There is no better way to know whether your desktop computer is performing at its best than to check the graphics card. Dust ruins the appearance of your computer, but it also harms its performance. Cleaning your graphics card is essential to keeping it in good working order. It is vital to wash it correctly to maintain optimal operation.
What are the benefits of maintaining a dust-free computer and graphics card?
Your PC will slow down if you don’t clean it regularly. You may notice that your PC is generating more noise than usual. Maybe. Later, it will abruptly shut off, as many gamers and binge-watchers have learned the hard way. To put it another way, if you don’t clean your computer, it will overheat.
Further issues may arise if the PC becomes overheated. But suppose you clean your graphics card regularly. It will lessen the risk of your computer overheating because once you begin cleaning your GPU (Graphics processing unit), you may also find yourself cleaning other components.
As a consequence, lower temperatures are recorded while using a clean PC. In addition, the longer the lifespan of your computer’s components, the more critical cooling is. They’ll keep you entertained for a more extended period. Additionally, a clean graphics card provides better gaming and home cinematic experience. For example, no dust means your graphics card will run as fast as possible in your games and movies.
What you’ll need to clean your GPU is listed below:
- A tiny Phillips screwdriver If the screws fall, the ones with magnetic tips make it simpler to pick them up.
- A pressurized air can. You may also use a medium-sized paintbrush. There are two options if you don’t have one of these two. If this is the case, proceed with extreme caution.
- If there are any tenacious residues on the surface of your graphics card, lint-free cloth, and isopropyl alcohol might be of assistance.
- Only old machines with dried paste need the thermal paste.
- The fan’s power cable may be more readily removed using Circlip pliers when the fan can be deleted.
- Using a soft brush, remove any big dust particles.
Step-by-step instructions for thoroughly cleaning your graphics card
Disconnect the power source and turn off the lights.
Unplugging the computer from the wall outlet is a must before beginning any cleaning work. Ensure no charge remains in the device by repeatedly pressing the On/Off button. For a short period, the fans may continue to rotate. In this scenario, you should wait for them to calm down before continuing.
Moving to a non-carpet floor will make it easier to deal with the cords.
Before you begin:
- Unhook all the wires and cords.
- First and foremost, make sure your computer is in a well-ventilated area. You won’t have to worry about bringing in extra dust or inhaling it yourself.
- Wear a surgical mask lying around to keep your lungs safe.
Remove the PC’s lid.
Unlock the computer’s lid. Remove the screws on the back of the unit first. A typical way to open a case is to slide the right side of the computer.
Use a Brush to Remove dust.
Use the paintbrush to clear away any collected dust on your GPU. To keep it out of the portions below, you may gather it with your palm or a piece of paper. Remove the screws that hold the card to the casing by loosening them. The graphics card mounting bracket should now be free of the container. Remove the card by releasing the clasp.
Lifting the graphics card is the next step. To remove the card from the socket, you must press a lever down or shift it to the side on newer versions. An earlier model requires nothing more than a solid grasp and a slow, deliberate pulling motion. You should consult your user guide if you have any questions regarding using the release mechanism.
Remove the screws from the fan and clean the blades.
Use the paintbrush to remove any remaining dust from your graphics card at this stage. Remove the screws holding the fan to the heatsink if your graphics card supports it. Then, use the pliers to unhook the fan’s power cord, which may be difficult to access.
Clean the heatsink with cotton swabs.
Using the cotton swab is helpful for models that don’t allow total separation. If you’re doing this for the first time, you may want to snap a photo of your GPU to assist you in recalling its layout.
Compressed air may be used to blow out the heatsink. It is critical that the airflow not be directed toward the heatsink’s bottom. Make sure the air is being directed horizontally. You’re trying to get rid of any sand and grit that could be on the side. Spray compressed air in brief, two- to three-second bursts to extend its life.
Removal of the heatsink.
Removing the heatsink by force is not recommended since many manufacturers use the thermal paste to attach the heatsink to the GPU. Isopropyl Alcohol on a Lint-Free Cloth should be used to thoroughly remove any previous residues from the thermal paste before replacing it.
Check to see whether the heatsink can be readily removed.
By removing the heatsink’s retention screws, you can see whether the original thermal paste is still holding it in place. Remove the screws and try again if it won’t come off on its own.
There is a significant likelihood that the heatsink on your graphics card may be removed to be cleaned more easily. It will help if you reread the handbook to prevent any mistakes or harm.
Re-sanitize everything (if you have the heatsink off)
Now that you’ve dismantled everything, use your paintbrush and compressed air to clean it up. To get rid of stubborn dirt and dust, use an alcohol-soaked cotton swab. Please wait until the Isopropyl Alcohol has wholly evaporated before using it.
Finally, put everything back together. First and foremost, if you removed the heatsink, make sure it is securely fastened back on the motherboard. After that, screw the fan’s power cable back into place and reconnect it. Following the previous procedures in reverse order will allow you to experience a clean graphics card.
After all of this cleaning, ensure your graphics card’s fan operates correctly. If you don’t have a glass side panel on your computer, turn it on for seconds while you clean your graphics card.
You’ll appreciate your computer more if you keep your graphics card clean. Every six months is a good rule for cleaning your graphics card.
It’s best to reopen the case if you find an issue with the screen working correctly. Reconnect the graphics card once it has been removed from the computer. Most of the time, it’s just a question of making the incorrect link. When this happens, it’s usually because the dedicated slot has more dust on it from when the card was cleaned above the open case.