary x16 slots are reserved for additional GPUs.

GPU installation

Install GPU

Tools you'll need:

  • Philips screwdriver.
  • Anti-static wristband (optional).

Remove old drivers

Before you install the new card, you need to make sure older drivers for the card you're replacing (if one is present inside the system) are uninstalled. Both NVIDIA and AMD offer resources in order to complete this step. You can find them here:

As well as following the advice in the links above, there is a handy tool that can aid in completely removing GPU drivers on Windows, called Display Driver Uninstaller. Using this utility isn't required but can prove useful in getting rid of all instances of drivers from Windows. After the drivers have been removed, it's time to open up the PC and get started.

Adding the GPU

Here's how to insert the new GPU:

  1. Power down the PC.

    Install GPU

  2. Hit the switch on the back of the PC to turn off supply to the PSU.
  3. Extract the side panel (usually held on by two screws on the rear).
    • If you do not already have a GPU installed, skip to step No. 7.
  4. Remove the screws holding the GPU in on the rear bracket.

    Install GPU

  5. Unlock the PCI-e slot clip.
  6. Remove the GPU by lightly pulling on the card.
  7. Hover the new GPU over PCI-e slot.

    Install GPU

  8. Push down on the card to slide the connector into the slot.
  9. Ensure the secure lock clicks into place.
  10. Screw the rear bracket down to secure the card to the chassis.
  11. Connect any required PSU cables.

    Install GPU

  12. Reattach the side panel.

Now, all you need to do is to plug in the display connectors on the rear of the case, whether they're DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI or VGA. After that hit the PSU power switch and boot up Windows. If the PC does not turn on or no signals get sent to the monitor, we'll need to double-check that all cables are connected correctly (both inside and on the rear of the PC) and the GPU is seated properly in the PCI-e slot.

Install new drivers

Before the GPU can be used for intensive workloads like gaming, you need to get new drivers installed so Windows and software can effectively communicate with the card. Hit the links below to download and install drivers for a new NVIDIA or AMD card.